This past week-end, NMR hosted the 2 day 2014 NMR Toboggan & Rescue Seminar at Boyne Highlands. Seminar workshops were open to all Michigan Patrollers and were represented by instructors and attendees from the entire State of Michigan including:
• 21 Instructors from 3 regions (NMR 16, WMR 4 & EMR 1) & 12 different patrols
• 41 Attendees from 3 regions (NMR 20, WMR 8, EMR 13) & 11 different patrols
Attendees braved the wind, single digit temperatures and 12” of new snow to participate in this landmark event. The workshop included a variety of sessions available to all that attended including:
• Toboggan training sessions for basic & senior candidates.
• Toboggan refreshing sessions for Alpine Senior and Certified Patrollers.
• Rescue workshops using off-piste toboggan, Avalanche and low angle rescue skills for rescue applications.
For additional entertainment, the region proficiency team coordinated a NASTAR toboggan race on Saturday, open to all patrollers. The team of Andy Brown and Tim Ronda walked away with this year’s honors.
The first annual Northern Michigan Region Patroller Challenge was also conducted on Saturday. Due to other patrol related responsibilities most teams had to withdraw. However, region proficiency advisor Bob Anderson talked a team of senior candidates from down state to complete the course. With a little help from their instructors a team of senior candidates from Alpine Valley, Mt. Brighton and Canonsburg are the 2014 Patroller Challenge Champions.
Northern Michigan Region Instructors that supported the event included Bob Anderson, Annaka Norris, Jonathan Backos, Bryan Holcomb, Suzanne Jarose, Mike Leach, Mike Longellow-Jones, Don Smith, John Wiley, Carl Woodcock, Mike Moreen, Tom Murton, Doug Cary, Steve Schrumpf, Jeff Summers and Kirk Swarbrick.
Special thanks to Carl Woodcock for spending all day Saturday hauling sleds with the snowmobile, Andy Brown, Craig Buschmann and Dave Gagnon for helping with toboggan logistics and Dawn Longfellow-Jones for managing registration and helping set the Patroller Challenge Course.. Additional thanks to Joe Breighner and the entire Boyne Highlands Resort team for their support for this workshop.
NOTE: Most of the above was blatantly stolen from Carl Woodcock’s report to Boyne Highlands. Thanks Carl.
I had the distinct honor of observing all the activities related to this seminar and talking with all the participants. Without fail, participants reported having fun learning and refining toboggan skills. Thanks to the toboggan and instructor to participant ratio candidates were able to get a season’s worth of toboggan training in one seminar. Every candidate made exponential progress during the day and went home with new skills and exercises to use to continue their toboggan skill development at their home area.
Thank you to Bob Anderson, Annaka Norris and Carl Woodcock for the hard work and planning and that went into preparing this event. To Mike Longfellow Jones and Don Smith for planning and executing a great introduction to off-piste toboggan, avalanche and low angle rescue workshop. And a special thanks to all the instructors that made tobogganing so much fun that candidates didn’t want to stop running sleds.
Region OEC Supervisor Rod Kivell will be requesting help for the upcoming Senior OEC Clinic February 9th at Otsego Ski Club. I know this is short notice. However, until three candidates contacted him in the past week it looked like we would not need an evaluation or clinic this year.
The annual Michigan Special Olympics Winter Games will be held at Grand Traverse Resort and Schuss Mountain. Alpine Ski and Snowboard and Nordic races will be held at Schuss Mountain February 5th, 6th and 7th. Events begin approximately 9:00 AM and run until late afternoon. Friday events will finish by noon. If you would like to help us patrol the events, please join us in the Schuss Mountain Patrol Room by 8:00 AM.