The Patrol decided to do things differently this year.
Instead of the patrol recognizing its nominees for the annual region awards with a certificate, the patrol thought a more tangible recognition was in order for the outstanding members of the Mt. Pinos Nordic Ski Patrol. Plaques or trophies are nice, but being practical Nordic Patrollers, the discussion focused on an award that was useful. The debate started with skis (too expensive) then packs (too personal) then to our tools-of-the-trade. Some suggested an avalanche beacon (again, too expensive) while another suggestion was an avalanche probe (try engraving a probe…). Then the idea of an avalanche shovel was mentioned. Heads nodded in approval and a few chins were being rubbed as the idea gained acceptance. Then the practical, where to get them and where to have them engraved?
There is a fantastic company out there called Brooks-Range Mountaineering that manufactures remarkable equipment for mountaineering, avalanche work, snow study and general mountain fun. Nordicpatroller has been using their equipment for years now and made a call to the good folks at Brooks-Range to discuss the “Shovel Awards”. They were on board immediately and offered suggestions beyond the original concept. Most amazing is the time from the first telephone call to the box of finished “Award Shovels” being received was just 2 weeks!
Brooks Range is a California company located in Fremont, California. Their shovels are manufactured in Fremont and the options are almost without limit. They offer 14 color choices, Long or short shaft, D or T-handles, 2 blade sizes (and 2 options for blade edge with the only avalanche shovel with a “shark tooth” edge) as well as the option of slots in the shaft to use in rescue situations. Take a moment to watch their video of the manufacturing process:
Presenting the 2014 Shovel Awards:
On Saturday, May 31, 2014, the Mt. Pinos Nordic Ski Patrol hosted its annual Nordic Base end-of-season shut-down event and BBQ. After the clean-up and closing of Nordic Base for the season, all members joined at the home of our Patrol Representative for the closing party and presentation of the awards. Below we have a few images of the receipients being presented their shovel as well as an image of each of the 8 awards.