Originally Posted by longboardsrule
Not to sound condescending, But I dont see any logic to this decision? We only get one winter per year and to have to spend all of your weekends locked down to one resort. Sure you get to do runs, but are they the runs you want to do? Or are you constantly sweeping the hill looking for problems/injuries etc...
When there is a good snow day at LL, do you get to ditch on your volunteer responsibilites at Nakiska?
Do you still get to haul ass? or are you stuck riding at a respectacble speed?
To me Snowfboarding represents some sort of unexplainable freedom, why you would want to give that up, for a social scene, beer and nachos doesnt compute for me.
Yeah, valid questions, and because I didn't know the answer to those I didn't volunteer last year.
#1, you have to commit to 3 weekend days per month. The schedule is usually made 1-2 weeks in advance. So I can still do trips to Fernie, somewhere warm, etc. There's also nothing that says you can't frontload the month or swap shifts with people.
#2 In the morning you're the first one on the hill, and you "sweep" runs to make sure they're ready for the public. In the afternoon you sweep at the end of the day prior to closing. Otherwise you just generally hang out. You don't have to do a set number of runs, or certain runs, etc. They just want you to have the ability to quickly get to any part of the hill (which is why they want people all over)
#3, this is a big one for me. You still ride however you want to ride, as long as you're following the alpine code. I probably got about 10' of vertical air during my "test" and they said it was good cause it demonstrated comfort with the terrain. Nobody says you have to be grandma going down the hill. In fact most patrollers haul ass pretty well!
#4 The social aspect is interesting, but there are other benefits that are the real draws for me. There is a system that credits you to get lift tickets, season passes, etc. And considering Nakiska is an RCR resort, an RCR pass would mean I could board in Fernie and Kicking Horse for free. That is a real benefit. You can also join the avalanche control team at some resorts, and be the first group to go and hit terrain before it's open to the public! Unless you don't like fresh powder?
Nobody said you have to do it. To say that there is no personal value to be gained from volunteering with ski patrol is a pretty unimaginative view on your part, if I may say so.
Sounds like an adventure to me, maybe not mine but certainly a good one I'd be interested to hear more about.
Yeah exactly, I think it's a certain kind of person that wants to do it. I've been boarding for 21 years now, and although I'm certainly not bored of it (quite the opposite in fact!) I'm looking for new ways to entertain myself on the hill. I've also found some of my favourite runs by following patrollers, so there's something to be said for being part of a group that knows the hill intimately!
The lure of free seasons passes, jumping the line, and getting to ride snow before anyone else are the biggest draws for me. The social aspect comes a close second (or 4th, depending on who's counting!)...
Anyway, to each their own. I'll probably start a new thread if I decide to join in the fall.