Cross post from a little venting over at TGR:
I was patrolling last night, and we had a call for an injured 4-year-old kid at about 9:40 pm - kinda the witching hour for us, about 20 minutes before closing.
I was standing by at the toboggan shack, when the call came across to bring it down, and I could hear the kid SOBBING - he was hurting and scared. I pulled the sled out, put my poles under the shelter, and zipped down to the scene. We loaded him & his dad, and got them down to the patrol room - about 10 minutes total from the time I grabbed the sled until I got back up to the sled shelter.
My f'in poles got swiped!!! There was a group of teen snowboarders I had to pick through with the toboggan, and they all had plenty to say as I came by with it - "Come on, man, I never got to ride in one..." - you know, really "witty" stuff like that. I just went through them and politely aksed them to make way so I could get to the kid. I have a feeling that they probably had a pretty good idea where the poles went, and they were nowhere to be found when I got back up there, just like my poles. Can't prove they took them, but they were the only ones there at the time, and they were just "hanging out". I know sometimes 2+2 = 5, but the coincidence factor is pretty hard to refute.
I can afford new poles - no big deal, but I shouldn't HAVE TO. These were some Leki adjustable poles I use for alpine & telemark, since my stance varies between the two styles, and adjustable poles are the way to go. They aren't cheap, but they don't look like anything special.
There's gotta be a special Karmic payback for assholes that do stuff like this, especially when I'm on the way to help someone. WTF is with people?
So...what do you guys do with gear you aren't supposed to ski with when you respond to an incident? At the end of the day, the injured party is much more important than a set of poles, but GEEZ!!! I'm thinking maybe a pack I can tuck them into and take them with? It just sucks that there are a-holes like this out there.