A Slice of History from Crystal Mountain Pro Ski Patrol and the Snorting Elk Cellar….
The Auger Award was established at Crystal Mountain during the 1972-1973 season. The list of founders, includes, but is not limited to: Bill Steel, former Crystal Mountain patroller and Patrol Director, Bob Anderson “BA”, and Tye Anderson. They instituted the award one night over beers at the Snorting Elk Cellar.
BA was familiar with the award used at Alpental and decided that they should bring it to Crystal. That night they came up with the rules that are still used today, using a cork screw as the original award.
Bill Steel drew up the original Auger Rules which hung in the Snorting Elk for years until being stolen. Upon its return, the original was placed in the Ski Patrol Office and a copy hangs in the Snorting Elk (screwed into the wall!)
An auger is awarded to a ski patroller who was seen falling by a fellow patroller. He or she must wear the auger award at all times. He or she has the right to challenge another pro patroller for the award’s transfer. On payday, after the end of sweep in the main area, the patroller with the Auger must buy beer at the Snorting Elk Cellar for all of age pro patrollers. The rules of the auger so eloquently state, “If one feels he or she has unjustly received the award, they have the right to go home and cry”.
Bill Steel warns that the pro patroller wearing the Auger must always be aware as he or she may become a target while bearing the label. He comments, “The auger is all in good fun…it’s all fair and love and war”
Bill Steel, when asked if he had ever been the bearer of the auger award, responded swiftly with, “I have NEVER fallen while on ski patrol!” but then admitted to having been the recipient “at least once….”.
The Auger nights have been as much a part of Elk history as CM Ski patrol history, welcoming patrollers for over 40 years of free beer from their stumbling coworkers! Ski patrol’s influence at the Elk goes much further than visits every other Thursday. They have gone on to impress bar patrons with impressively unique Polyesta Fiesta attire, and some spectacular dance routines at the Retro Ski Wear parties. It is safe stay those that help keep us safe on the hill, do a great job of supporting their local watering hole and having a good ol’ time!
The Snorting Elk thanks Crystal Mountain Pro Patrol for being such loyal customers over the past 40+ years! Also a special thanks to Bill Steele for his insight on the creation of such a formidable award and its many years of fun!
The Auger – An auger shall be defined as any !@#! fall where in one (CM Pro) is unable to continue moving on skis and has stopped, halted, paused, or otherwise “Augered-in.
Auger Validation – An auger fan must be witnessed by a fellow pro to be valid. The witnessing pro must yell “auger”
Display of the Award – The pin must be prominently worn at all times by the holder. (A) While working the must be worn on person. Either on parka or inside garment. (B) In public places such as the “Elk” the award must be worn in public view. (C) For not wearing the award a fine of one beer shall be made payable to the pro noting the situation. (D) If award is lost, it must be replaced by the lossee, at his expense, within seven days.
Right of Challenge – The wearer has the right to ask any pro to ski any run or portion of a run of the challengers choosing. (A) The challenger must ski the run first with no falls or the challenged portion thereof. (B) A challenge will consist only in skiing. No acrobatics, jumps, number of turns in a given area, etc. (C) Refusal to make the run transfers the award to the refuse.
Bearer of the Award – Wear of the pin at the end of sweep of the main area on payday shall buy beer for the entire pro patrol (over 21) at the Snorting Elk Cellar. Pros must arrive within one hour from the end of sweep. (A) Those pros unable to enter the Elk may receive renumeration in a monitorial equivalent. (B) Those patrolling C-4 that evening may elect to collect at a later date.
Right of Appeal – If one feels that he has unjustly received the award, he has the right to go home and cry!