Certified Program Update, Genesee Valley Region, May 2019
It snowed both Saturday and Sunday here in Alfred (April 27th) but not enough to do any sliding. Just enough to remind me that I miss our snow. But Spring is a good thing – if it ever would show up!
The Certified Program held its annual meeting and exams this year at Jay Peak in northern Vermont in late March. It is a long drive, but it turned out to be one the best exam trips I have ever taken. The snow was amazing and just kept coming and coming. What a great mountain. If you haven’t been there it is worth the trip. It is hard to believe that mountain is in the east! Excellent accommodations slope side and I think there were more Canadians skiing than Americans! I was able to sneak away from my examiner assignments on Friday afternoon for a few hours of sightseeing and skiing. I hooked up with local patroller for what I thought was a few runs and wow- off we went into the tree’s, then moguls with trees, then more trees. We never did ski any real trails. And it was snowing the entire time. I am now officially a lover of tree skiing and fat skis. As long as there is lots of powder. It would really have been fun to bring a sled down one of those tree runs but a tailroper just would not have worked out. No room! One of the benefits of the program is that you get to work with fellow members from other areas and see what challenges they must deal with. Every mountain has its own protocols. The poor Hill Captain on Saturday had to deal with the snow storm and high winds and the decision to shut down some of the lifts. Not an easy call.
All our Region’s Certified members attended the meeting this year. That includes Jim Nickerson, Jeff Baker, Tom Wallin and myself. We examined in many disciplines over the 3 day exam. Tom Wallin Leads the Chair Evac program and Jeff Baker leads the OEC program with me as his First Assistant and Tom handling all the moulage. We had a large group of candidates from all around the east this year. I estimate the OEC exam included 100 members and guests acting as examiners, IP’s, staff, candidates. It was snowing and blowing the entire time and everyone was soaked but having fun and not a complaint was heard. The problems were complex but fair and actually realistic. All are basically mini-MCI’s with Leadership being critical to success. The pass rate was terrific as the candidates were well prepared and the exam was fairly run. I am already looking forward to next year which will be held at Sugar Loaf Maine, another long drive! Maybe they will have tree skiing too!
The Annual meeting was fun and 2 new Certified Members were welcomed into the program, both from WNY Region. Also recognized was Jim Nickerson for 50 years of NSP service (Tom led this award) and Jim, Jeff, Tom and I were each awarded a Yellow Merit Star for many years of service to the Certified program and supporting the exams. Jon Wilson, our new Certified Chair did and excellent job managing the meeting a continues to work to make the program accessible to everyone!
Advanced Patroller School and Certified Boot camp sign-ups will open soon. A new web site manages the registrations. Or you can call any of the Region Certs for more info.
Have a terrific summer everyone. As always please feel free to contact me or any of the Region Certified Patrollers for help if you are interested in starting the program. It’s all about challenging yourself, improving your current skills, learning new skills and working to be the best patroller you can be.
Take care- Joe Menichino, Genesee Valley Region Certified Advisor, 585-307-4125