Park City Mountain Resort to begin a Jr. Ski Patrol program in January | ParkRecord.com

Park City Mountain Resort to begin a Jr. Ski Patrol program in January

Park City Mountain Resort ski patroller Dave Holmberg, right, speaks to a crowd during an avalanche dog demonstration at Canyons Village in March. The resort this season plans to introduce a junior ski patrol program to teach teens about the responsibilities of ski patrollers.
Park Record file photo

If you’re a local teenager who loves skiing, you may be interested in a new program at Park City Mountain Resort.

The resort is launching a junior ski patrol this winter, designed to teach teenagers the ins and outs of the on-mountain patrol operations.

“We are really excited to offer this program this winter for all local kids who have any interest in ski patrol,” said Lynne Offret, senior manager of ski patrol at Park City Mountain Resort. “Vail offered a similar program last year and found great success with it, so we wanted to provide the same opportunity for the youth in the Park City area. It’s definitely going to be a fun program.”

The program is available to people ages 13-17 in Summit and Wasatch counties who are interested in ski patrol. The program will take place over five weekends from Jan. 11 through March 22. There will also be an optional meet-and-greet event scheduled in December for those who have been accepted into the program.

In order to apply for the program, which has a cutoff date on Dec. 15, those interested must submit a video essay to PCPatrol@vailresorts.com with the subject line “Jr. Ski Patrol Application.” In the essay, the teens must explain why they’re interested in the program and what makes skiing special to them while also including a short clip of them on skis, showing they have the necessary skills to participate.

“It’s important for us to have advanced-level skiers or snowboarders, meaning they’ll have to be comfortable skiing or riding on any terrain on the mountain,” Offret said. “As for the video of them skiing, we are just looking for something that could’ve been shot on an iPhone, nothing too drastic or impressive is needed.”

Those who participate in the program will have the opportunity to experience the different aspects of a ski patroller’s job. Throughout the program, they will be divided into groups and assigned ski patrol trainers who will teach them about mountain safety and the duties and responsibilities of ski patrollers. They will also learn about terrain orientation, CPR and first aid, avalanche awareness and more.

“The program will be very hands-on as those who are participating will have the opportunity to complete drills with Park City Mountain’s avalanche and rescue dog program,” Offret said.

The resort plans to take up to 20 participants. Offret said the resort is being selective because they want to show those who are serious about ski patrol that it can be turned into a career, although one must be 21 to be a professional ski patroller.

It’s also required that students be available for all five of the scheduled weekend dates, as Offret said missing just one day can cause someone to miss valuable information that they won’t be able to make up.

“Ski patrolling is a really cool job and it really does take a lot of different technical skill to be successful at,” Offret said. “Every day is completely different on the mountain when you’re working, which I think makes it exciting. You can either help guests get off the hill when injured, to avalanche control work or spend your day with rescue dogs. … Regardless it’s important work what you’ll be doing.”

All participants must provide their own lift ticket to participate in the program.


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