The territory's ski patrol earned the respect of its peers last weekend, winning the Outstanding Zone Award at the annual conference for the Canadian Ski Patrol in Edmonton.
Founded in 1941, the Canadian Ski Patrol represents 4,500 members across Canada, providing advanced first aid and on-snow rescue services to more than 230 ski areas.
The award recognizes the Yukon Zone for its achievements providing safety, first aid and rescue services in the territory.
"This is quite an achievement,” local zone president Tim Sellars told the Star. "There are 59 zones across the country, many of them larger than the Yukon Zone.”
The award reflects the hard work and dedication that Yukon volunteers have committed to the patrol, he said.
This year, the zone was recognized for a variety of accomplishments at the conference, including:
• hosting the 2013 Mountain Division First Aid Competition (including the Nordic component);
• partnering with the Yukon Avalanche Association in contributing to avalanche awareness;
• piloting new safety programs at Mount Sima, including the PACE and Coolpass programs;
• providing first aid services at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games – including alpine, biathlon, cross-country, mushing and snowshoe events;
• provision of first aid services for a large number of non-skiing events, such as the Atlin Music Fest, Klondike Road Relay, Yukon River Trail Marathon, and others;
• a strong Nordic patrol, which includes events at Mount McIntyre, biathlon at Grey Mountain, loppets at Marsh Lake, Log Cabin, and other locations.
Alongside the outstanding zone award, Kristina Gardner and Richard Malvasio earned National Appreciation Awards for their fine work.
Gardner has served as Nordic patrol leader and contributed much to first-aid training, while Malvasio has provided on-hill training and patrolling for more than 30 years.
Anyone interested in joining the Yukon ski patrol next season can visit www.joinskipatrol.ca/.