ok, so I am a volunteer park tech at Red Mountain Resort, BC.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love Red Mountain, Rossland, and mostly everything about the West Kootaney's, but I feel as though there is a serious lack in caring when it comes to ski resort operations.  I have seen that lack of caring for some time now and over the past three years, it not only hasn't improved, it has actually gotten worse. 

There are issues with almost all departments, but I'm going to focus on the terrain park because I feel that those reading this can relate most too it, and because it is a service the hill is not only trying to provide, but is advertising heavily in it's package as a ski resort.  The terrain park at Red has been in existance for 4 or 5 years.  That, combined with it's location in the west koot's would make anyone assume that the park isn't world class.  Red Mountain will probably never have a world class park, and as one of the few skiers who regularly use the park, I don't think it needs one.  A lot of higher ups in other departments consider the park a nascence and would rather see the hill without one.  I was told by ski patrol one day while working in the park that I should "close the jumps because the landings are too hard".  I don't think I need to explain to you folks how stupid that comment was. 

As for the internal workings of the terrain park at Red.  There is one head park tech who basically has full control of what goes on inside the park as far as what goes where, what events will happen and so on and so forth.  Other then that, there is only one other person on the pay roll, the other 4 of us are volunteers.    Now, as long as the park crew is on their shit, what the other departments think is irrelevant.. unfortunately I happen to be working with a group of park techs that only seam to be in it for the free seasons pass, and sometimes I think they forget that they are even getting that.

The lifts open at 9am, and when I show up for work it takes me till about 11am to get everything open and smoothed out and looking good.   There have been some days where I show up for a day of park skiing at around 12:30 and none of the jumps are open, half the rails arn't open, and the park tech for the day is nowhere to be seen - and that's on the days when it's the guy who gets a pay cheque is working.  As for the other volunteers: As of last saturday the lifts are open till 5pm, and therefor the park should remain open till 5.  We even had a meeting about it and all agreed that it would be a good idea to keep the park open while the hill is open...   I don't think any other hill would even find it necessary to have a meeting to confirm the fact that the park should be open when the hill is open - it just kind of makes sense.  Well, two days ago I was out behind the park hitting a bc booter and having a weeny roast for the day.  after the landing got bombed out I decided to go to the park and play on the jumps/rails till I either got bored or the lits shut down at 5.     Well, I get to the top of the park at 3:15 - 3:30 ish and the volunteer working that day had already closed all the jumps and the top rails, and the lower section of the park only had like a 1/3rd of the rails open...  with almost two hours of skiing left in the day I was pissed off and sought out that park tech to figure out why the park would be closed two hours early on a warm sunny spring day (in the middle of spring break for all the high school kids in the province)...   When I found the vollie up in the bar and asked why the park was closed I basically got yelled with comments like "what are you, my boss?", "whatever, I'm just a volunteer, why should I care", and other things along those lines.   Yesterday it was a different volunteer, but basically the same story as the day before. 

On top of the perk techs thinking that they don't actually have to do any work, and just showing up to the ski hill and grabbing a radio from dispatch is enough work for them for the day, the grommers constantly do more damage to the park then good.   I would say that 30% of the time, the grommers will "groom" a jump and leave multiple ridges and a field of big death cookies in the take offs and landings, effectively leaving the jump unhitable. 

I would continue with my rantings, but i just looked at the clock and realized that it's already noon - I gotta go skiing - I'll finish this evening after skiing.  

darryl.


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