Scojo Retires... grooming goes to hell!
Ok, maybe thats a little dramatic but I know we would all agree Mt. Rose lost one its most dedicated and most experienced groomers this last month. Although Scott Jones can still be found in the late afternoon on the deck with a mug in his hand, you won't find him in the Captain's seat of a groomer anymore. I sat down with Scojo recently and heard tall tales of trees falling on cabs, runaway slides and pushing snow from under chairs and downhill rides that would have had most people looking for another job. Not this guy.
While everyone is home having another beer in front of the fire, watching the game or nestled in their cozy bed dreaming of pow the next morning, Scojo and the rest of the catskinners are out battling the elements, removing snow here, pushing it there, cutting slopes and forever splitting their attention between where they are going and where they have been. Its not like mowing the lawn... there is an art and science to grooming that takes years to polish. When Dave Hahl and Scojo started in the eighties, the equipment was much more basic and slopes were groomed without a wire but in other ways, nothing changed. Every night is different, every slope is different and focus must be maintained throughout the night to leave the beautiful cord we ski on the next morning. And you don't quit until the job is done. Ever.
Make no mistake about it. This is not a "warm body" job where you can just replace someone and it all comes out fine. Most people couldn't do this job. And many of those that can, may not do it well. Acute awareness of where you are at and what your doing while multitasking and accounting for constantly evolving conditions make the job a dynamic one. Slides on ice sideways crabbing down the mountain: Check, slides in avalanches: Check, losing control occasionally: Check, broken hydraulic hoses leaking fluid down the entire run: Check, dead machines: Check. The guys that stick around for decades are the ones that have mastered the craft. Scott Jones is at the top of the heap. After decades of Fire and Ice, working for BLM fire in the summer and Rose in the winter, he has decided to walk away and all of us that give a damn about this mountain will miss him. We wish you the best Scojo! If you see him the next couple weeks, be sure to buy him a drink. He deserves it.