Monday, February 24, 2014

Chaos Commences

My plan of a minimum of 10 workout sessions for each horse for February is precariously close to not happening after being on such a great streak of doing *all the things*. 

Currently, I'm smack in the middle of a many day work streak between both of my jobs. I'm to the point where the fun of working two jobs has ceased and the chaos of trying to keep up with both has commenced. I'm not enjoying it as I was. I'm far from miserable, but I'm also not very close to the level of enjoyment I was experiencing prior. Working for nearly 14 days in a row without a day off isn't pleasant. The requirement to wake up prior to dawn every day has also lost its luster. My saving grace currently is that the days have grown in length and I'm not ending as many of my days in the dark as I had been!

This past weekend was a big one. I worked 36 hours on the mountain in 3 days. One of those days was spent helping the Wounded Warriors program. Disabled veterans ski our mountain and we pair up one-on-one with them for the day to teach, assist, and make sure they have a blast. Its very rewarding.

The remaining two days largely consisted of candidate testing - extensive testing of our candidates to see if they would or wouldn't "make" the patrol for next year. These folks have been hard at work learning, training, and practicing for 6 months now. This weekend was their "make it or break it" weekend. Many current patrollers came together to evaluate and help with the testing. Its a stressful environment for all involved.

The weekend was highlighted with great success from nearly all of the candidates. Our patrol has a lot of positive additions to it for the next season! We're excited to welcome new folks to our family.

Sleds prepped to take some of the Wounded Warriors down the mountain.
Most of these folks had never skied before and some had never seen snow.
We brought them all to the top for a group photo and those too nervous to ski down
were taken in toboggans. The experience of riding in one of these with patrollers
guiding them is really a blast and quite a unique experience. There were smiles all around.

Our patrol building illuminated in the night.

Mike and I gooning after dinner on evening.

The pitch of this slope is poorly represented in this photo.
Bamboo course set up as a part of the ski skills test on Sunday.

Assessing candidates ski skills. The pitch is better represented here!

Crud run assessment of ski skills.
Snow conditions were AWFUL.
The goal of this part of the test was to survive haha.

Assessing skills with sleds.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
"Ski Patrol training in progress"
Gotta work hard to keep those chairs down; they'll fly away otherwise. ;-)

Tiernan and I with our director.

Tiernan after she found out she passed.
She moved to WV last summer and had never skied before this season.
I invited her to join patrol last summer and train and she accepted;
the patrol and various instructors at many levels taught her to ski in 2 months.
Her skills went from zero to the level of a basic ski patroller.
You do NOT have to be a skier to join patrol, you can learn.
IF anyone in the DC-area would like to join ski patrol next year, CONTACT ME. =)

Tiernan wiped out after climbing the mountain on her skis.
A ritual that must be completed to join. ;-)

Haze (with cigarette) finishing the climb.
Mike had already completed the climb and would board down to finish
the hike with each person who was nearing completion.

I spent little time thinking of anything more than the mountain, patrol, and the goings-on in that realm. I currently haven't seen my horses in, oh, 4 days? No. Wait, 6. Six days.

We've fortunately been graced with nice weather throughout those six days, so my absence has likely not been missed by them! I suspect when I visit tonight I will have quite the muddy messes to clean up prior to blanketing them in preparation for more cold, wet weather that is preceding another extreme cold snap into the single digits.

I am going to strive to make it out 4 days this week to see them and work with them. Sunday is finally my day off and trail riding will inevitably happen. =) I cannot wait to sleep in and spend time with Mike and the horses Sunday.

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