Region News

Another Successful Year for Senior OEC Program

This year’s events were held at McIntyre, Ragged, Pats Peak, Crotched, St Francis School and Sunapee. Thank you to all patrol directors and staff who made this possible.

It takes a lot of volunteers to run this program, advisors, trainers, evaluators, station managers, patients, helpers, and moulage artists. Thank you all for your support of our program.

Being involved in this program is a learning opportunity for all of us. We learn from each other and grow as a team. For most of us, this isn’t a one and done, learning experience. It’s a process which

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Senior OET Clinic at Ragged Mountain, NH

What a great day all had at the Ragged Mountain Senior OET Clinic on Feb 03, 2019! Conditions were primo, students were enthusiastic, and instructors were keen to work with individuals with such positive attitudes. Our day started with Instructor of Record Deb Brown with an informative introduction on objectives for the day and specific highlights of interest in skills where extra practice would be productive and improved upon with guided skill drills and developed muscle memory input.

Starting with ski demonstrations and feedback on participants’ performance and improvement with each segment was rewarding to observe by all three instructors. Sincere feelings of accomplishment from each student stepping it up a notch and challenging themselves was evident throughout the skiing segment of the morning. We worked on groomed steeps, gentle bumps and tight short radius turns by placing ourselves as slalom markers. This drill was fun and forced us to initiate and finish turns appropriately. The candidates were awakened to see and feel improvements in their own performance.

Skills came next with snowplow, sideslip, transition and pivot slips. All did quite well and concentrated on upper/lower body separation and shoulders and head facing down the fall line. Some commented on how much more efficient the task was when these positioning tips were followed.

Getting into the handles of the toboggan in the next segment of the program was fun, fast-moving and enlightening for the three instructors when we observed the receptive and adaptive thinking and resulting performance of our four students. Empty sleds in the gentle bumps and encouragement from instructors enabled the students to let the sled follow with a light grip of handles; appropriate short . . .

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Region Director Election Update

With the end of refresher-season comes the end of the New Hampshire Region Director and Northern Section Chief Elections. Before I announce the next Region Director, I want to congratulate both candidates, Carl Chaplin (Mount Sunapee) and Chris Rousseau (Pat’s Peak) for their dedication to the Region and their willingness to step forward and run for this important position. Additionally, I would like to thank the 65 percent of you that made the effort to cast your vote, including both Alumni and active patrollers. Lastly, I want to thank the Region Staff members that attended refreshers all over New Hampshire this fall to facilitate an orderly voting process.

In a very tightly contested election, I would like to announce that Carl Chaplin prevailed and will be your Region Director beginning in April 2019. Carl, an NSP/PSPA Certified Patroller, currently patrolling at Mount Sunapee, has served the Region as Assistant Region Director and Regional OEC Advisor for the last five seasons. He is an OEC, OET and Instructor Development Instructor, and has intimate knowledge of Region, Division and NSP operations. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Carl on this accomplishment.

Additionally, I would like to congratulate Orest Ohar (Ragged Mountain Resort) on his re-election to a second term as the Northern Section Chief.

Lastly, if you have not yet cast your vote in the National Board of Director election, I would ask you to please take the one minute necessary to cast your vote. Please see the election links on the homepage.

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Waterville Valley “Patroller School”

Summer is a great time to kick back with friends & family and reflect on our past season as we give our feet a nice break from our ski boots. It is also a time when many of us look ahead to the upcoming season and more immediate, the upcoming refresher season. During that process, the idea of offering an expanded training session surfaced. This article details how this process unfolded, our agenda for the weekend and some takeaways for those considering a similar offering to their patrols.

The idea for this type of event came from the Certified Boot Camp that Eastern Division Director John Kane holds each summer in Maine. It is an amazing camp that the division certified group holds. The weekend consists of many of the modules of the certified program, some high-level training, creative scenarios and great food & camaraderie with some amazing instructors.

The thought of taking the idea of this event and tailoring it to our entire patrol was born, now to plan it. The first consideration was whether our patrollers would be willing to give up an additional weekend in the fall to training. We still had our OEC refresher, CPR re-cert, and our lift evacuation training ahead. We are sensitive to the fact that we may be asking a lot of our patrollers as most of them are volunteers. The decision was that we would work up a syllabus for our weekend, present it to the patrol as an “optional” training and gauge their interest. Turns out our patrol was quite excited to have this opportunity and nearly all were . . .

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The Eastern Division Slate is Ready to Work for You!

Eastern Division has done their usual research to help find the Ski Patrollers dedicated to our profession and to the needs of our volunteers. This season’s elections, four National Board seats are up for election. One incumbent, Brian Rull, a volunteer Patroller from Missouri (in Central Division) has been an effective National Bard Member and needs your vote to return for another term. Brian is completing his first term on the National Board where he chairs the National Audit and Fundraising Committee and serves on the National Governance Committee. His fellow board members appointed him as the Assistant National Chair.

In Eastern Division, our own Bob Scarlett is running for his first term. He has been a long-time Eastern Division leader who dedicated ten years to the National Board of Directors as the National Legal Advisor. As the legal advisor, Bob has helped the National board navigate many organizational situations, now he is ready to take his experience and expertise to the board. He is running for a board seat and needs your vote.

Julie Stone is also a Missouri based volunteer Ski Patroller (from Central Division), asking for your vote, says “As a woman, an experienced Senior Alpine Patroller, an Instructor in 4 disciplines (OEC, OET, MTR, and PSIA1), I am a creative-strategic thinker and a doer! I would like your vote.”

Richard Yercheck is from Southern Division. He has dedicated 28 years to Ski Patrolling and the volunteering for leadership positions in the Southern Division. He is running with the same dedication to improve OEC and to bolster the National Ski Patrol brand. He asks for your vote, “Vote for me and I will make sure the board is doing good for our members, our industry partners, the general public and the future of the National Ski Patrol.”

National Ski Patrol will email all NSP members an invitation to vote. Voting occurs between . . .

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Avalanche Professionals Workshop

The annual Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop in Fryeburg Maine, has been scheduled and posted. Follow the link to ESAW.ORG, buy your tickets and join New Hampshire’s avalanche professionals for a one-day snow sciences seminar.

The “White Mountain Avalanche Education Foundation” organizes the event every year. A portion of ESAW ticket sales goes to bringing snow science into to local middle school classrooms as well as supporting awareness classes designed to give middle school and high school teens time in the field and a foundation to start their avalanche education.

This season’s line-up of seminar speakers has been set. Ragged Mountain’s own Ski Patroller Sam Colbeck starts the seminar early in the morning. Mr. Colbeck is an Emeritus Researcher at the US Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL). He will present a session on “Snow Metamorphism and Structure.”

Frank Carus, Avalanche Specialist and Director of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center will present a session on “The evolution of avalanche forecasting on Mount Washington.” Flying in from Colorado is Brian Lazar, the Deputy Director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. He will present two sessions

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The OEC Senior Program is Changing…

It takes a special patroller to step up to the challenge of the senior OEC program. They subject themselves to a whole lot of scrutiny as they train with fellow patrollers working their way through difficult scenarios designed to improve their decision making, problem solving and leadership skills. Being involved in this program is a learning opportunity for all of us. We learn from each other and grow as a team. For most of us, this isn’t a one and done, learning experience. It’s a process that is refined over the years.

Each year we kick off the senior program with an informational meeting in early November and begin scheduling events after the holidays through mid-March. This year’s season will start earlier than past seasons and commence with a final exam on February 10th. Great care has been taken to plan events around holidays and hopefully avoid the end of year burden on patrols with…

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In Memoriam: Janis Albrecht – Whaleback Patroller

Janis Albrecht, 60 years old, passed away peacefully May 10th 2018. Raised in Fairfield CT, graduated class of 1975 Andrew Warde High School. A longtime resident of Gaysville, VT.

Janis was a professional Ski Patroller, EMT and volunteered with the adaptive ski program for people with disabilities. She patrolled at Killington Resort, managed the Mountain Ambassadors then took over as Patrol Director for a few. During the summer months, she worked with the horse show circuit.

Janis loved traveling, adventure, hiking, sailing and being with family, friends and her dog. She loved going to concerts and music festivals from Jazz Fest, Bluegrass, Grateful Dead shows, and Zydeco. Janis was a happy, caring, joyful person who loved to have fun and filled her life with wonderful experiences. Ski Patrollers and ski area customers will remember her ever-present smile. She will be dearly missed by her family, her friends, the Ski Patrolling community and never forgotten.

After Killington, she went to Loon Mountain and Black Mountain before settling close to home at Whaleback in Enfield NH. Janis joined the Whaleback Patrol in 2010. Patrol Director Dave Rancore remembers, “I offered her a paid position and made her my assistant. She brought so much knowledge and experience. Over the nine years that Janis was at Whaleback she help me get my instructors certification and we moved refreshers in-house. She was a true patroller first on last off every shift. Yet you might see her giving lift attendants breaks by covering a lift; working in the kitchen; training patrollers on the toboggan and anything else that the ski area might need.”

She will be missed by Whaleback — the Ski Patrol will hold a “Celebration of Life for Ski Patroller Janis Albrecht” at . . .

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Awards Delivery Adventure

Mount Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol officially closes down operations on Memorial Day weekend every year. Making it the latest operating ski area within the New Hampshire Region. Every year, the Patrol throws a party on the Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend to thank its volunteer staff of 20 plus the US Forest Service Snow Rangers for their season of service. The adventure I describe in this article was my trek to Hermit Lake Shelter to deliver the NSP Awards destined to Mount Washington.

The patrol disbands on Memorial Day as the operating agreement with the US Forest Service comes to a close. The next time that these Patrollers will gather again will be the first Saturday in March for their refresher — to start a new winter season. Delivering awards just in time was my mission as the Northern Section Chief in the Region. The easy part was visiting with NH Region’s Awards Advisor Alison Potito. She handed over two awards framed on folders with pins attached.

The weather report looked bleak for the weekend. I headed home to pack my gear. Knowing that multiple rain showers were in the forecast for Mt. Washington, I carefully wrapped the awards into two-gallon zip-lock bags and carefully nuzzled them into my day-pack. Around them I packed insulation layer, not knowing how cold it might get at high mountain elevation. No need to stow my Gortex jacket, I expected to be hiking in the pouring rain — the jacket would be worn the entire way up.

The weather did not disappoint — rain was sprinkling from the start. Tuckerman Ravine Trail from Pinkham Notch to Hermit Lake Shelter was approximately a two-hour walk for my family and me. I decided to bring the kids and Erin for the walk and to meet the . . .

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