Fun in the Snow- Sunday River 1/27/2014

January 27, 2015

OVERHEARD AT SKI PATROL: “Oh. Sorry. Did that hurt?”


(Note: This GLOG is not about nordic skiing) I am writing this GLOG while our whole family is watching a 10K pursuit skate biathlon race. Womens’. That’s just how the Alfords roll during the winter. My kids know nordic skiers like I knew rock stars. “Hey dad, look, it’s my favorite Austrian skier, Gerta Schlinkenblinken! Remember her from the last race?”  Sure. Sure I remember her. She’s the one with a rifle on her back and a black-ish, blu-ish race suit on. I’d know her anywhere.

It’s not that I don’t like nordic skiing, or biathlon, or the name Schlinkenblinken. I like them all. But what I really like in the winter is downhill skiing, and then taking the lift back up. It’s exercise, combined with human ingenuity. I like to imagine the first person who said “Gee, that was fun, but I wish I were at the top again. Hey! I know! I’ll build something to take me back up! But I’m a little tired, I wish I could SIT while going back up. Hmmm….”

And so we have the chairlift. Brilliant.

MY energy, my activity in the winter, is ski patrol, and that is what this GLOG is about. I spend hours and hours each week teaching the youth of Gould Academyland to ski around the mountain, look for injured people, and to treat them appropriately. Which is to say, I spend a lot of time lying in the snow, pretending to be hurt, until they come and help me.

Just last week I broke my femur, had a concussion, bled internally, and had a stroke. AND a heart attack. Oh, and also food poisoning. So when people say I look tired, you now know why.  Because in addition to our medical training, we also are responsible for on-mountain safety, all signs and ropes, and a lot of customer service (“excuse me, is there an ATM on this trail?”). It’s a lot of work but it’s also a lot of fun. So you can imagine that when we get a day like today (snow, and more snow), we take advantage. Today we put the “ski” in “ski patrol”.  Today I skied in the woods, I skied on little, “New England-style trails” (translation: narrow ribbons of snow, full of bumps, snaking through the trees).

It was a blast! Thanks goes out to Jack Morrison, ’15 for skiing repeatedly in the trees with us today.

Now back to “uphill skiing with guns.” I hope my friend Ms Schlinkenblinken beats that other powerful woman in the red suit. I can’t even BEGIN to spell HER name!



Jack"the Giant" (Jack Morrison, '15) at a trolley stop, Zaragoza, 2014

Jack”the Giant” (Jack Morrison, ’15) at a trolley stop, Zaragoza, 2014


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