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Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:57

Every Hill Needs Some Heroes

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 ...and Sam Boice is one of ours!  Working at a ski hill can be thankless and cold. Many jobs are hardly glamorous, parking one of them. Try telling someone who wants to park in the loading zone she can’t or that plum spot, the one right by the lodge, isn’t available. But Sam Boice has turned the work into something else entirely, something like a calling. It’s still cold (and he’s there even when it’s 5 degrees with a wind-chill 10 degrees colder) but he’s transformed the job into something warm and welcoming. He’s my hero at the mountain, kind and generous and always with a smile. You can see it even with the balaclava on (it’s in the crinkle of his eyes). He knew my name long before I knew his, and because he’s often the first person you meet on the hill, he sets the tone for the day. He also sees the full realm of human behavior – or, at least, the lengths people will go to for first tracks on a powder day. And, the job has more to it than his smile. It’s literally changed how he sees the world. Here's my Q&A with him where he reveals his secrets from surviving the cold to getting people to put their clothes on... 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 23:35

Saving Grace

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“Can you see me?” Ansell Hawkins was asked. “Yes, I can,” was the answer, and now nearly a year to the day later, he explain. “Yes, I could see him – the most handsome telemarker bent over me.” Now before I continue, you can file this under the but-for-the-grace-of-god column. Personally every time I see a patroller rescuing someone, I always feel like that could be me – even more so as I write about the rescue. This story is also why you should support your ski patrollers.

Monday, 25 February 2013 22:33

Ski Patrol Needs Your Love...

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In the run up to this year's Ski Patrol BBQ, I am celebrating the patrolers at Platty. First to get in the mood, I'm reposting this piece from last year on one of the mountain's youngest patrollers, Zane Ashford, now all of 16. And what a cool name, no? And a beauty. And she can save your life.