On March 31, 2018, SheJumps Wild Skills hosted Junior Ski Patrol at Crystal Mountain a day camp where girls learned mountain safety and first aid while working with the strong women of the ski patrol community and SheJumps volunteers. Throughout the day, participants were taught a range of outdoor skills that are utilized by ski patrollers to keep the mountain safe. Topics included first aid, avalanche control, snow science, weather stations, toboggans, avalanche rescue techniques, avalanche dogs and much more. There was also plenty of snack breaks, high fives and unicorns delivering hot cocoa!
The day started at 9:30am with registration, meeting team members and making Junior Ski Patroller cards. Teams consisted of 8 participants, 3 SheJumps volunteers and 1 Crystal Mountain pro patroller.
At 10am, the teams headed to ski patrol headquarters located at the base of Crystal Mountain. Teams entered in through the ‘Ski Patrol Only’ entrance and cozied up in the patrol locker room for a briefing by ski patrol director, Kim Kircher. Kim talked about what ski patrol does, how they educate the community, the skier’s responsibility code and Q & A. Next teams joined Michelle Longstreth outside the aid room for a demonstration of the vacuum splint system which has replaced the traditional backboard used to transport patients with potential spinal injuries. Girls were taught why the system is used, how to use it and some lucky ones were even wrapped up in it!
By 11am, Half the teams were headed to the summit and the other half over to Campbell Basin. All teams started the morning station set with First Aid which was housed in tents provided by our generous partner, Big Agnes. Patrollers led demonstrations in prevention and care of injuries – role playing situations which included making splints and stopping bleeding. A big thank you to our program partner, Adventure Medical Kits for providing all the gear needed in order to create this part of the event.
Next up, teams learned about snowmobiles, toboggans and why patrollers cache gear on the mountain. This station set included finding caches and learning how to load & maneuver the toboggans. Driving toboggans was undoubtedly their favorite part of the day!
You just can’t go wrong with UNICORNS DELIVERING HOT COCOA! Our team of 5 unicorns delivered piping hot cocoa complete with whipped cream & sprinkles to our 48 participants, 24 volunteers and 6 pro patrollers.
Lunch was included in this event and consisted of everyone’s favorite: PIZZA! Crystal Mountain recently installed a wood fire pizza oven in Campbell Basin Lodge and OH is it amazing!
After lunch, each team was greeted by a unicorn carrying avalanche beacons, probes and shovels. The unicorns gave instructions about the Buried Treasure Hunt and patrollers lead the team in how to properly conduct a search. At SheJumps, we strongly believe in education and fun – our events blend both of these elements to make for the safest and most entertaining adventure possible. After tracking down the buried treasure each team uncovered their booty: a Ortovox beacon & box full of donut holes. Special thanks to Ortovox for providing all the beacons, probes, and shovels for this event.
Once the girls had their fill of donuts, all teams traveled to the runout of Campbell Basin. Christina Dale led a presentation on the avalanche dog program at Crystal Mountain sharing many interesting aspects about the dogs such as how they are trained and how to act around them. Then Kim Haft and Darwin took the stage! At Kim’s command Darwin began his search of the slope – quickly locating the buried item and rescuing it from the snow. Everyone was impressed with his speed and enthusiasm upon recovery!
The afternoon station sets included touring the weather stations and avalanche prevention. At the weather stations, teams learned how data is gathered and how to find & read weather reports. This station also included lessons on snow crystals and the science behind them. The avalanche prevention set included seeing the different control routes at Crystal Mountain as well as stories of past avalanches. Teams discussed terrain assessment, the human factor and the importance of making good decisions.
At 3:30pm, all teams gathered for wrap up which included certificates for completing the day and a sweet swag bag filled with goodies from Clif Bar, Adventure Medical Kits, EcoLips, and the National Ski Patrol Association. Special thanks to our stellar SheJumps ambassador, Cheryl Kochevar, for hand crafting the swag bags for all participants!
Our goal with SheJumps Wild Skills is to see girls learning, having fun and connecting in an encouraging environment with amazing instruction and support from female mentors. We want Wild Skills to be an experience they will remember, one that will spark a lifetime of passion for the outdoors and will remind them that they are capable of anything. Giving participants, young and old, the opportunity to learn skills in a fun yet challenging setting develops perseverance and fosters confidence. Thanks to all that helped make this program come to life!
If you’re interested in bringing Junior Ski Patrol to your local hill – contact Wild Skills Director, Christy Pelland firstname.lastname@example.org
Super high five to our Presenting Partner:
Special thanks to our supporting partners:
High fives to our photographers:
Big up to our videographer, Max Chesnut for capturing the magic!