I just finished my fourth day volunteering on the hill (Cypress Mountain) building the course for the Olympic snowboard and ski cross race. I have the prestigious position of snowboard course shaper, I think a better title would be ‘Official Snow Shoveller of the Vancouver Olympics. It’s some serious manual labor but I am doing fine for an old man; the kids are complaining more than me about being tired and sore. Having a great time, I love it; the crew I’m working with, it’s a fun group; a bunch of stoner Canucks and Aussies, plus I’m working with the guru of snowboard course design; everyone is very mellow. It’s good working on the hill again, it reminds me of the old days working at Vail and Snowbird.
Helen started today; she is working in the snowboard athletes lounge. I’m outside shoveling snow all day in the rain and snow and she is inside flirting with Olympic snowboarders.
Everyone is working at full speed to get everything ready, it does not help that this is the worst snow year they have had in ten years. There are snow cats and construction vehicles racing all over the mountain plus they are flying three helicopters at the same time transporting hay bales, snow and random equipment from cables attached to their underside. One of the helicopters is a huge air crane, a bug like monstrosity that transports a ton of snow from the surrounding mountain tops.
We were working on one of the last turns, #7, and one of the helicopters was dropping equipment thirty yards away from us all day, kind of sketchy considering at one point it dropped not only the equipment but also the huge carrying cable. I got some good advice from one of the crazy Canuck controllers; “you should pay attention because that sh*t can really kill you”.
Thanks pal. It’s kind of hard to ignore a helicopter a hundred feet directly above you with a ton of steel swinging wildly on a fifty foot cable.