First and foremost, let me say that I completely respect the job these men and women do. They make the mountain safer for everyone and work long, hard hours. I don't think I'd ever want to do that job.
Having said that, I had a small incident yesterday with a patroller at Alta. If you know the area, my buddy and I hiked the ridge line up from the top of Wildcat lift, as far as we could go before it was closed. Just as we were getting towards the top, a patroller skied down from the upper part of the ridge and it looked like he was going to open it to go farther up the ridgeline, but he was just adjusting the rope line. The area was still closed. No biggie.
As we got to the top, he skied down just a bit to adjust more of the rope line. I said something lighthearted like "we were hoping you were gonna open it for us" He replied with "What does the sign say? Does the sign say closed"? I was totally cool....I'm not there to make trouble, so I just said "no worries....we're cool", to which he replied with something about how it's closed for a reason, do we understand....then he skied away.
Now, I could just chalk this up to one guy being a dick, but then it occurred to me, that more often than not, the ski patrollers that I run across seem to be pretty humorless people. Maybe it's just the nature of the job, or maybe it's the fact that they have to deal with idiots who don't know what they're doing all day long, or maybe they get the same stupid questions all the time, or people cutting rope lines....I dunno. Of course, it's not everyone...I've had some very pleasant conversations with one or two Alta patrollers, but that seems to be the exception, not the rule.
What are your thoughts on the ski patrol at your home mountain?