The Subaru-National Ski Patrol Ambassadors are chosen every summer to represent the two brands for an entire year by using the car, and telling their unique stories in a variety of ways. In addition to driving a cobranded Subaru, the ambassadors write blogs about their experiences as patrollers, interact via social media on personal accounts and through takeovers, and attend industry events around the country. They are chosen based on their social media presence, unique stories, and experience within the organization, and to reflect geographic and other diversity. Each Ambassador represents National Ski Patrol’s and Subaru’s shared principles of service, safety, reliability.
Meet the Subaru-National Ski Patrol Ambassadors
My name is Zak Bloom and I spent my childhood in Telluride falling down steep mountains on a bike or skis. I was very fortunate to grow up in such a beautiful area spending my time outdoors. I love being outside and having the freedom that ski patrol affords me. I began ski patrolling in 2010 at Keystone and have been lucky to ski patrol internationally (AUS and NZ) as well. I spend my time on ski patrol helping our avalanche team and snowmobile team train new members, as well as training my dog, Maia, for rapid avalanche rescue deployment.
I am super excited to be one of the NSP Subaru ambassadors this season – this will be my 9th year patrolling! Currently, I am a chief Emergency Medicine resident physician in New Mexico, and I ski patrol at Sandia Peak just up the road. I dedicate a large portion of my time to working with underserved populations in between adventures in the mountains. My passions are widespread. Outside of working in the Emergency Room, I am usually climbing rocks or ice, highlining/slacklining, mountain biking, trail running, yoga, doing races in a tutu and of course skiing! I am also frequently traveling or volunteering and have been to over 30 countries. Before ski patrolling, I was a full-time adaptive ski instructor, which I still get to do as a volunteer.
My heritage is in the mountains. I’ve got three generations of family who have summitted the highest peaks of New England. I’ve just taken that love a bit further out in the world.
My interest in Patrol stems from an Avalanche incident in 1989 which took the life of a good friend of mine. I’ve since lost two others to deadly slides. I’ve moved from Wilderness First Responder 20 plus years ago to EMT/OEC; finally settling in Pro Patrol a decade ago.
The Mountains, though they’ve shown me their dark side more than I’d like, are my church-my peace and freedom are here-within the couloirs and on the ridges is where I’m most at ease.
I try to ski 10 months a year, every year. When I’m not skiing, I’m training for skiing, though having fun doing it whether it’s on a mountain bike, in trail runners, hiking boots or climbing shoes. “If you’re looking for me, I’m in the mountains. Somewhere up high.”
Howdy! My name is Orla Walsh aka The VTSTER, a Vermont native. I have been an NSP ski patrol member since 2009. I came to the NSP and Jay Peak ski patrol with no money and little to no experience in the pre-hospital environment as a new grad nurse. The moment I stepped foot inside Jay Peak Ski Patrol I knew this is where I belonged, this was home. In my journey, I earned my OEC, I became an EMT, and then a Paramedic. I patrolled at Copper Mountain for a few seasons, was a professional obstacle course racer for 7 years, and then I realized I wanted to become a medievac flight nurse. I found a badass community and a quirky, loving family that has always supported me along my wild journey! I hope to empower more badass humans to join the NSP and the outdoor lifestyle just like I did years ago.
I live with my wife and two kids in Victor, Idaho. We like to spend most of our time outdoors, and we’re raising our kids to appreciate an active outdoor lifestyle. I have worked at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort since 1989, and am the patrol director at the resort, and I also serve as the Pro Division Director for NSP. I feel very fortunate to have been able to make a career out of ski patrolling, and my focus is to help the next generation of patrollers enjoy the gratifying work that is ski patrolling.[/expand]
Originally a snowboarder from Mt. High in Southern California, I moved to Tahoe to attend Sierra Nevada College. I patrolled while working towards my degrees, and I am now the Assistant Patrol Director, Assistant Bike Park manager, and converted to skiing eight years ago. I have had two avalanche rescue dogs, and currently the handler for a 1 year old Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Tinker. I have been immersed in women’s programs for the past 5 years, having been the Pro Women’s Liaison for NSP, the Co-chair for POWDER (Providing Opportunity for Women through Diversity, Equity, Respect), and now very proud to serve as the Vice President for Women of Patrol. My passion is to help women grow together in the most amazing and rewarding career there is, patrol.[/expand]
My name is Peter Gannon. I was born on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota. All in all, I’m very new to skiing and even newer to the Ski Patrol. For most of my life I assumed skiing wasn’t for me and it wasn’t a place I belonged. However, I find myself here now, and with more work in the scope of diversity, equity, and inclusion, who knows how many more people we can raise up to find their place in skiing. Skiing is for everyone.
I grew up in the military, moving from state to state for my father’s job as a pediatrician in the U.S. Army. I didn’t start skiing until I was 18, but I fell in love with mountains at a young age, living near the Rockies in Aurora, Colorado, the Appalachians in Tennessee and Virginia, and taking family trips. After 16 years of nursing, I pivoted my focus and spent as much time outdoors and in the mountains with my husband, son, and dogs as possible. Part of that transitional journey involved pursuing my dream to volunteer with the National Ski Patrol. Being able to facilitate that pursuit of a recreational skill and passion has been the highlight of my life since I joined NSP in 2019. Skiing on a trail in the middle of the national forest is a very intimate encounter with the fragile and beautiful outdoor playground we are blessed to have. I am now studying to become a Certified Ski Instructor so I can contribute in another capacity to helping kids and their parents play outside.[/expand]
I’m an outdoor enthusiast and a car guy by interest and profession. Patrolling, to me, is an adventure. The excitement of skiing first tracks or back-country. An opportunity to find adventure where others only wish they could go. 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.[/expand]