So we have some new members to the A and B teams. These members have shown up to trainings, shown competence and confidence in what they do and have been duly recognized.
For the A team we have Dr. Eric Stendell (ski) and Pat Gisreal (Sled).
And the B team, who for some reason do not get a large wooden letter to hold, Rom Marcucci (ski) and Andrew Osterricher (ski).
Last month also saw team member Troy Corliss’ gallery opening on February 5th. Gallery 5830 is located on Donner Pass Road in Truckee. I saw more team members there than I have seen on most trainings. I am not saying it was because of the free food and alcohol as I would prefer to think of it as our team supporting one of our own. Good job Troy!
Winter Wilderness Survival Program for 4th Graders
As many of you know, since Bernie ALWAYS mentions it, we are winding down our 4th grade program for this year. Truckee had barely enough snow for David Wright and his crew to build one of his trademark snow caves. The irony of this year is that one of the teachers said she went out to “search” for us but could not “find” us. We may have to go back to do a single class synopsis. Truly a first I believe for our team.
Well I am just going to come out and mention it. Climate change and GSR. Things were looking so good and now we are being trifled with. Again. That last storm, after so many days of warm weather seemed to put us back in business. Now it is warm again. In the 60’s. Really? It is February for goodness sake.
As the Beatles once sang on their famous Abbey Road album: “Here comes the Sun”.
How about “Here comes the Snow!!”
Needless to say, after a spirited GSR meeting last week, we are NOT going to cancel the race. There may be stretches where people have to walk (or run) over ground but we are going to do it. The Great Ski Race is a tradition and it is really about the spirit of the event. It is a race, but more importantly, it is a fun event that supports our team. Most people who do it are there for the experience per say, not to necessarily win a prize. If that were truly the case, would anyone stop at Soup Station 1 or 2? Or wear costumes? And in the end, it is in reality a fund raiser for our team. At no point should that not be made clear. We are providing a fun event in exchange for donations to our team. The people who would do the race are the ones who appreciate what we do. Now if it only does not rain……..
Wait! This just in.
Well…that should make it interesting!
If you haven’t found a place to help yet with the Great Ski Race, reach out as it takes all of us to pull it together. And if the weather is bad, even more so. Also, pass the word…don’t go getting lost on the night of the GSR! Just saying. Team turnout might be low.
Saving those who aren’t lost (yet)
So for those who did not join us on Sarah Carbonaris training to Martis Peak, you missed a beautiful day. The team Cat made its way upwards, with skiers nestled in the back, to the Martis Look Out tower. Two snowmobiles followed in kind. Skies were clear and Lake Tahoe shimmered in the distance.
The skiers dropped down for some turns and the Cat swooped down to retrieve them. Meanwhile the sleds trekked out to explore terrain and after a vertical climb were rewarded with a spectacular view from Mount Baldy.
Then the sleds were beckoned to come down and retrieve the Cat operators who had taken some turns themselves. We towed Jamie and Calvin with our snowmobiles back up to the Cat which had been left by the lookout. By now, other random wanderers had made their way up to share in the view. However, as we neared the top, we passed a gal who was wearing a lightweight top and some low height running shoes. In snow that was softening up enough to allow you to sink down over them on the packed trail. That seemed a little disconcerting to me. I voiced my opinion to my other team members so Jamie and I went up to the lookout where she had gone to ask:
A) Do you have boots in your pack? The answer was dry socks (thereby implying that the ones she had on were most likely wet) and that she would probably run back down anyways
B) Do you have a shell or jacket in your pack? No…but I am plenty warm. (To be expected having just walked up over 3 miles through the woods and now sitting inside the lookout)
C) Does anyone know where you are? Okay…that might have sounded kind of creepy under different circumstances. However, I was emblazoned in a team jacket and I did point out I was less than 30 feet from the very noticeable team Cat which I gallantly offered her a ride down in.
She thanked us but said no she was fine. Stepping back outside, you could already feel the temperature dropping and there was a little atmospheric something coming our way that had not been forecast. I popped my head back in to mention this and the other couple, who were well dressed, packed their stuff and skedaddled. So now she was truly alone up there. As we conferred at the Cat if we should once again perhaps suggest that we really did not want to be back there in the dark looking for her, she walked up to us and said “On second thought, my Dad would probably appreciate it if I took your advice.” Smart girl! But then she said “Do I have to ride in the Cat? Can I ride on your snowmobile?” OH…not so smart girl! HEY! I only say that because that was what YOU were thinking.
So I gladly and safely escorted this fair damsel back down to 267 where her car was ironically parked right next to my trailer. Sarah, ever so lovingly, harassed me for being able to go up into the wilderness and return with a beautiful young woman on the back of my sled. Oh how my victorious deed was slandered. I would do it again and again to save lives. Of course when asked if I would have showed the same concern if had been a 26 year old male up there in sneakers I replied “No..he would have definitely been in the Cat!”
Truth is, and the point of the story is, Steve got to take a pretty girl on a snowmobile ride. Wrong. Well partly so. The point is that when we are out and about doing what we love in the outdoors we call home, we should be keenly aware of those around us. If we see something that does not seem right, mention it. Yeah it helps if you have on a jacket to identify you as somewhat of an expert but I can’t imagine anyone getting mad if you show them you are truly concerned about their well being. Whether they are not dressed appropriately, are heading out at the wrong time of day, are skiing or snowmobiling into an avalanche prone area, are looking absolutely clueless…..you name it. We focus on our 4th graders but I simply am saying it never hurts to educate the rest.
Squaw (we don’t need no stinking ticket) Training
What looks like the start of the GSR 2 (Great Snowmobile Race) turns out to be instead a very cool training last night.
Peter York, Team member and Squaw patroller, got the snowmobile team access to in bounds on Squaw Sunday night for a terrain familiarization.
We basically canvassed the whole mountain (and it is BIG…even on sleds) from Squaw Creek Resort to the bottom of Solitude lift. It was really great to see from all vantage points the best and safest way to access some of the common search areas on a beautiful night. As opposed to the night when we most likely will be called out that will not be so ideal. Thank you to Peter and thank you Squaw.
Leave ‘em Laughing (if you can)
Is this what Kenny Loggins meant? “Highway to the Danger Zone…!” Go Maverick O’Brien. Ray..Tom. Confusing
When you make the mistake of grabbing Taco Bell in route to a search and you NEED to find a bathroom!
Stumbling upon the secret sunset dance of the snow cats at Squaw
And finally, Our President and the Presidents Dogs! Can you say Write In Vote this Year??
As always, waiting for someone to eagerly grab the virtual typewriter from my cramping hands, your team scribe,