Meet the National Ski Patrol Subaru Ambassadors

Alex Limkin, @freeheelfreespirit
Alex Limkin, @freeheelfreespirit

I am entering my 6th season as a ski patroller at Sipapu in northern New Mexico. I started tele-skiing 8 years ago in the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque as a form of rehab for my lower leg following a snowboarding accident. I have never patrolled on anything but 75mm gear, but I am excited to be transitioning to NTN this season. Prior to patrolling, I had a career in the military Read more

, starting out as a private in 1990, commissioning through New Mexico State University in 1997, and eventually serving with CT/SO (counter-terror/special operations) as an infantry captain. With the assistance of the VA, I was able to retrain in the medical field, and am super proud to have transitioned to being a medical first responder and National Ski Patroller. At this point in my life, I have no use for firearms, and I am not keen on working around explosives, even for avalanche control measures. I am fortunate that the ski area I patrol at is explosive-free. My first Subaru was a 2014 Outback 2.5i with a 5-speed manual transmission. Great, capable car. My ex-wife got it in the divorce. But I have since picked up a 2018 bone stock Impreza 2.0i hatchback with a 5-speed manual transmission, and, with the addition of a roofbox, it has been an amazing car for me. It gets great gas mileage, sometimes as much as 35 or 36 mpg, despite being rated at 31 mpg. (I don’t know, maybe I just drive stick more efficiently than the drivers at Subaru?) As a single father, my bone stock Impreza, featuring the new Global Platform, has never let me down. I have traveled 50k to 60k miles over the last several years from the northern mountains to spend time with my son in the city, and transitioning to the dependability and all-weather capability of the Subaru AWD system (from my front-wheel drive compact with 200k miles on the clock), has been fantastic. (If my transition from 75mm to NTN brings a similar jump in performance as upgrading to the Impreza, I will be the grinning-est freeheeler on the hill!)My dream Subaru would be a newly designed 2021 WRX hatchback, because I am not into sedans. (Subaru, if you are listening, please bring back the hatchback!) But I have to admit, the bone stock Impreza is a lot of fun to drive, gets way better gas mileage, and though the ground clearance leaves a little to be desired, throw some knobbies on and you can move through a surprising amount of snow. Also, as a drummer in a band, getting my drum kit to gigs with the back seats down is a breeze! I hope to put 200k miles or more on my Impreza, and love how easy it is to change the oil, with the filter right there staring at you when you open the hood. That being said, I do look forward to the day I can drive an electric Subaru. (Hint, hint!!)

Andrew Hennigh, @desolationphoto
Andrew Hennigh, @desolationphoto

I have been a ski patroller for 18 years. 3 years as YAP at Eldora Mountain Resort in Colorado, 8 years as a professional ski patroller at Park City Mountain in Utah, 5 years as an Avalanche Forecaster at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe in Nevada, and 2 years as a Snow Safety Specialist at Park City Mountain. Last year I received my National Appointment No.12104. In the summer I work as a River Ranger for the BLM in Desolation Canyon, Utah.

Andrew Warkentin, @bigmountaincreative
Andrew Warkentin, @bigmountaincreative

Hey, I am Drew Warkentin from Littleton, Colorado. I just finished my 11th year as a member of the Vail Ski Patrol and love every minute of it. My two favorite parts of patrolling are working with the Vail Avalanche Dogs as a dog handler for Mookie the Black Lab and spending time with the amazing family that is the VSP. When I am not patrolling, Read more

you will find me with a camera in my hands, as I own a film production company, Big Mountain Creative. I spend the rest of my free time climbing mountains with my wife, Lauren, and dog, Tulo. As long as I am outside, I am a happy guy.

Chris Pringle, @pringle672
Chris Pringle, @pringle672

I started ski patrolling in 1979 as a “student patroller”. I am now starting my 41st year patrolling. I love ski patrolling… it is instilled in my blood. I am currently on the NSP Board of Directors and have held many positions at Division/Region and local patrol. I love the comradery of ski patrol. We are all here for the same purpose. Regarding Subaru and NSP, my first car was a Read more

1978 Subaru 4 door wagon (SUV). It was a great car which got me to where I needed to go every time. It was my transport for skiing patrolling back at that time too. The NSP/Subaru partnership is huge. The cars are warriors as are ski patrollers. There is a common bond as we both complete our task(s). I am excited to represent both NSP and Subaru to our members, friends and the public. Both NSP and Subaru have high standards and represent quality. I look forward to both driving, showing and representing both NSP and Subaru this ski season.

Christine Wodke, @run4cmt
Christine Wodke, @run4cmt

Chris Wodke, is always on the move. “Many of life’s failures are people who had not realized how close they were to success when they gave up.” -Thomas A. Edison.

All you have to know about Chris Wodke’s determination is to learn about a life-changing moment in her life. “When in graduate school for engineering she had to take a Thermodynamics class that Read more

required mathematically solving the laws of the physical science and its affect on material bodies. It took hours and pages and pages of equations to complete her homework. “Also part of the class requirement was to meet with the class professor each week to review our assignments. One day he said to me, ‘Christine you get so close to solving the problem, but then you quit.’ She never forgot that comment. Whether it is finishing a race or solving a problem at work, She makes sure she don’t give up too soon. She always remembers this words when things get tough and wants to quit. I might be really close to the solution or the end of the race and his words keep me moving toward my goal.” That resolve was tested when the Milwaukee native, was diagnosed in 2009 with CMT, Wodke not only puts many Baby Boomer women to shame with her physical fitness, but that she maintains it all while fighting side-effects of CMT that include structural and muscular challenges that include bouts of tripping, burning sensations in her feet and muscle atrophy. One of seven children and two with CMT, she stops at nothing to make people aware of the disease while putting her best feet forward whether she’s running in Iceland or kayaking in New Zealand, her favorite place to travel. She’s accomplished a great deal in triathlon and long distance running.
although she tires easily from effects of CMT, you’ll seldom hear her complain or use it as an excuse. Getting cold easily and fatigue have been a constant during her time as a patroller. She has been a member of the National Ski Patrol since 1988, most of that time at The Rock in Franklin, Wisconsin. She started skiing in college and took up other sports such as running, rowing and biking to become a better skier. She credits skiing for keeping her strong and making her a better athlete. Skiing has been a constant in her life. For a time she gave up sports competition because of dramatically slowing times, balance issues and burning feet. She came out of retirement when diagnosed with CMT. There are 160,000 Americans with CMT, yet most people had never heard of it. That did not seem right to her and she started Team CMT to raise awareness and started competing again. Team CMT has grown to 227 athletes in 41 states and six countries. The team has raised over $130,000 in funds for Team CMT research. Currently there are no treatments for cure for this progressive disease. She loves the outdoors enjoying biking, hiking, kayaking, camping and Nordic skiing. In the last few years she has begun competing in Nordic races and winter triathlon. She is an engineer and professional trainer. She was awarded a Yellow Merit star for work she did on training materials for the Patrol. She is the author of two books: Running for My Life-Winning for CMT, Soup Sundays-A Journey Toward Healthy Living. You can follow her on www.run4cmt.com.

Major Accomplishments:
– Three time Boston Marathon finisher

– 2nd place finish Mobility Impaired Division 2012 Boston Marathon

– 1st place Finish Physically Challenged Division Para-triathlon National Sprint Championship/Cap Tex Tri Austin Texas 2012

– 1st National Championship Aqua bike, PC division, Miami 2016

– 1st National Championship Long Course Triathlon, PC division Miami 2017

– 2nd Winter Triathlon National Championship, F 55-59, St Paul, 2017

– 3rd Winter Triathlon National Championship, F 60-64, Minneapolis 2019

ITU Aquathlon World Championship 5th F 60-64, Fyn Denmark 2018

– Three time Team USA member –Aquathlon
– Para-All American Aquathlon 2017

Most people with CMT can’t run and struggle with everyday tasks like buttoning buttons, opening jars, and walking. I was told more than once that someone with CMT can’t run or should not exercise too hard.

Dave Watson, @luckydavewatson
Dave Watson, @luckydavewatson

Dave started ski patrolling in Vermont, putting in 7 seasons between Mount Snow and Smugglers Notch. He then worked for 3 winters in Indian Kashmir training ski guides. For the last 10 winters, Mt Hood Meadows has been his mountain home. When Dave is not ski patrolling he is teaching avalanche courses and spending time with his family. Enjoyment is also found in guiding. With over 20 years Read more

of climbing experience, Dave has helped many people achieve new heights. His personal climbing adventures have taken him to crags and mountains around the world, including Everest and K2.

Dave is excited about this new opportunity to work with NSP in a different capacity. He is a full believer in their mission statement of “helping keep people safe on the mountain and during other outdoor activities” As a current Subaru owner he also knows the value of having a capable and reliable all wheel drive vehicle to get him to the mountain on unplowed roads in time to throw bombs in steep terrain to open up the mountain for the frothing powder hounds.

John Kane, @certified585
John Kane, @certified585

I started my patrolling career at Blue Hills Ski Patrol (BHSP) in Canton, MA in 1979. I started patrolling because it was a way to cut lines and ski for free. Little did I know about the “catch and NO release” that came with it. Before I knew it, I caught the bug. What I mean is that I got involved. I started at the BHSP as their Junior (YAP) Advisor. I became a Senior Patroller in 1983 and Read more

immediately became an S&T and OEC instructor. In 1984 I joined the famed EMARI S&T Staff traveling to other area resorts helping to train others. I became a Section Chief in 1987 and then served as the EMARI Region Director from 1988–1992.

My love is with the training of OET. When I retired from the RD position, I served on the Eastern Division S&T Steering Committee from 1993–2007. In 1995 I transferred to the Sunday River Ski Patrol in Maine. I was looking forward to gaining more experience at a larger resort so I could train for the Certified Program. In 2000 I entered into the “program” at Jay Peak, VT and successfully passed at Gore Mountain, NY in 2002. I thought that was it – nothing else to do. I could just simple enjoy my NSP successes and coast the rest of my patrol career. Well, that was short lived!

In 2006 I became the Central Section Chief for the Maine Region and then served as the Maine Region Director from 2008-2014. We had a great time delivering programs all over the state. It is absolutely true when they say “You can’t get theya from heya.” But we did it! The region now has a great instructor core of individuals and the team spirit is awesome! After terming out as the Region Director, I ran for the Eastern Division Director position and successfully won the confidence of our membership. In this position I am responsible for 15 Regions and 8,200 (+/-) patrollers. To get around the Eastern Division, Subaru of America has awarded me the opportunity to make all of these visits with the NSP Subaru. I have since visited 11 out of 15 regions at many patrols. I look forward to visiting the balance of the regions this 2018-19 season. The NSP Subaru has been a great asset to the Division in that it is available to qualified NSP patrollers who run events anywhere in the Division. Additionally, the Subaru(s) are busy in the off season working with organizations like the American Lung Association providing coverage as Safety and Gear (SAG) support to the biking participants. We also support local Fire events and FEMA events whenever possible. The NSP Subaru is not only a great looking car and an instant “looker” when coming on scene, but is used to promote Safety and Service when at events. Our most visible event in the Eastern Division is the Boston Ski and Ride Show. Thousands of snowsports enthusiasts from all over the Division come to the 4 day event where they see the NSP Subaru near center stage in high traffic lanes. The NSP Subaru gets lots of looks and pictures. So thanks to the NSP and Subaru of America for this continued partnership in helping us to spread our message of Safety and Service for all of our NSP Resorts, Patrollers and the skiing and riding public.

Mike Schons, @nspcentraldd
Mike Schons, @nspcentraldd

I’m an outdoor enthusiast and car guy by interest and profession. I started skiing at twelve and working with my father and grandfather on their race cars even earlier than that, so combining the opportunity to work with a great car manufacture like Subaru and representing the National Ski Patrol is a match made in heaven. Patrolling, to me, is an adventure. Read more

The excitement of skiing firsttracks or back-country. An opportunity to find adventure where others only wish they could go. Subaru is that type of adventure vehicle. A vehicle ready to go down those back roads to explore, and get to those areas that promise excitement. The NSP is already known to be the premier outdoor safety educational organization in the world, combine that status with the world’s safest vehicle manufacturer and we have an unbeatable team that we can display and be proud to represent.

Tarah O'Connor, @she_skis_the_trees
Tarah O'Connor, @she_skis_the_trees

My name is Tarah and I am a fourth year patroller. I will be spending my first season at Powder Mountain and I can’t wait to explore the largest ski area in the US.

I grew up skiing in New England and learned all about ice and rocks. After attending the University of Vermont I headed west Read more

for bigger mountains and a chance to live like a ski bum. I quickly discovered Jackson Hole and spent years learning the area and pushing myself to the next level.

After a while I realized I would never be able to spend a winter away from the mountains and I committed to a lifetime in the mountains. Avalanche education is a passion of mine and I also enjoy the medical side of things. Ski patrolling is hands down the best job I have ever had and it gets better every year. I encourage women with a sense of adventure and an ability to work hard to ski patrol. I know I sure love it.

Yarrow Farnsworth, @hdmoma
Yarrow Farnsworth, @hdmoma

The winter of 2011-2012, I brought my boys to Ragged Mountain, Danbury NH for a day of skiing and riding. It was this day that fate would have it, and I found myself at Patrol Headquarters talking with Carl Chaplin about the OEC program and what is involved in becoming a Patroller. I was an average self taught skier at the time, but had a strong natural ability Read more

and desire to help people, especially in emergent situations. Becoming a patroller at my local mountain gave me the opportunity to do just that, as well as take advantage of all of the education and training to hone in my own skiing and tobogganing skills. Today I am proud to be a Certified Senior Patroller and Trainer Evaluator. The one thing I continue to tell people about the OEC / S&T programis, the education only stops if you stop. There are so many people involved in the National Ski Patrol just brimming with skills to share, one would be crazy to not be encouraged and stimulated by the wealth of knowledge available to them. It is my intent to pass that education I gain on, specifically to youth with hopes of building a strong future for NSP. I am incredibly excited to be representing the NSP through the Subaru Ambassador program and expand this journey! As I have alluded to earlier, I have raised two sons, and keeping them active and interested has always been my number one goal. The theory of, a family that plays together, stays together, has led us on many adventures all over the United States, more recently getting into the down hill and endurance mountain bike scene. I particularly enjoy new experience no matter what it is. I can safely say I know that we have made some incredibly awesome memories together that they will undoubtedly pass on. As they say, It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. LIVE LIFE WITH PASSION.