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What Ski Patrol does for us!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is the video I would love to shove down the kooks mouth who talk smack about Mammoth Mt. Ski Patrol. I lol when I thought about the guys in this video driving by my house while I was still asleep. ( true story some of these guys live on my street.)

http://www.mammoth-snowman.com/mammo...ki-patrol.html
post #2 of 16


Anyone who talks smack about any patrol should expect to get all their tracks outside area boundaries!!!
post #3 of 16
Hats off the them. Good stuff, should be required viewing.

Great pick of music for it too!
post #4 of 16
Amen.
post #5 of 16
They skipped the part where the Patrol Director actually tells you that if you manage to get some turns in make sure you stick to the crap and save the good stuff for the public!
post #6 of 16
Yea, a good friend of mine got a job at Solitude last year. Up at 4:30am, hike to top of mountain to throw bombs, work runs carrying a ton of bamboo and fencing, usually getting in maybe 3 runs during the day, and having to be out there no matter what the weather and conditions. He came back east to patrol in January saying the best part of the job was throwing dynamite, but I'm sure that thrill would've worn off by March.
East coasters don't have it much easier. On the mountain at 7am, usually one work run stopping every 30 feet and one semi-free run carrying trail maintenance items before the lifts open to the public. And of course we have standing orders to not ski where our tracks are visible or stay along the side of the trail. We get last run sweeping the mountain, good or bad, and ocasionally we get to check trails that open late for various reasons, sometimes a dream, sometimes I've been scared.The other rewards, hanging with a great group of guys who love the mountains as much as I do, and of course, helping people, are tremendous though.
post #7 of 16
Man, I love control mornings, so much work but so worth it. The early morning light, the emptiness of the mountain and of course, the bombs!

As far as saving the good stuff for the public, heh, I've been busted more than once gutting a prime face under the lift. The patrol director usually reads me the riot act over the radio, six-packs* me, and then forgets about it in a day or two.

I've had days of skiing several thousand feet of untouched powder in the glow of the sunrise and I've had days of freezing to death in 60mph winds, sub-zero temps and zero vis in the dark. I wouldn't trade any of them.

*you get six packed when you are caught doing something wrong, you bring a six pack (or in my instance, a few cases) to the patrol party.
post #8 of 16
This winter I came across the patrol director and his Golden Retriever at the top of the mountain setting up rope-line. I didn't have a partner that day, but had the beacon and shovel; and there was like 3-feet of untouched fresh past the gates out of bounds. Persuaded him to take take the run with me.

Great guy, wonderful run. They do get the best pow, but work hard and make a strong committment in return. I am tempted, but truely lack the time to get current on all the medical certs and training while still making what I call a living. Anyone getting into this for the free passes, will be quickly disappointed.
post #9 of 16
Could not agree more-thanks for the link MammothSnowman. Heading up tomorrow for my bi-weekly ski - this past winter we saw many Patrollers out for our safety, given our huge dumps.
Related Note:
God Bless the families who lost their father's/spouses during our tragedy this spring. Skied/Lived in your town on and off for 30years..still feel bummed for their families, every time I cruise down facelift.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mammothsnowman
This is the video I would love to shove down the kooks mouth who talk smack about Mammoth Mt. Ski Patrol. I lol when I thought about the guys in this video driving by my house while I was still asleep. ( true story some of these guys live on my street.)

http://www.mammoth-snowman.com/mammo...ki-patrol.html
post #10 of 16
great video - thanks.
post #11 of 16
Cool vid. There is nothing like being out at 4am, and seeing exactly how much work it takes to get even a small mountian open by 8:45 One of the highlights of my season was going out and standing at the bomb tram when a 50LB bag was detenated 150 feet out on the tram and watching all of the canyon walls let rip. But hey dont forget the other crews, that are up even earlier, I.E. the groomers and the lift maitnace crews that are out at 3 am geting everything else ready.
post #12 of 16
Patrollers are my heroes.:
post #13 of 16
post #14 of 16
I admire those who are willing to take the responsibility, dedicate the training time, and ski in some of the most undesirable conditions for the good of the sport.
post #15 of 16

Amen

I'd like to just add a comment about ski patrol for my 1st post.

I honestly never gave them the credit they deserve in the past. I kinda just regarded them as the speed police, and loked at our relationship as "us vs. them".

Well, this past March at Solitude, that all changed.

I was hiking Fantasy Ridge above the summit chair, and got into a bit of a bind. I chose a line that was a tad beyond my skill level that day, and paid the price. I skied 5 sweet turns in knee deep pow, intending to stop at a small pine tree to survey the rest of the run. But it didn't go that way.

I tried to stop, and my tails dropped into a void (either tree roots, or rocks, I can't be sure). Next thing I knew, I was on my back, gaining speed, then ragdolling for 200 feet down a rocky chute. Then, just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was airborne for what seemed like an eternity. I fell 70 feet off a sheer rock wall. Thank god for a deep base and pretty soft snowpack in my LZ.

So as I lay there, not knowing which way was up, or how bad I was hurt, the ski patrol was already on the way to my location. They had actually seen the last bit of my tumble, and were out the door of the patrol shack before my carcass stopped rolling. I was in a tough spot. They had to climb up to me from the traverse, a good 150 feet through snow that was rib cage height for someone on foot. 4 guys got up to me and began the assessment. I was strapped to a backboard, and not having any idea how bad my internal injuries were, they called in a heli.

The sled ride down to the heli LZ was almost as scary as the fall. These guys couldn't use a snowmo, so it was 1 in front, 1 behind, and down we went, through steep and deep powder, crud, and bumps. How these guys kept me under control I have no idea.

So as they loaded me in the bird, they even had the presence of mind to ask about my vehicle. They took my keys, and said they'd try to help me coordinate getting it back if and when I was able.

Well, long story short, I was miraculously fine. The doctors were dumbstruck. I had every test the hospital knew how to give, and all I ended up with was a seriously bruised quadricep, a chipped elbow, and a serious headache. Marvin, the patrol director, called me to check up and told me that whenever they discharged me, he'd come down with my vehicle, and take me to the hotel, airport, or whatever! I was like, "You've got to be kidding me!".

So he came down, I thanked him and the boys profusely, bought one of their nifty patrol T-shirts, and bought the whole crew beers and a bottle.

I'm so grateful to these guys, who didn't know me from Adam, but busted their asses to make sure I had the best chance of surviving my own stupidity. I'll forever consider these guys friends, and I'll never look at patrol in a negative light again.

Oh, and FYI, if you ever are tossed up between a week of guided heli skiing at Mike Weigele's during peak season, and an 8 minute heli ride from Solitude to LDS Hospital, go with the former. They cost the same, but you'll get a little more vertical with option "A".
post #16 of 16
Oh, forgot to mention, the Director of Patrol also told me to be sure to come back and ski, on him. He'd comp me and my wife or whomever.

Can't beat these UT folks!
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