A few stats…so far:
>20k skier days
Youngest casualty …ummm 6yrs old (I think)
Longest rope stretcher lower…200m
Most patrollers in 1 day, 8 ½
>30 updated and new patrol documents
4 lost blankets (Joe donated them to the NHS)
and Braveheart open 2 days
Heading up the gondola through the cold clag, the day seems like being fairly uninspiring. As we approach the top station the clag is thins and the mountain looms large through the vaporising mist burning off in the heat of the early morning sun. By the time we have reached the summit the sky is blue and there is not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind. Looking across in every aspect of the compass rose the inversion remains as far as the eye can see, only the high mountain peaks showing through the sea of white. A chance to re kit before sliding off towards the back to check out what is very likely to be the soft spring snow…another day in ski patrol begins….and of course it’s always like this at Nevis Range (at the moment).
A picture speaks a thousand words….so here is several thousand from our season this year so far, excluding January for obvious reasons.
And the season so far in one sentence….An excellent BASP ski patrol training course, an upgraded and future proofed gondola, wet and windy January, new team members, new med room, improved systems and practices, knees and joints with Jacqui, MRS avalanche rescue training, loss of power to summit hut , gene to the power hut , great team performing well, in-house training, winter rigging course, interesting avalanche terrain and conditions, explosives, working with SAIS, rope rescue from west face, helicopter rescue of casualty from Coire Dubh, Ski Club of GB visit, Ethan’s school Ballachulish, skiing on the best 4 days of the season, triage situation involving racers and public, upsetting local guide, visiting patrollers, Spikes and Summit gully, BBQ on summit today.
And we will see what the final chapter of the season has to hold…starting with more sun and blue skies thinning on the front of the hill but with plenty higher up and fantastic skiing in the backs…and if you listen to the rumours… more snow!
Anyone fancy an end of season slide please just get in touch…maybe not FIPS but still a fantastic slide and chance to meet up with some all-round quality patrollers…and me.
Article and photos provided by Jeff Starkey