What a great day we had!  Despite predicted unfavorable weather all participants arrived on time with eagerness to start the day!  We had a total of thirteen students of varying degrees  of proficiency and four talented instructors: Deb Brown TE, Walter Hoeckele ATI,

Black Mtn, Toboggan Enhancement 2015

Front row 4 instructors kneeling, Deb Brown, Jake Jacobson, Lisa Kling, Walter Hoeckele, surrounded by the woderful Black Mountain Ski Patrol participants. Photo by Paul Kling

Jake Jacobson TE and Myself , Lisa Kling TE.  I presented an informal overview of what we would like to cover for the day and what to expect taking into consideration the terrain available to us and the different ski levels of our large group.

A good warm up run top to bottom with each participants demonstrating a little bit of all short, medium and long radius turns was helpful in determining the selection of our groups.  We broke into three groups.  Jake and Walter having four students each and Deb And I working together with five.

Black Mt 1-18-2015 008

Feathering the toboggan down the hill with ease. Photo by Paul Kling

Some of the groups started their morning session with skill drills on snow plow, sideslip and transitions to enhance the tools needed to be used in proper and efficient toboggan handling.  We used the available terrain to the best of our benefit to convey the theory and objective of why certain proven methods work for today’s toboggan transportation.  Current equipment of toboggans, patrollers’ skis, boots and even weather proof clothing has all been blended into the mix of improving operation and safety of patient transportation off of mountain terrain to warmth and comfort of patrol first aid rooms.

Getting ready to hook up to the chairlift

Getting ready to hook up to the chairlift. Photo by Paul Kling

Participants were all eager to perform skills in the handles of the sled and  also tail rope maneuvers  with even a few unannounced emergency stops called out by the instructors.  Participants proved to themselves why a “Good solid ready position” of the side slip is a great skill to be proficient at whenever something goes wrong.

Two of the groups went back out after lunch despite the rain and did more toboggan work, while my group worked through the lunch hour after a brief snack and break  We had covered all skills and the participants got lots of time in the handles and tail rope.

Summarizing the day, we had a very productive and fun time making excellent forward progress by all participants.  I certainly can attest to seeing some light bulb moments by some of the patrollers in my group.

Black Mountain and the Patrol Director (David Aibel) were extremely hospitable and generous with hosting this event.  They had all the needed  toboggans, tail ropes and carriers available to us to meet our clinic event objective and be assured all attendees were afforded plenty of instruction time throughout the entire time.

Black Mtn crew with Lisa Kling and Walter Hoeckele

Black Mtn crew with Lisa Kling and Walter Hoeckele. Photo by Paul Kling

Black Mountain is a wonderful  venue to attend as a student looking for improvement or refreshing of skills in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.  Thank You to David Aibel and Black Mountain Management for hosting the Jan 18, 2015 NH NSP toboggan Enhancement Seminar.