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Author Topic: 2010 - 2011 Ski Season Thread: Bozeman, MT.  (Read 29645 times)
David Howland
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« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2010, 01:50:49 PM »

I'm on a plane now...traveling 600 mph at 35000 feet. Gotta love free in flight wifi from google.

It's been snowing for the last four days in Bozeman, and it was -15 when I got in my car this morning to drive to Butte for my flight. The interstate was pavement in the travel lane until Homestake pass, which was really sketch. Gotta love Subarus.
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« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2010, 10:34:55 PM »

Haven't been on the site much as i've been dealing with this:



to drive here:



to ski this:



After training today:


Big Sunset by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 12:09:22 AM by David Howland » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: December 16, 2010, 09:27:50 PM »

The last two weekends have been on-hill and rookie training for the Big Sky Ski Patrol. We've gone over radio protocols, first aid, mountain locations, ski skills, running with loaded and unloaded toboggans over all kinds of terrain, taking toboggans up chairs, and we're starting to move into responding to and managing a first aid call on the mountain.

Two things I've learned. Skiing with a toboggan is way, way harder than it looks. Probably the most physically demanding activity i've done on skis. It's really testing my snowplow and sideslip skills, too. Edge control is key, and I think my east coast upbringing helps on that. It's a constant battle though, to manage speed ensuring control while making sure I'll be able to make it across the flats. The brake (a chain that can be dropped off the front of the toboggan) also adds another layer to that, requiring the front of the sled to be bodily lifted off the ground to gather any speed. Hard stuff.

Also, the first aid response is totally different when it's out int he cold, snow, trees, etc. Resource management is key (making sure the maximum resources stay as far up the hill as possible) and making sure you call for the right resources can make all the difference in a call. Very, very tricky to remember and keep track of all the things going on in your head when running a call.

Still, I'm excited. As exhausted as these weekends make me, it's still the most fun I've had this season. I've got my touring gear ready for when it dumps, next, too.


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« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2010, 08:49:44 AM »

Sounds exciting.  That pic is nuts.  Do alot of the patrollers use AT bindings there?  I noticed at Jackson a lot of the ski patrol had FR+ bindings.
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« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2010, 10:32:27 AM »

Dave, is taking "rad" jumps off things with sleds a regular thing out there?  Grin
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« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2010, 10:39:48 AM »

Just cause u are cool dave, still doesn't make snow cops cool!!   Tongue
Remember that. Haha love the sunset shot, very nice.
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« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2010, 02:49:38 PM »

A fair number use AT bindings. There's a large percentage of tele patrollers, as well.

Tony, whatever you have to do to get a patient down the hill quickly!  Tongue Tongue

As far as Josh's comments, the viewpoint I heard from one of the other patrollers on the lift last weekend was that he doesn't feel like he's there to be a policeman. His job is to be on the mountain to help people if they need it. I like that viewpoint.
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« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2010, 03:00:38 PM »

Be carefull out there, Dave.

I just heard that Wolf Creek Pass lost a patroller in-bounds in a snow release.  The job is to rescue but you've got to protect the rescuer first.  They probably taught you that.

Tommy T.
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« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2010, 03:48:53 PM »

Scene safety is the number one point that any of the EMT training I've had has emphasized. Before any of us are even allowed to ride a lift, all the control work above the lift has to have been completed. They gave us a briefing on the slide paths on the mountain and it's genuinely scary stuff.
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« Reply #54 on: December 17, 2010, 06:08:23 PM »

Oh david u take me far to seriously (that is illegal by the way, u will be ticketed!), being patroller is the best way to get great skiing in without being independent wealthy!!. Way better than instructing. I was an instructor and always pissed when the blues would ski by and id be teach some lesson getting no turns in. See I grew up with patrollers wearing full dark blue ski suits with a big gold cross on the back and too boot they we're from jersey so they were already mean by nature. We didnt lose our tickets they would take a tooth. Haha I kid now. Not about the outfits though those they wore. Learn as much as u can sir!
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« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2010, 06:54:10 PM »

The patroller at Wolf Creek was killed in late November while on a "routine" sweep.  He was 41 years old, a 16 year vet at Wolf Creek, and the director of patrol operations at that area. 

Tommy T.
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« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2010, 12:06:58 AM »

I remember hearing about the guy at Wolf Creek back when it happened...scary stuff.

Great two days "at the office" this weekend. We moved into towing sleds down some of the hairiest, steepest, tightest tree runs Andesite has to offer, and worked on back boarding in the snow. Patrol goal is ten minutes from on scene to transporting. It's significantly difficult as the patient is rarely parallel to the fall line, and backboards like to slide on the snow. It takes alot of hands to stabilize the patient, the backboard, and the patients cervical spine. Then you have to get all the gear ready, strap the patient down, move the patient into the sled, strap the burrito wrap and the backboard into the sled, and transport. The first one we tried took thirty minutes. Sled work is getting easier though, as there is a definite technique to it.

We also got to ski, both for fun at lunch and learning sweeps. It's been snowing a couple inches every twelve hours up here and it's been keeping the snow really nice and refreshed, and everything that blows into the trees and over the edges of ridges is deeeeep. I took my first tram run of the day yesterday. The traverses across the south face are really rocky, but the actual runs are nice. First run was 1st gully to crons (one of those areas of wind deposition). Choppy powder all the way down, nice and fun to ski. The wind was whipping up the face up top and blowing snow and ice chunks around. I came down from the tram with a beard full of ice and some frostnip on my nose and face. Trees and the sides of trails stayed real good all day today, too. Boot to knee deep powder in the untracked sections. We also headed out (under the guise of learning sweeps) to ski Dakota and Shedhorn. These two lifts are way over on the south side of Lone Peak and not many people ski over there, due to the remoteness, the traverse back out, and the fact that it's not visible right from the base station. As such, untracked woods, gullies, and runs. The tram run to access Dakota was more of the same thick powder into zero visibility.

Lone Peak Tram top station


I also scored my first face shot of the year off of Dakota in the woods.. Quickly followed by a coreshot. Worth it.
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« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2010, 07:55:21 AM »

Great stuff Dave !
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« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2011, 05:07:28 PM »

My friend Sam and I set out for Mt. Blackmore last Sunday, hoping to summit and ski some fresh snow. Our snowpack had finally started settling down and we were pretty sure we could and ski Blackmore. Plans change, however.

The trail in to Blackmore winds it's way up from Hyalite Reservoir just south of town and climbs quickly up a drainage to the ridge between Blackmore and Elephant Mountain. It's a total climb of almost 4000 vertical feet over about 6 miles.

The skinning was fast, steep, and sometimes slippery. Temps at the start of the skin were hovering around the 5 degree mark and it was snowing slightly. After about two hours we broke out of the forest into the first clearing. The clouds, which had surrounded us the entire hike, broke a little bit and we got our first view of the ridge between Blackmore and Elephant. As we climbed up and out of the trees, the full force of the wind became clear. I stopped at the base of a series of chutes on the side of Elephant and talked to Sam about options. The wind would be whipping over the ridge, loading everything on the north facing side of the mountain we were hoping to ski with nice thick windslab. It also had gotten much colder and neither of us was feeling too happy about booting the ridge in high winds, cold, and snow. We dug a pit and found a nice, hard faceted layer about two feet down that was fairly stable, but could easily break under a heavy wind load.

We bagged our plan for the summit and skied the chutes off of Elephant instead. This turned out to be an excellent decision. Unskied lines in six inches of fresh powder on top of a supportive, soft base awaited us. We skied two laps down the chutes. Even in this sheltered aspect, however, we were breaking wind slab about 2" thick that broke wide and ran the full slope. Nothing to be scared of at that depth, but definitely a factor in reinforcing our decision not to push higher.

The bobsled track out to the cars was fun and fast. It reminded me of East Coast skiing - whipping fast through tight trees.


Skinning by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr


Wind by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr


Slicing by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr


Makes It All Worth It by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr


Dropping by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr


Carve by Frigid Light Photography, on Flickr
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« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2011, 07:58:39 AM »

Quote
Nice one!
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