Park City Blog

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The Stick of Dumb

On Friday evenings we, the patrol, gather at our local pub for some end of week decompression. As part of this "safety meeting" we have a tradition of presenting one patroller with the Bad Judgment Award, otherwise known as the Stick of Dumb.

The Stick of Dumb is nothing more than a broken ski pole with grips on both ends decorated with tassels. The patroller in question must ski with it on his or her pack until the following Friday. A sort of memento or reminder of his or her actions. At the following Friday's "meeting," he/she is responsible for presenting the award to another patroller who has made that week's bad judgment. This week, the honor went to one of our rookies who failed to exactly follow Colin's instructions when we were out on a boot-packing mission. It's always bad judgment not to listen to the instructions of our Snow Safety Department.

Our recent large storm and subsequent terrain openings have me thinking of bad judgment. We finally were able to open some of our steeper terrain off areas like McConkey's, Thaynes, and the Font Side. Understandably you, the skiing/riding public have been dying to get at these spots for your first powder fix of this young season. As we opened McConkey's yesterday morning I watched the thundering herds fly down the bowl at maximum warp. Though we deem something open and skiable, the cover is thin and now is not the time to go charging down runs like it was mid-season on 6 feet of snow. Please use a little caution and "ride light" as we often say in the backcountry. There's plenty of season ahead; it's way too early to earn your own bad judgment award.

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