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Most Rewarding Experience

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What was it?
Friends, search, rescue, powder, fun with explosives, training, personal achievement, free lift ticket, red and black jacket, free hot chocolate, comp beer?
We know how much work goes into training, preparation and patrolling. What keeps you coming back?

More than one correct answer per contestant is possible.
post #2 of 6
I am not or ever been a patroller but I have had many experiences with them

The compassionate professionalism I have encountered made me feel somewhat in awe of them as they helped me through some troubling moments.

Injuries ; I have had some miinor ones and they gave me practical help and good advice.
Once a guy stayed on a lift too long when I was very small he knocked me out with his skis as he floundered around the turnwheel. I remember the face of a concerned patroller giving me gentle comfort as I removed the cobwebs from my head. I was fine ,in the end, but my memory of an angel in my mind every time I encounter a patroller.
Last year I got hit from behind and injured ,however not seriously but I still carry the effects of it. The lady patroller came and took her skis off and gave me first aid and listened to me bitch about being hit from behind and having the guy ski off with out a care for what he had done to me.
She stayed with me as I made sure I was in good enough shape to ski on . She was so nice and caring. And the snow in the rubber glove over my injured thumb was a resourceful solution to getting and keeping ice on my injury

I am saying these people don't get paid enough , they make the slopes a safer place and when the worst happens they are on the spot , usually in numbers and offering a timely reaction and solution

My hat's off to you guys and girls. I am so grateful to share the slopes with you all

I know this is not the perspective Cirquerider was asking for but I had to share this with the folks I don't know but consider my friends
post #3 of 6

All of the above my friend, but if I can only answer the question with one answer it would be the personal gratification. Knowing that you are doing something you love(skiing) and helping at the same time(making the slopes safer).

Everything else was just a perk.
post #4 of 6
My husband says "all of the above" though one is still on his wish list because you don't get to use them in the East: fun with explosives!

The main reason, though, is he enjoys arriving on the scene to help someone who is injured, lost and/or scared because they're in over their head. It's very rewarding to help someone, and generally, people are very grateful and kind. It's especially nice when someone sends a letter, or delivers homemade cookies...or beer/wine...as a way of thanks. The Jay patrol often gets update letters from "patients," or they'll stop in to chat when they return to the mountain on their next trip.

post #5 of 6
For me it always comes back to the end of the day, either at sweep or having a beer in the lot with the other patrollers.

The feeling of standing on top of the mountain, all alone at the end of the day, is incredible. The lake (GSL) is on fire, the sun is setting, the mountains are bathed in alpenglow and its dead quiet, no wind, no crowds, nothing. The reflections I've had during those periods are amazing, I'd give anything to let my friends and family experience the setting and feeling for just one minute. I often spend that time to think about how lucky I am. I feel a satisfaction and longing just typing this.

I also love the camaraderie of standing around with my buddies at the end of the day and swapping stories. Everybody worked their ass off doing control work, setting ropes, giving care, whatever - the mountain was up and running for another day and we played a part in it.

I can't wait for the next snow!!!!!
post #6 of 6
Dealing with every injured guest is rewarding. On of my biggest impressions is from my first one. A 62 year old novice snowboarding woman from Hawaii did her ankle pretty well in a remote location. (yes, unusual patient) She was in near panic when I got there, but her pulse dropped from 120 to 80 while I was taking it. She felt she was saved, and calmed right down. Wow, that's something they didn't teach us.

I loaded her up and brought her down without any trouble. She weighed half of the instructors, and they made darn sure I was ready before turning me loose. She was so greatful it was embarassing.
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