NSP: When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?
Chris:I believe it was the winter of 1982-83 that I joined a Nordic NSP patrol out of Truckee, California, co-sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service. We patrolled the popular ski touring areas near Donner Summit and Squaw Valley. After finishing my studies at University of California, Davis in atmospheric science, I moved to Crested Butte and made it into the once-famous Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol School, Jan.-March of 1987, and was hired there in 1988. My love of the outdoors and the beauty of traveling on snow on skis has always kept me motivated to help others enjoy the same.
NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Chris: High-angle rope work/rescue and avalanche mitigation are always an invigorating challenge. I also find the necessary work of accident investigation to be challenging.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do you drink during a patrol shift?
Chris: Just a couple of cups of coffee during a patrol shift. I usually coffee up before work and try to stay outside most of the day.
NSP: Powder or groomers?
Chris: Of course we all love powder skiing and as a patrolmun (unisex for patrolman), I get more than my share. I do also enjoy groomers, especially early season, getting the legs in shape and arcing turns.
NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Chris: Patience is its own reward.
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about patrolling and being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Chris: Helping folks safely enjoy the mountains in winter.
NSP: What is your favorite part about dressing up as Santa during the holiday season?
Chris:Hearing the wishes of the kids and, sometimes, the naughty-ness of the “grown-ups!”
NSP: What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Chris:Quite a few years I’ve been dressed up as Santa, but every time is like the first time.