A national award further proves that the Smugglers’ Notch Ski Patrol has outdoor enthusiasts protected on the slopes.
The 60-member crew beat out 400 teams from across the country to win the Most Outstanding Alpine Patrol Award from The National Ski Patrol.
“We assist people with all kinds of things from injuries to people in over their head to people who might be a bit scared,” says Ski Patrol Director, Eli Moore. “I think on average we do about five to 700 calls per year.”
The Smugglers’ Notch crew consists of 25 paid employees and 41 volunteers. It’s the third smallest ski resort in the region.
“We have a huge collection of trainers, Smugglers’ Notch has two people in the national hall of fame and I believe there are only 20 in it in the country, so that’s a huge feather in our cap,” says Moore.
“I was pretty excited to join the Smuggs Ski Patrol in the first place, but I don’t think I realized just how much talent there was here,” says Cathe Neuberger, who joined the team this past year. “I knew it was good, but that blew me away.”
Both Moore and Neuberger say their love for skiing and passion for helping others makes this job a perfect fit.
“What I found was comraderie and a wonderful way to spend my time outdoors helping people and it really just stuck,” says Neuberger.
Moore has been a ski patroller for 21 years.
“We come up all of our three mountains and check the trails and try and get the trails opened up,” says Moore. “If there’s been snowmaking overnight, or snowfall, or a weather event, we take all that into consideration and get as much terrain open as we can for the public which usually starts loading around 8 a.m.”
Moore says during a time when volunteerism is slowly declining, he treasures this career even more.
“This is a great place for people to still come and volunteer and work with a paid staff to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself,” says Moore
“There’s a huge emphasis here on training and education and increasing your skills to become better at every part of ski patrolling and that really speaks to the way I like to lead my patrol career,” says Neuberger.
The Smugglers’ Notch Ski Patrol received the call to be first on scene to rescue ice climber Stephen Charest last Thursday. He fell on the Mt. Mansfield side of the Notch, Vermont State Police confirm. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Charest family, as Stephen sustained serious injuries.