Snowmass history: Women join the ski patrol ranks |

Snowmass history: Women join the ski patrol ranks

Snowmass hired Linda Hill as first woman on patrol in 1972

Aspen Historical Society
Ski patroller Judy Stacy wears an Aspen Skiing Co. jacket in 1976.
Aspen Historical Society/Aspen Times Collection

“Guess who’s coming to the accident? Women in the ranks of the Ski Patrol,” headlined the magazine Inside Aspen from 1976. “Anticipating a possible directive from the Department of Agriculture to all ski area operators on US Forest Service lands, the Snowmass ski patrol hired its first woman patrolman three seasons ago. … In 1972, the patrol hired Linda Hill as the first woman patrolman. ‘I had moved here from California,’ Linda says, ‘I had patrolled and instructed professionally out there. Here, I had skied a lot with the patrol.’”

“‘We knew Linda well,’” said Fred Smith, Patrol Director. “‘She’s a strong skier, and with her background we felt she might work out. We asked her to join.’”

“Judy Stacy, 25, joined the Snowmass patrol this year. She learned to ski in New York State and was on the National Ski Patrol there. ‘Being a rookie is hard enough,’ she admits. ‘But being a woman, too, means I try twice as hard. There’s just no room for error. Everybody is really on you for screw-ups.’”

The Snowmass patrol had also hired Pam Cleaton and local Ruthie Brown.

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