Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most exciting things about winter time, but can also be the most dangerous. The Pebble Creek Ski Patrol steps in to keep things safe on the mountain.
They usually respond to about 5 accidents a day, most commonly broken arms or legs and concussions.
“I think we take pride in offering a good service to people and make sure if they get hurt, that we’re professional in what we do,” said a member of Pebble Creek’s Ski Patrol, Brian Poole.
Long days for the ski patrol, who are the first to get up to Pebble Creek, and last to leave after the skiers and snowboarders get down their final run in one piece.
“I do it because it is an act of community service, I get to ski, I get to help people,” said another member of the squad, Kathryn Powell.
A staff made up almost entirely of volunteers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know their stuff. Each one goes through rigorous training and tests to make sure they are fit for the job. Starts with a course and exam, then practicals, all to make sure they’ve mastered the outdoor emergency care protocols.
“Every year we train on a third of it, so every 3 years we’ve reviewed the course again. So we’re in constant training,” added Poole.
With 12 more inches of snow needed to open the upper mountain still, only about 5 patrolmen are on staff at one time now, rather than the 12 that are needed when the mountain is fully functional. Keeping people like 8 year old daredevil Dallas Call safe.
“When we have enough snow we can finally go do some hardcore up there!“ said Dallas.
Doing “hardcore” at the top of the mountain will be a bit easier this season thanks to the fundraising efforts of Pebble Creek to build a new patrol lodge at the very top of the mountain that will better equip them to handle serious injuries without having to get them off the mountain first. Even with this excellent staff around to make sure things are running smoothly, the best bet to keeping yourself out of trouble is to use a little common sense.
“Looking up the mountain before turning, and being considerate of others helps a tremendous amount for any accidents that could be prevented,” said Powell.
The patrolmen take pride in having a well-trained and quick responding staff, but it is still so important to govern yourself while you’re on the mountain. They want to encourage everyone to stick by the 7 rules that are listed on the back of your lift ticket next time you head up to Pebble Creek.