Junior Ski Patrol camp to give girls a glimpse into ski patrolling
Snowmass Village will host its first Wild Skills Junior Ski Patrol camp for girls, both cisgender and transgender, and non-binary youth ages 11-17, on March 25.
The one-day camp is being put on by SheJumps, a non-profit dedicated to serving girls and women who are looking to give back and share their passion for the outdoor community, in partnership with Aspen Skiing Co.
Snowmass ski patroller Jen Klink will be the head patroller on the mountain and will coordinate the different stations.
“I was excited when I heard about the events SheJumps has put on in the past,” she said. “I think education is for all, but I think sometimes having spaces dedicated to young women or young LGBTQ-identifying people can make more of a personal impact.”
She’s been a ski patroller for three years and said her mentor who got her interested in ski patrolling in the first place was a woman.
“She was the person who made me excited about it, and I can only imagine that when I was younger, I would have really been excited about this chance if I had been a skier at that age,” she said.
Although this is the first time a SheJumps Junior Ski Patrol Camp will take place at an Aspen-Snowmass mountain, the non-profit has been doing these camps at mountains such as Sun Valley, Idaho, and Big Sky, Montana.
“In the industry, we have very few women represented, and it’s a minority that needs to be changed,” said Colorado SheJumps ambassador and Basalt event coordinator Beth Olson. “We have as much, if not more, to offer than men, and it’s baffling to me we don’t have more representation and professional standings in different aspects of the industry on the mountain itself.”
When the participants arrive at the mountain, they will be divided into teams of eight based on skier/rider ability. Each team also will have two adult volunteers and be led by a ski patroller. The teams will rotate through stations spread out across the mountain to learn a variety of skills used by ski patrollers to keep the mountain safe.
“The girls will be getting a lot of attention with the small ratio of students to patrollers,” Olson said. “We have lots of fun games in between.”
Topics covered at the various stations include first aid, avalanche control, snow science, weather stations, toboggans, avalanche rescue techniques, radio communication, and avalanche dogs.
According to Klink, the majority of ski patrollers working the event will be women or female-identifying, though she said they have gotten support from all of the patrollers on Snowmass regardless of gender.
“I think it will be just as fun for us as it is for the students hopefully,” she said.
Representation is something she has been passionate about and is looking forward to drawing on the knowledge of her fellow female ski patrollers from all four Aspen Snowmass mountains.
“I hope (the camp) is an inclusive space where they can kind of let their guard down and have fun and learn in a deeper way then they possibly would in a different setting,” Klink said.
When: Saturday, March 25, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Snowmass Mountain, 120 Carriage Way, Snowmass Village, CO 81615
Who: girls (cisgender and transgender) and non-binary youth, ages 11-17
Sign-up here: eventbrite.com/e/shejumps-wild-skills-junior-ski-patrol-snowmass-co-tickets-525255532437
To reach Audrey Ryan, email her at email@example.com.