TCSAR: Have you enjoyed being on the team so far?
Don: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and am honored to be on the team. The talent and expertise in this volunteer organization is incredible. There are doctors; EMS and Fire professionals; nurses; mountain guides; river guides; high angle rescue experts; skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers capable of getting most anywhere; mountain bikers, hunters and more. If it can be done in Wyoming, it’s likely someone is doing it on the team. It’s honestly intimidating, but at the same time exciting and one heck of a motivator to learn and do as much as you can.
TCSAR: You’re one of the few snowboarders on the team. Does that create any additional challenges (or harassment from other team members!)?
Don: Ha! Where do I begin? In all honesty, I love and invite the heckling. It’s all in good fun and only motivates me even more. Truth be told, I think the hecklers are just jealous of our comfortable footwear- you know who you are! While all the skiers are inside warming up their cold, cramped feet, we few splitboarders will still be out gettin’r done (and as one of the new guys I probably just brought on more jabs with that comment). And our pilot Nicole definitely isn’t jealous; she just thinks all of my snowboarding gear is heavy.
In all seriousness though, it definitely can make some situations interesting. That said, what it boils down to is me knowing my equipment and figuring out how to get it done. Sometimes the up and down in the mountains where multiple transitions are necessary can be tricky, but skiing on my split isn’t as bad as you’d expect. I was fortunate to grow up with a skiing background, which is great for those “skiing on the split” moments, and throughout college I had a lot of practice chasing and keeping up with my skier friends.
Don: When I’m not outdoors I enjoy building things. More often than not I have some sort of project going on in our garage. I think my wife would really enjoy being able to park her car in there someday, but it might be a while with the lineup on my to-do list (Sorry Shea).