Antelope Butte Ski Patrol Receives National Award
Written by Caleb Nelson on November 4, 2022
The Antelope Butte Ski Patrol (ABSP) is being honored with the “National Outstanding Small Patrol 2022” award. This prestigious award is presented by the National Ski Patrol (NSP) to one of the more than 600 affiliated patrols annually. A small patrol is defined as one with fewer than 40 members. ABSP was runner-up for the 2021 award.
Antelope Butte Ski Patrol was initially chosen as Outstanding Patrol for the Northern Division of the NSP. Winners from the eleven divisions were then evaluated for National recognition.
“I believed we were a strong candidate to win the Division award, but we were thrilled to learn we had won at the National level – what an honor!” According to Toni Ilgen, who received a Yellow Merit Star for outstanding service as Patrol Director of the award-winning ABSP, “There is no doubt the Antelope Butte Ski Patrol has done an exceptional job rebuilding a top-notch group of patrollers since Antelope Butte reopened in 2018. Not only do our patrollers complete the required outdoor emergency care, chair evacuation, CPR, and toboggan training annually, but we now have several who have gone above and beyond in their training.”
This includes three Senior Patrollers (an enhanced skills education program that prepares patrollers for leadership), three Outdoor Emergency Care instructors, three Outdoor Emergency Toboggan instructors, four Avalanche Level 1 certified patrollers, one EMT, and one Professional Ski Instructors of America Alpine Level 2 instructor.
Outstanding service provided by the ABSP has included recruiting and training from five patrollers in 2018 to the current 28 patrollers, coordinating extensively with the Snowsports School to deliver safety messaging for area school programs and assisting in the success of their alpine days on the mountain, installing an avalanche beacon park and offering instruction in avalanche safety, performing mock mass casualty incident training with county first responders, installing AEDs in buildings, and offering volunteer patrol service at local outdoor events such as the Antelope Butte Summer Festival, Dead Swede Bike Race, Snowmobile Hill Cross, Sheridan Ski Joring, and Big Horn Mountain run.
The creed of the National Ski Patrol, founded in 1938 by Minnie Dole who went on to form the 10th Mountain Division, is “Service and Safety”. Antelope Butte Ski Patrol was established 50 years ago in 1961 and continues to provide free transportation and basic first aid at the ski area. They also focus on injury prevention by doing everything from installing ropes, tower pads, and bamboo, and assisting snow riders on trails beyond their ability. ABSP remains a volunteer-driven group of outdoor enthusiasts who give generously of their time and talents. They wish to thank the skiing public for all their support and donations over the years.
Antelope Butte Ski Patrol is holding a celebratory event that recognizes patrollers at Luminous Brewery on November 11, 2022, 6-9pm.