Snowbird ski patrollers on high alert for avalanche danger

Posted at 9:38 PM, Dec 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 23:38:05-05

SNOWBIRD RESORT, Utah -- Snowbird ski patrol and other resorts across the state are on high alert after a Snowbasin ski patroller was injured in an avalanche Tuesday.

With avalanche danger high, Snowbird’s 30 ski patrollers are tracking any danger throughout their 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.

"We spread the word out and told all our guys there's activity going on in the Wasatch and we need to be on point, we need to be on game," said Jono Green, ski patrol supervisor at Snowbird.

Green has been patrolling avalanche-prone slopes for nearly a decade.

"We're always out the door, we're always checking the slopes -- but we can only be so many places at once," Green said.

Green said working with Mother Nature can be risky, even for the professionals.

"I’ve definitely been caught in some small pockets and knocked off my feet," Green said.

When snow falls, danger rises. That's why, Green said, ski patrol is ready if a skier or patrollers gets stuck in an avalanche.

"It's a weird feeling you know you're in it but you know it's time to start surviving and time to get out of it," Green said.

To be at the top of their game, ski patrollers across the state go through hundreds of hours of training.

"We have medical certifications, avalanche certifications," Green said.

And their packs are full of life saving tools.

"Every day we have a beacon shovel probe we carry full medical with us all the time," Green said.

They're putting their life on the line every day.

"We're doing it to protect the slopes to protect people at the resorts," Green said.

Snowbird ski patrol wants to remind anyone hitting the slopes to check out avalanche conditions before they go.