Brighton Ski Patrol received major recognition after being named "Outstanding Large Alpine Patrol" for 2016 by the National Ski Patrol System.
"Not many patrols have been recognized in the Intermountain West, so we were very honored," Nancy Pitstick of Brighton Patrol said.
The Resort's patrol beat out 670 other resorts in the United States and Europe. The award criteria looks at Patrol performance over the last four years. It's a large honor and it comes in a year where heavy snow has kept patrollers busy. A drier pattern over the last five years had the patrol hyper focused on safety.
"In years past there were just more hazards on the mountain, rock bands, tree stumps, trees, cliffs, things that we have to mark out for our guests here," Chris Stowe, the snow safety supervisor at Brighton Resort said.
The patrol receives extensive training on how to respond to outdoor emergencies and medical is a big part of any ski patroller's day, but active weather means different types of upkeep for the mountain.
"The signage, taking the toboggan down, sometimes we put up patrol signs, patrolling slow skiing areas, and move our tower pads, we raise and lower those depending on the snow surface level," Marc Barlage of the patrol said.
Brighton received this recognition once before, back in 1987, and while the award is a huge accomplishment, patrollers say nothing can top the tight knit relationship they have with one another.
"The patrol is a family and we all take care of each other and kids. We have a lot of patrol kids that grow up on the mountain, and they know they can't mess up on the mountain because all the patrollers are watching," Nancy Pitstick said.
Another win for IMD and Brighton Ski Patrol
Marc Barlage was recently tapped as the new Outdoor Emergency Transportation Program director, replacing Jay Zedak, who stepped down after being elected to the board. Marc has been a patroller at Brighton Ski Resort in Utah since 1991, and was awarded National Appointment Number 9156. He has been an OET instructor since 1993 and an OET IT since 1994. He also teaches Avalanche and CPR. He served as the assistant patrol director at Brighton from 2004-06.