Division News

A Conversation with National Board Chair Richard Pietrafesa

Rich Pietrafesa, NSP National Board Chair

Trail Sweep interviewed Richard Pietrafesa, newly elected chair of the NSP National Board about his experiences, aspirations, and goals for the NSP in his new role. Elected as a National Board Rep last year, Rich was a member of Toggenburg Ski Patrol for 20 years. When Toggenburg closed in 2021, Rich joined Labrador Mountain in the Central New York Region, Eastern Division in 2022. (Updated 5/3/24)

What experiences and skills do you bring to the NSP as National Board Chair?

Any number of us currently on the board could perform the job of chair. I don’t believe I bring any unique abilities to the role. But I do have a particular philosophy about how an effective board should function, and about the role of the chair, which I think is useful to our organization at this juncture.

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How To Form a Bike Patrol in 10 Easy Steps

Interested in starting a bike patrol in your area? Here’s a list of 10 easy steps to get started.

  1. Determine what type of patrol your area needs and why.
    a. Resort- or park-based, public lands, multi-land manager systems,
    b. Paved routes, mountain bike trails, or some combination,
    c. Host unit or patrol unit or a hybrid of both.
  2. Meet with your region director, your region bike advisor, and possibly the National Bike Program advisor.
  3. Meet with the land manager(s) to discuss the agreement/memorandum of understanding.
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2024 Young Adult Patroller Summit

The Eastern Division Young Adult Patroller Summit was held March 8-11, 2024, at Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont with 78 young adults attending from around the division. Young adults converged for three days of intense training and competition. Mother Nature provided a bit of everything; moments of sun, rain, snow, and plenty of wind. Her indecisiveness was nothing compared to the energy and stoke from attendees!

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Celebration at Mount Snow

The First Ever Celebration Patroller and Alumni Celebration was held from February 11-16. A total of 32 people attended the event including active patrollers, alumni, partners, and family. Many who participated for more than one day stayed at the Grand Summit Hotel slopeside. Some participated for a day and others commuted. Mount Snow’s central location because of its central location. We had attendees from throughout the division.

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What’s Coming for the Bike Units?

The NSP Bike Program Committee has been hard at work for the past year on creating education programming for bike patrols.

What Are the Current Classes for Bike Patrols?

Bike Fundamentals Course  This course is for people considering joining a bike patrol or those who have just joined. It will help patrol members learn the fundamentals all bike patrollers and bike hosts need to effectively assist others while patrolling. Some of the topics include the types of units, duties and responsibilities of bike patrol units, and how to help others while you are patrolling.

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Cal Goldsmith, Eastern Division Director

Stephanie Cox, the NSP’s CEO recently paid a visit to several Vermont and New York ski areas. Stephanie, National Chair Rich Pietrafesa, and I also traveled to Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. During our time together, Stephanie and I had a chance to chat. I got to watch her interact with Eastern Division Patrollers. I was struck by how she is driven to make a difference, and that she has a plan to do so. Part of her plan is to re-establish the credibility of NSP in the ski industry, to the extent that it has suffered in recent years.

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Program Delivery Across the Division

Kim Terwilliger, Assistant Eastern Division Director

Welcome to winter in the northeast – rain, snow, rain, ice, rain, wind, snowmageddon, or nothing. Despite our winter weather situation, the Eastern Division has delivered multiple education programs for our members with more still available. MTR programs were available in November and December. Multiple patroller schools have been held since January throughout the Division, including Sugarloaf, Elk, Killington, Plattekill, and Seven Springs. A snowboard/tele-specific event was held at Waterville Valley as well. Gore will be hosting an upcoming patroller school at the end of February. Women’s clinics have been embedded in many of the patroller schools which have been very well attended.

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Building Great Instructors – OET Program

Each season, at the beginning of December the Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) Program gathers OET staff members from across the Eastern Division for a weekend focused on leadership and professional development. This year’s conference was aptly named, Building Great Instructors. So, what makes an instructor great? The International Olympic Committee summarized it well.

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