Four Pajarito Mountain Young Adult Ski Patrollers Ethan Aulwes, Kai Coblentz, Justin Holmes and Elyse Phillips traveled to Silverton, Colo., March 31 to ski the all-expert level mountain.
They were accompanied by advisors David Phillips, Steve Maze and Eric Schaller.
“Although it involved some training about steeps skiing and how to move in avalanche terrain, the trip was more a reward for all of the hard work put in by our YAPs,” Schaller said. “They paid for the lift tickets themselves through fund raising last summer.”
All skiing at Silverton Mountain is black diamond or above. There are no blue or green runs and in addition to a lift ticket, skiers are required to have an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel to ski there.
Beacons are checked before skiers are allowed to board the lift, Schaller said.
“There’s only one lift that takes you to the top of a giant ridge and from the top of that lift you hike out to the terrain,” Schaller said. “After skiing four runs at Silverton Mountain, even an expert skier feels that have had a big day.”
The patrol is gearing up to begin classes for outdoor emergency care certification which begins in the spring.