Ski Patrol on Board?

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Ski Patrol on Board?

Postby John » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:54 pm

The Milford (Michigan) Times has a profile of the ski patrols at one of Michigan's smaller ski areas, Alpine Valley.

http://hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... 20726/1028


Anyone here ever been on a ski patrol? I thought of it, for a day or two. Then I decided against it. I read some time ago that patrols are open to snowboarders as well as skiers, but I think it would be difficult to maneuver a toboggon while on a board. (I notice that all the people mentioned in the article are on skis.)
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Postby BaldNotGray » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:02 pm

My wife's a patroller, at another small area in S.E. Michigan. She started on skis, but took up boarding several years ago. They have a handfull of boarders (8 or 10) on the patrol. She says that it's pretty easy to drive a toboggan on a board.
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Postby GregH » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:10 pm

Personally I think it's irresponsible to patrol on a board. Let's face it, in an emergency, there's nothing like the mobility of skiing.

Just my opinion.
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Board?

Postby Spindog » Wed Dec 28, 2005 4:20 pm

I know very little about patrolling (other than being helped by one while injured many years ago). It would seem to me, however, that as long as you could handle a tobaggon properly, boarding might have one real advantage. That would be handling injured persons on a slope in regards to securing them, administering first aid, immobilizing joints, backboard handling etc. - wouldn't these types of activites be a lot easier to perform in soft snowboard boots instead of rigid ski boots (assuming the patroller would remove their skis or board and spend a lot of time on their knees helping the person)? ..... Just a thought ......
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Boarder Patrol

Postby goofydatarave » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:11 am

My guess that there are more minuses to a patroler on a board, than pluses. If I was a couple hundred yards off the beaten path, and had a problem, I would be praying for a patrol person on skis.

A couple of years back I was in search of the 'perfect run' on the backside of a resort. I was with a couple of ski patrol guys I knew, but we still got terribly lost. We ended up having to hike a couple of miles out of there, and just made the road before it was pitch black out. Here's the good part: I was the only one on a board. Let me tell you, hiking out two miles in waist deep snow (no lie), carrying your snowboard is a bit different than walking out on skis (cross-country style). I would have promised to give up riding forever, for a pair of skis that day (it's safe to say we were all getting a little nervous as darkness fell, and we still didn't know where we were).

My point is, I think skis are better suited for emergency personel, even though I personally like boarding better.
A bad day on the board is better than a good day at the office.
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Postby tominwi » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:25 am

I was a patroller in the late 70's, early 80's on skis. It became a pain. Your annual first aid and CPR refreshers and then the fall chair evac practive. You had a shift you had to ski each week and you could have great snow or rain or -20. You got free skiing and some discounts. Just not worth it.

I ride now with a season pass at an area 20 minutes from home. We go out each Sat and Sun mornings and ride from 9 until the crowds start to build (around noon). We then usually also go out one evening a week. If we get a good mid week dump, I'll go mid week for that. Having the $$$, I prefer to just have a season pass and come and go as I please.
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Postby DMC » Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:37 pm

Where I ride - There at LEAST 6 people on snowboards that patrol.. One of them a senior fulltimer.. All great riders..

They have no problems with sleds - even in moguls - they train their asses off to be able to handle anything...

They get to a "possible" - pop out of their bindings just like skiers do...
I can't think of any reason why someone who boards should not be a patroller...
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Re: Boarder Patrol

Postby DMC » Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:39 pm

goofydatarave wrote: Let me tell you, hiking out two miles in waist deep snow (no lie), carrying your snowboard is a bit different than walking out on skis (cross-country style). I would have promised to give up riding forever, for a pair of skis that day (it's safe to say we were all getting a little nervous as darkness fell, and we still didn't know where we were).



Sounds like you need a splitboard... Or better directions... :)
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Postby goofydatarave » Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:39 am

Sounds like you need a splitboard... Or better directions...


:lol: Yeah, I either one would have been nice! I figured: "What could go wrong... I'm with ski patrol." Needless to say, their radios didn't work through the mountain, from the other side :(

How much does a middle of the road split-board go for these days? Do they require special boots/bindings?
A bad day on the board is better than a good day at the office.
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Postby John » Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:22 pm

Well, I guess there ARE folks who serve on the ski patrol on a snowboard. I went to an open house / recruiting session for a local ski patrol.

I was the only active snowboarder in the recruiting class, though one guy has been trying it out of late. Several members of the patrol are "on board," including a fellow who wore hard boots and road a carving board. We all took runs down the steepest pitch around, and when the time came for a demonstration of how to pull a tobaggon, the snowboarder pulled the sled while a guy on skis pulled up the rear.

You can read more about my ski patrol experience on the blog portion of this site:

http://graysontrays.com/blog/2006/03/be ... atrol.html

It turns out that this question of snowboarders on the ski patrol has been hashed out over a decade ago. See
http://www.monmouth.com/~dschutz/
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Postby snobug » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:35 pm

I have a friend who used to patrol along w/her husband and they were both on boards. They didn't seem to have a problem, although I know they used step-ins at the time.
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Postby John » Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:33 pm

Yeah, the guy I met was wearing hard boots with toe clip bindings--sort of like step-ins. As much as I don't like strap bindings, though, I don't see how they would be any more of a hindrance to a patroller than to your normal rider.
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Mobilty

Postby alwysbrdn » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:14 pm

Some of us are pretty mobile on a board. Bindings are easy to get out off and do whatever you need to do
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Postby John » Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:35 am

For what it's worth, the Colorado patroller of the year is a snowboarder (first ever).

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/news/s ... 61876.shtm
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