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Schweitzer Artifact Unsnowed

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Schweitzer Artifact Unsnowed

Lost ski patrol toboggan uncovered after more than 20 years at Schweitzer

On Friday, November 27, opening day of the 2009-10 ski season, sisters Morgan and Emily Armstrong, 7 and 9, respectively and Brooke Bowerman, 10; all from Spokane, brought something to light that had been hiding in the Enchanted Forest at Schweitzer Mountain Resort for nearly two decades.

Morgan, Emily and Brooke, all skiers in the Schweitzer Alpine Racing School, were getting an early start on their Enchanted Forest snow fort, when they unearthed an artifact from the days when the lift on the learning slope was a T-bar. As they excavated snow for the fort, the girls found “something red” under the snow.

“I thought it was a ski pole,” Emily said, “and just passed it by.”

Morgan thought it was a ski, but when Brooke tripped over it, she started digging.

“Then we saw the white cross on it,” Brooke said, and they got excited.

What they dug out was a ski patrol toboggan that had been laying under the trees to the skiers left of Chair Two for long enough to be nearly buried by needles and forest duff. Inside the toboggan was stenciled “T-Bar.”

“It took us forever to pull it out to the run,” Brooke, but when they did, patroller Kim Ann Loosemore spotted them from the lift.

“I’d gotten a call that three girls needed help,” said Loosemore, “and when I saw them, I thought they had a sled. People aren’t supposed to have sleds on our runs, but then, I got closer and saw it was a toboggan. An old toboggan.”

Loosemore called for a snowmobile and the toboggan was taken to Patrol headquarters in the basement of Lakeview Lodge, where it caused Patrol head John Pucci some amazement.

“I have no idea how long that toboggan’s been there,” he said, “but Chair Two replaced the T-Bar almost 20 years ago.”

Morgan, Emily and Brooke were well-rewarded for their discovery and diligent recovery effort. Hot chocolates, T-shirts and other “swag” were provided by the Resort.

Photo: Toboggan rescuers (L to R) Brooke Bowerman, Emily Armstrong, Patroller Kim Ann Loose and Morgan Armstrong and Schweitzer Patrol head, John Pucci, show off the toboggan the girls found in the Enchanted Forest.

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Author info

Sandy Compton Sandy Compton Sandy Compton is one of the original contributors to The River Journal, and owner and publisher at Blue Creek Press (www.bluecreekpress.com). His latest book is Side Trips From Cowboy: Addiction, Recovery and the Western American Myth

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