The Great Falls Ski Patrol recently earned the the 2022 Outstanding Large Alpine Patrol in North America award - the highest honor awarded by the National Ski Patrol.
Founded in 1938, the Great Falls Ski Patrol is one of the oldest volunteer patrols in the country and has worked closely with Showdown Montana in providing entertainment and educational opportunities for guests.
Showdown Montana manager Katie Boedecker said, "This is a very long-standing patrol - a very active patrol, and they're in it for the right reasons. I think that is 100 percent about the heart of the people that serve on the patrol. They love this mountain, they love each other. They care about us, they care about the skiers and they do it for the right reasons.
She added, "There's a standard of excellence that is hard to put into words. They don't settle, and they hold each other to a high standard. We're lucky to have them."
The National Ski Patrol is made up of more than 600 patrol units with 32,000+ patrollers worldwide. The Great Falls Ski Patrol with 49 members just barely meets the 40 members criteria to be a Large Alpine Patrol.
Allan Rabbitt has been part of the Volunteer Ski Patrol since 1979. He said in order to volunteer in patrol, the most important characteristic to have is the right attitude.
"There's many requirements to become a member of the Ski Patrol, but probably the most important thing is the person's attitude and what they bring to the table. If someone has the proper attitude and they love the sport of skiing and snowboarding, we would welcome them to start the training process to start the training process to become ski patrol."
George Willett said Great Falls Ski Patrol have been the biggest supporters of Showdown over the years.
"They work together to be a community for themselves," George said. "They do a great job over here. Every weekend and holiday, they get up here, and have handled some amazing wrecks, and lots of stuff to prevent accidents. It's a well deserved award."
Showdown said, along with their dedication and outstanding work, they also create a fun and educational environment for our guests. Their annual “Patrollerpalooza” event invites skiers of all ages to visit stations around the mountain and have the opportunity to learn about mountain safety and
Showdown says while they talk a lot about the patrollers themselves, the GFSP is made up of so much more than that. It’s the spouses, parents & family members who also sacrifice their winter weekends. It’s their children who learn to ski here and inevitably join the patrol or the Showdown staff themselves.
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