Last week my buddy Clint gives me a call at 8am in the morning. Now I’m an early riser so for me this is when my brain is firing on all cylinders, so no big deal. Clint however is in the pacific time zone, and I’m in central which makes it 6am his time…which makes the call a bit unusual. Apparently he had just come in from doing control work (that’s patrol geek speak for setting off those avalanche explosives) at Schweitzer. Anyway he was milling around at the patrol shack recanting with his fellow superhero’s about the previous days adventures and a story came up how a patroller had skied past an incident not once, but twice. Not this is not terribly unusual at Schweitzer. That mountain has abundant tree skiing and some pretty remote pockets for adventure, and don’t even get me started on the fog, legendary! Now can you imagine how long it can take for a patroller responding to incident to ski down, take the lift, ski down, take the lift, ski down…”oh there he is!”. Woof!
Next day my wife conveys a story she heard from our friend Kathleen about how Chris (her husband) was skiing down…some run…, and “POP” goes his ankle. Said he actually heard it, and you know it’s bad when you can actually hear your bones talk. Chris is a super “free the heel” proud telemark skier that can make continuous turns look effortless. I made the call to check in a few days later. Apparently the conditions were decent but he said he definitely hit, what he called “cruft”, just under the surface. Must’ve thrown his balance off just enough to put him in an “unrecoverable spin”, sorry Goose.
Of course the next segment of the conversation pertained to the response time from patrol “did you go down in the toboggan….how was the care…how long did it take for patrol to reach you?”. Yes. Excellent. Less that 3 minutes! Yowza! Now that’s impressive! How did he get patrol assistance so quickly? It hit me that he the patrol direct phone number on speed dial. Oh, did I forget to mention, Chris is a well-seasoned volunteer Mountain Ambassador for Schweitzer…. yep that’s why he has there direct line. Obviously this is extremely rare. I’ve personally spoken with hundreds of folks and no one has patrols direct number. Sometimes patrol doesn’t even have a direct number.
Well the verdict is still out as to whether Chris needs surgery or not, but his ski days are definitely done for the season; sorry Chris. Big thanks to the patrollers that brought my pal down, you guys rock!
I obviously don’t need to draw you a line here but this is exactly what SnoSuite is going to do, give everyone a direct line to patrol…no phone number required.