On March 31st, 27 young girls between the ages of 8 and 15 gathered at River Run Lodge dressed in ski boots and unicorn onesies, ready to spend the day learning what it’s like to be a Ski Patroller at Sun Valley. 9 female ski patrollers met the girls with a contagious energy and an eagerness to share their passion for their profession, one that has historically been dominated by a male presence.
The women of Sun Valley Ski Patrol led the participants through several stations including learning how to safely package a patient in a tobogan, basic first aid, and snow and avalanche safety. The teams broke for lunch at the top of Bald Mountain in the Lookout Lodge to enjoy a beautiful spread provided generously by Sun Valley. After lunch the young girafficorns participated in an example dog search where girls got to hide in “snow holes” used for dog training. The Ski Patrol’s search dogs used their scent to locate them, representing how the dogs would work in a real avalanche situation.
To conclude the day each team used beacons, shovels and probes (standard avalanche safety equipment) to find a treasure buried underneath the snow. The girls new skills and hard work led them to a delicious dessert of donut holes!
There was also plenty of hot chocolate, dancing and high fiving throughout the day. Every girl left with a new vocabulary, many new friends, and possibly, newfound aspirations.
A HUGE thank you to the women of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol for their time and effort to make this day fun and educational, to the volunteers who brought great energy and mentorship and to Sun Valley for providing lunch, lift tickets and a videographer/photographer so that we can all remember such an awesome day!