I also have the mental block on WB due to the shopping mall aspect. Hard to spend my vacation time in a shopping mall.

That said, we bought Ikon Passes so we'll likely head to Tahoe and Mammoth and possibly JH/GT

I'm going to wait until the snow falls to book something. They seasonal forecast is for warm out west and cold in the NE so might make sense to do early season in the east and save our vacation for later in the season.

On Sun, Jul 29, 2018 at 8:45 PM, Mark P. Renson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Geez I was wunderin' where everyone went as there has been hardly any postings for weeks so thanks to all who at least woke up.

As for Whistler, I have a mental block about that place that keeps me from going there.  They market the place as some sort of excessive hyper developed shopping mall/restaurant combo which turns me off ........ though I know darn well there's a huge amount of outstanding skiing literally thousands of feet above the base area and that it's a spectacular place with a huge heavily glaciated mountain wilderness stretching northward from there along the coast all the way to Anchorage.  So, I'm missing out because of some dum-a$$ mental block in my mind.  Duh. I gotta' like, lighten up or something.

Anyway, I just got back from the National Ski Patrol East Division Certified Boot Camp held up in Harrison Maine on some lake north of Sebago. It turned out that a number of friends have been instructing/leading at this now annual event and they encouraged me to come.  I'm not sure if I'll ever go for the Certified Exam but I do want to acquire Certified skills and bring myself to a higher level of patroller.

So after work Friday I headed up I-95 and set up my tent when a vigorous passing shower let loose at dusk and then grabbed a 16oz can of Second Fiddle with a recent date stamp that I scored and headed for a campfire by the beach when an ATV showed up ..... "Mahk? Is Mahk Renson around?"  Oh $hit.  I was brought to a meeting in a garage I did not hear about and was promptly drafted as a Certified Candidate and an MCI presentation was done (Mass Casualty Incident).  Some good people who have helped me were present including Certified Patrollers Andy (Loon) who I have done much kayaking with, Karl/Betsey/Kevin (Sunday River; Skip might know them), Justin (Killington) who was very good at debriefing me over the fatal incident we got involved with and PeeWee (Smuggs) aka Linda. Team Thunderbolt was represented by their PD, 2 of us from Waterville were there as were 3 of us from Mount Washington (there was to be a 4th but she backed off) - all were instructing/leading.

Saturday we handed in our ICS-100 certificates - Jonathan made this for a requirement for his avalanche courses years ago and this has caught on as a requirement, hence he set the trend. We then went through some high pressure 2 minute (or was it 1) 1st Aid assessment drills which really humbled me but all of us getting crushed admitted that it was very good for us.  Zeek of Thunderbolt says he does these for instruction at Jiminy and even has candidates get people on backboards within 2 minutes as a drill.  Then we were shuttled to a hill where the Harrision Fire Department set up MCI scenarios involving plane crashes complete with a rummaged light plane cockpit and fuselage, sirens going off and a smoke machine providing realistic chaos.  It totally rocked and lessons learned from the high pressure morning drills paid off.  I got some nice compliments on my performance which caused my confidence to come back.  Candidate Grant from Gore and Roddy the Assistant PD from Sugarloaf were especially talented and good to work with and it appears that Sugarloaf has an impressive patrol operation or at least is a cool place to patrol - Skip do you know much about them?

Zeek from Thunderbolt conducted a very good Low Angle Rescue seminar which I smoked probably becuae I spent a week in the Selkirks getting schooled in mountaineering earlier this month which included an intensive skills day when it rained (again) which included me doing a 6:1 drop loop crevasse haul system with 2 locking biners/2 non lockers and 1 prussik which turned into 2 lockers/1 non locker as Guide Larry could see that I knew what I was doing and took away a biner in order to put the screws to me.  Yeah, I figured it out - they've been hammering hard for years in Canada and it's been paying off.  Then I had to ascend a rope with 1 prussik and 2 non-lockers (hint: make a Garda Hitch on your belay loop).  Oops, I digress....

Today was an avalanche presentation from Linda and I smoked the beacon searches as I should but at the same time I learned some new things from Linda even though she was instructing beginner material.  ORM seminar - Outdoor Risk Mgmnt - was interesting too and there was more material we went over both days.  Alas at the end when we went around to all of the candidates asking if they were going to apply for the Certified Program this upcoming season I responded with an affirmative ...... "no" as I was made aware of how much more I need to learn though I could see where I have many skills that they are looking for.  Intriguing for sure.

Yeah, like I said I spent a week in the Selkirks.  I learned much including use of a map to find high quality first descent lines and that having a comprehensive whiteout navigation plan is critical.  Much foul weather was had and as I led us on a glacier in the murkiness and snow towards a couloir to climb, my Gaia in my cell phone was acting up and I was getting burned.  Then I got lucky when a break in the whiteout happened and I could see the couloir in the distance so I whipped out my compass and got bearings down and developed a plan.  Yeah, you cannot live without a map and compass. Fortunately, I did also have a retreat plan ahead of time using a gully as a handrail and moraine systems to get back to the lodge.  Alas when we got to the couloir, the storm total of 15-20cm was triggering big wet sloughs over the crevasses and higher elevations were in the fog so I made the decision to turn around which turned out to be the right call as verified by the IFMGA guide I was with.  No problem, we nailed a first ascent up that and onto a 2 pitch easy 5th class rock climb on a brilliant day to a summit with only 1 known first ascent.

We Waterville patrollers had our summer pahty in mid July in of all places, Lincoln Vermont just over the hill from the Mad River Valley, lol!  Good times were had and when we left I was surprised at how much everyone was looking forward to going skiing and patrolling again.

Mark P. Renson

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:24 PM, roger Klinger <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hey all,
Starting the trip planning phase.  I know many of you have been here. some have even gone with a kid in tow, as I will.

1) Favorite areas to stay? Creekside, Village, etc.?  Why?
2) How long are bus rides from one place to another?
3) Places to look for lodging deals?
4) Rental vehicle or shuttle from Vancouver?
5) Any other wisdom you want to offer?
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