NSP: When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?
Tina: I started ski patrolling in ’97 at Breckenridge. Earlier that summer, I worked with some patrollers at a local outdoor store, and it was apparent they loved patrolling. So I figured what the heck, I’ll try it.
NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Tina: It was a fire hose of information. Everything from learning first aid, resort terrain, name familiarization, to running toboggans and explosive work. As rookies, we were each paired up with a coach; my coach, Karen Davis, helped me become the patroller that I am. To this day she is one of my dearest friends.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do/did you drink during a patrol shift?
Tina: I start my morning out with an Americano, so usually only one during the day. Though an espresso maker just showed up in our top shack, so it might turn into two or three!
NSP: Do you prefer to ski powder or groomers? Also, what is your favorite type of downhill bike terrain?
Tina: Powder! That’s what set the hook and it still keeps me here!
NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Tina: So much! Self-confidence, patience, and trust in others. And that I love having an outdoor office!
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Tina: It’s all about the people that I work with. Patrolling is very stressful at times, and the trust that we patrollers have for each other is what makes me keep coming back. We’re a crazy family … and I love it!
NSP: Have you faced any challenges as a woman patrol director, and what do you think it gives you in terms of a different perspective?
Tina: Being a patrol director is challenging in and of itself, but I don’t think that my being female really changes those challenges. Thankfully, the outdoor industry has evolved to a place where women are no longer in the background. Ultimately, every director handles the job differently, regardless of their gender.
NSP: What runs would you recommend for first-time visitors to Snowbird, e.g., those coming for Powderfall? And also, where can people find the best powder?
Tina: If the sun is out, a morning run down Powder Paradise in Mineral Basin is sure to make everyone smile. Otherwise, Chip’s is a great option for first-timers at Snowbird. As for the best powder, there are too many places to list!!
NSP: What would you recommend people do who are coming from low-elevation areas to get used to the altitude at Snowbird?
Tina: Drink plenty of water, and don’t overdo it the first day. Eleven-thousand feet can wreak havoc on your ski day. Ease into it.
NSP: What should Powderfall attendees be most excited about Snowbird?
Tina: The fantastic terrain and views, and hopefully some fresh powder.
NSP: What are you looking forward to about hosting Powderfall at your resort?
Tina: Showing visiting patrollers the place we call home. Turning people on to how we manage our mountain and the fun we have doing it.