Colby: ‘Mex’ was a true ski bum and ski patrolman
With the recent untimely demise of veteran Ed “Mex” Pfab in an accident at home, the Aspen Mountain patrol lost one of its beloved brethren.
A couple of vignettes: One time, Ed and I partnered doing avalanche-control work in the Bear Paw Glades. He kept telling me that “Two Eds are better than one!” When I kicked off a foot-deep slab, it knocked me off my feet and took me for a ride. As I picked myself up, Ed casually skied over. “I had you in sight the whole time!” he assured me.
“You know the worst thing about getting killed in an avalanche?” he continued.
I confessed I had no idea.
“You lose your overtime for the whole week!”
Ed and a few other vets on the patrol were getting a little long in the tooth. This is inevitable when a bunch of ski bums land the greatest job on Earth. They don’t ever want to leave.
You obviously can’t do this job forever, but you don’t want to retire before you get in all your turns either. So, it’s a conundrum. Ed was already deep into his 60s when he summed up his retirement plans: “I figure the first time I walk into the patrol room, and it goes dead silent, I’ve got five more years.”
Now, he’s gone. Among his co-workers, the grief is palpable. I won’t rehash the accolades. But, he was a rock. He did it all. He was the one you wanted to team up with on a bad wreck or any other patrol job. Now, may he rest in peace.