And for probably my final post of the season, here’s a cool little clip of Snowbird Ski Patrol. What a cool job — skiing, helping people, and blowing things up. Some great demonstrations of Utah powder technique, too.
I happened to run into the guy with the helmet back in March. I recognized him from the video — patrollers who wear helmets are rare at Snowbird, and don’t exist at Alta (they keep me safe and ski better than I would if I had two lifetimes, so I don’t question their wisdom).
Anyway, I mentioned I’d seen the video, and remarked that it’s tough to make a good video for a job where you’re saving people. Showing people being dug out after a slide, or screaming because they’ve blown an ACL doesn’t sell a lot of lift tickets.
I’ve been trying to get better at skiing for about a decade now — really working at it. Every year, more of the mountain is open to me, and I regularly ski places, where I can remember years before, I remember sitting and quietly weeping.
This year, I was able to ski the “Praying Cat” off of the Supreme chair at Alta. Something I thought that I was at least a year away from being able to do, especially in this very low-snow year.
But after looking at it from the lift about 1000x, I thought I found a way through, and I did it (with people shouting encouragement from the chair – slightly disconcerting).
(Here is what it looks like in a more normal year.)
But while I’m happy with what I did this year, there is still so far to go. I’m from sea-level New York, and started late. I feel like a weekend-fisherman talking to a killer whale about fishing technique. Still it’s inspiring. I see people in places it would never occur to me to stand, let alone ski, and say to myself, “someday”. Praying Cat was like that.
People who haven’t skied out in Utah have no idea how seriously they take it, and how good some of them are. Here’s an idea. Maybe next year. :)
Today was bluebird, and 6" dropped overnight in a 50" storm cycle. I waited 30 minutes for the rope to drop on Ballroom and was about the 30th person in. I had untracked powder and the 20 best turns of my skiing career. Of course, the camera decided to act up, so you just had to be there (or watch this guy).
So I leave you with this — the day before, in the middle of the storm off of Wildcat. Gotta love the face-plant I do at the end, while I’m on the runout.