Just doing his job | AspenTimes.com

Just doing his job

(This is recent Wyoming-transplant Tim Hall’s journal entry for Dec 10.)

This was the first day on my brand new tele skis (TM:EX’s with Hammerheads). Immediately the bindings felt amazing, the skis unbelievable and the deep, cold powder like silk under my feet.

I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun, especially coming through the trees. I met a guy on my first run who asked me what it felt like and I told him it tickled my tummy.

This was also the day my brand new tele ski popped off on my second run. I was finishing the last little section of Power Line when I hit my first real bump, heard a click and felt the ski release from my heel.

In slow motion, I watched my ski push through the snow and take off down the hill (in all the excitement over my new skis, I had forgotten to take my leashes off my old ones). The reality of the situation didn’t hit me right away as I watched the ski pick up remarkable speed, make a beautiful turn onto Mick’s Gully, and then disappear around the trees.

I picked myself up, pointed my ski down hill, and that’s when it hit me: “There’s no way I’m ever going to find that ski … unless it was stopped by someone … which would mean it probably hit someone … which would mean it probably killed someone … which would mean a major lawsuit … and since ‘YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE’ I might as well kiss my life goodbye because I’m heading to the big house …. oh, but come on, what are the odds … there’s no way it hit someone … God, I hope it didn’t hit someone.”

While all that was going on, the reality of being on only one tele started to sink in. I felt sick. Then I felt falling as my one ski also picked up remarkable speed.

I made my way down to the bottom of Mick’s and looked around for about an hour and half. A few patrollers came by paid their respects, and after hearing my story they said they’d help look around, but, as Chris Gorsuch said, “The chance of finding it is slim to none and slim just left.” I agreed, but I told him I needed to look anyway. He understood.

A long story short: I had just called off the search and was making my way down the steep section below Mick’s when I noticed a snowmobile way down by the bridge start making its way toward me.

As it approached, I noticed the driver had a huge grin on his face and was holding a ski over his head. I just stood there saying, “No way. No way. No way. There’s no way in hell he has my ski.” When I actually saw my ski, I just fell back on the snow and thought, “This is unbelievable!”

He couldn’t believe it either. He took me down on the snowmobile and showed me where the ski had entered the woods just three feet to the right of the bridge. All the way to the bridge!

He had followed the track down below the bridge for 15 feet in chest-high snow when he noticed less than an inch of the rear of my ski sticking out of the snow. We both just stood there laughing and shaking our heads.

Patroller Chris Gorsuch made a new friend today, whether he wants one or not: a friend that owes him one, big time.

Oh yeah, after thanking him for the umpteenth time, he just smiled and said, “Just doing my job.” Gotta love that.

Tim Hall


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