It has been a pretty busy week in Ski Patrol Land. As expected. However, the thought processes and actions of some of our valued guests never cease to amaze me, even after 9 seasons of working in a resort environment. Sure, there are the common themes of lost (ditched the parents) children (16 year-olds), and those with a bad case of the “I quits “(skiing looked easy on YouTube), but there are always a few who stand out.
There was the one gal from Texas who was patiently waiting on the side of the trail for a snowmobile to come get her. Her boyfriend was somewhere apparently trying to commission said snowmobile. We tend to stay away from giving courtesy rides, or, taxis as we call them, on snowmobiles during operating hours. I told her that would be no snowmobile, only a toboggan ride, as I called for one on the radio. After explaining what a toboggan was (sled operated by a patroller), her boyfriend called her cell, and said he was going to come get her. She hung up and relayed the message to me, at which point I asked her how he was going to do that, and suggested she let him know I will be bringing her down to the base area. After an uneventful ride down and a safe delivery to her destination, she walked off to meet her boyfriend, and left her skis in my toboggan. I guess she didn’t need them anymore. After I caught up to her with her equipment, I overheard her on the phone telling her guy that “one of the people that works here” brought her down. And that is why, in spite of our bright red uniforms with the white crosses, and the radios, and the name tags that say ski patrol, we need to introduce ourselves as ski patrol.
Yesterday, we were doing a medical transport down a snow-covered road just outside of the resort boundary, where you shouldn’t end up unless you’re doing it wrong. We watched as someone who did it wrong was snowboarding back to the resort, on her butt. For reasons unknown, she decided that instead of undoing one binding and skating across the flats, she would sit on the snowboard and paddle with her hands until she reached her desired destination. What was beautiful is that she was blissfully unaware of how ridiculous this looked, and that we were behind her as she was doing this. My biggest regret is that I didn’t get my phone out in time to get a good video.