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It was a World Class Tucks Weekend.
Dealt with Mass Pike rush hour traffic and road rage on Friday night and then headed up to Pinkham. With a full moon, no headlamp was needed and I skinned up and arrived at the Slice o' Heaven at Hermit Lake at 11:10PM. Deployed an Emergency Reserve Oil Can and the next morning, we were asked as to who wanted to patrol Hillman's Highway. It's been years since I skied that - WILL EVERYONE PLEASE REMIND ME TO SKI THAT ULTRA MEGA CLASSIC, MORE. That's been an oversight for me for years. So, I signed up to do Highway Patrol. I was reminded of how cool that is. I did outreach to people to ensure they had accounted for the 3 S's - Sunscreen, Skis/Snowboard and Suds at the bottom. The Sun was the 4th and that was free of charge. I ran into Lindsey Hoyt near the top - he sez' hi to Kristen and Bruno! I looked down onto Route 16 and was astounded at the madhouse scene down there and Hermit Lake
was an ant farm. We had an estimated 4100 people go through by HoJos - Skip, check it out: business was booming on Saturday! I went up for a second serving and was well past the fork and I was talking to someone when he pointed out a nasty long epic slide someone was having in Gully #3. I could not see it, but the guy I was talking to gave me a lurid description and it sounded ugly, maaaan - over rocks and ice bulges and vegetables and lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng. I still never saw it, but given the blow-by blow description, I called it in on the radio and got fellow patroller Justin from Backcountry Mag on it. I skied down to the top of the Christmas Tree and ran into fellow patroller Roger - yes, THAT Roger - while I went to the bottom to the Hillman's Cache. Roger and Patroller Justin were on the scene and the injury was not the open femur fracture/flailed chest/cracked vertbrae hysteria scene I thought it would be
(nasty leg injury and non-ambulatory but in good spirits). USFS Rangers Justin and Jeff (these are real professional rangers and not cornball amateur ones) put on a World Class technical rescue show and I was able to assist with my technical skills (I took a 2 day course per their recommendation with a local guide last Fall regarding this stuff). Yeah, a good show was put on by Roger, Justin and the USFS Rangers. Really burnt me out, but was rewarding and we got the misfortunate adventurer on a sled pulled by a snowmobile down to Route 16. The misfortunate one did nothing really wrong - just blew a turn and slud' a long way; it was a "hey sh*t happens" scenario ...... but remember, the steeps of the Presidentials allow painfully little grace for blowing a turn.
Like I said, it was A World Class Tucks Weekend. Eye Candy, dogs, people skiing big - fellow Patroller Bob reported Allen Taylor was around skiing big - and lotsa' Suds (one of the all important 3 S's ya' know). That night, we had a BBQ and I threw on some yummy Boar's Head Bratwursts (like, we were living big).
Today, I was a bit toasted as I guess the season is taking its toll on me. I slowly skinned up to the top of the Christmas Tree and I relaxed a bit sitting on my pack yet still got in turns. Skiing down the Sherburne was heavenly low angle spring bumps. Read Jumping Jimmy's TR for a much better report. This is some of the best stretch of Spring Skiing New England has ever scene.
Mark P. Renson
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