The mountains of the Pacific Northwest get some of the heaviest snow totals in the world. Managing that snow is a daunting task that ski patrollers take head-on.
Their love for people and the outdoors is infectious. Ski patrollers are the first up the mountain and the last ones off, making sure it’s safe for people to ski and snowboard.
There are 57 ski patrollers at Stevens Pass, along with seven dogs on the team. Four of the dogs are certified, and three are in training. The dogs help the team locate people who might be buried in the snow.
“Bailey has been a ski patroller her entire life. Her expertise is digging people out of buried snow if they were to ever get snagged in an avalanche,” said Angela Seidling, Bailey’s mom and trainer to become the ultimate mountain dog.
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Seidling said Bailey has never had to rescue a person but says that’s a good thing.
“That’s definitely a good thing. But she’s ready if the challenge ever presents itself. She’s ready, and she’d be great at it,” Seidling said.
One neat task that’s available to ski patrollers all over the country is that they get to partner with other ski resorts. They swap patrollers on each mountain so that they each can learn new tactics and tricks to keep skiers safe.
Another exciting part of the job is the opportunity to fly in helicopters and ski to remote areas for avalanche patrol.
Without them, our ski resorts could be extremely dangerous with a lot more injuries likely.
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