Robert Horrell

NSP: When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?
Robert: I became a patroller during the 2010/2011 ski season. A year earlier, I was skiing at my local mountain and saw some patrollers in action, and thought to myself, 'Man, that looks pretty cool.' I called my local mountain and got the scoop on how to join the ranks. Eight years later, joining the patrol was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

NSP:  What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Robert: For me, prior to becoming a patroller I had absolutely no medical experience, so fully understanding my role and responsibility in emergency medical scenarios was, at times, intimidating. However, the OEC curriculum, the first aid clinics, not to mention the fantastic instructors at my patrol, allowed me to build a strong and confident skill set. But no question, there were A LOT of hours involved! Becoming a ski patroller is a very serious commitment.

NSP: How many cups of coffee do you drink during a patrol shift?
Robert: I've only recently acquired a taste for coffee, but in eight years, I've had lots of hot chocolate, at least one per shift!

NSP: Powder or groomers?
Robert: Being an East Coaster, we ski anything and everything and have a heck of a time doing it. But there is absolutely nothing like the sensational feel that powder provides!

NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Robert: Patrolling has challenged me and taught me so many lessons on and off the mountain. It has enhanced not only my personal life, but my professional life as well. In short, patrolling is leadership, dedication, perseverance, humility, and sacrifice, and without question, these attributes have been sharpened and solidified in my time as a ski patroller. I have had a very rich experience over the last eight years and can't wait to see what the future holds.

NSP: What do you find most rewarding about patrolling and being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Robert: The most rewarding aspect of patrolling and being a member of the National Ski Patrol is, without question, the family and the community that comes with wearing that cross. There is strength in the cross we wear, and the connection it brings is pretty incredible! My local patrol family is amazing, but having experienced the Senior Program, Powderfall, and many region and division young adult patroller events, the ski patrol family extends beyond my local patrol, and it's roots are deep and very real.

NSP: What did you win in last year's Gear-mas contest, what do you like best about the Patagonia dual aspect hoody?
Robert:I won the Patagonia Dual Aspect Hoody in last year's Gear-mas contest, and it's accompanied me on countless patrol shifts, uphill laps, backpacking trips in the Adirondacks, mountain bike rides, and even around town. It's my go-to piece because of its versatility as a warm mid layer AND as an outer layer capable of shedding wind and rain. It's truly an all-in-one, so props and double thumbs up to Patagonia for nailing it with the Dual Aspect Hoody.

NSP: What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Robert:Without question, Thanksgiving and the tradition of taking a day to be surrounded by friends and family while giving thanks for the blessings of a wonderful life. I try to live out "Thanksgiving" each and every day.