NSP: When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?
Denny: I joined the Northstar Ski Patrol team the winter season of 1999-2000. After spending the previous season in the rental shop, I knew I needed to find a job up on the mountain.
NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Forrest: One of the most challenging parts of my rookie season was showing the trainers that I could do the job on my snowboard. I'm not claiming to be the first full-time professional snowboard patroller, but I am one of the pioneers in the Tahoe area. With that being said, I would like to take this opportunity to formerly apologize to ski patrollers across the nation who have spent time breaking trail for their snowboard brethren. After a few years, I saw the light and now ski full-time at work and snowboard for fun on my own time.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do/did you drink during a patrol shift?
Forrest: This varies from winter to summer. Winter would be between three and five, while in the summer I just have one in the morning.
NSP: Do you prefer to ski powder or groomers? Also, what is your favorite type of downhill bike terrain?
Forrest: POWDER! I enjoy a DH trail that has a variety of terrain. I like a mix of flow and technical with big steep rock to ride on. Jumps are fun, but my expertise lies in the steeps. My two favorites here at Northstar are Sticks & Stones and Boondocks.
NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Forrest: That keeping a cool head under pressure happens to be a strength of mine. Honing this skill at work has paid off with other life experiences, like raising two girls.
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Forrest: Sharing my passion for the outdoors with everyone that I meet. As the Far West Division Pro Representative, I have enjoyed pulling the local patrol directors together for an annual meeting where we can discuss our regional issues, best practices, and go skiing.
NSP: Tell us about the main differences you find between ski patrolling and bike patrolling, and what you like about each.
Forrest: One significant difference is the amount of time it takes to move around the mountain. In the winter you know that your backup is only a few minutes away, whereas in the summer it can take a while for your gear to show up. What I love about ski patrolling is the ever-changing snow conditions and never knowing what your day will bring. One of my favorite parts about summer is being involved in our trail and overall bike park design.