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Lee Canyon Ski Patrol Prepares For Another Season On The Slopes


Desert Companion

Skiiers at Lee Canyon in 2015.

When most people think of a winter sports paradise, Las Vegas is probably not at the top of the list.

But, Lee Canyon gets about 17 feet of snow a year, making it a place for skiers, snowboarders and other aficionados of the white stuff.

Helping keep that area safe is a group of volunteers – the Lee Canyon Ski Patrol.

But, the group is worried about this upcoming season because many of its members are getting older and they're not getting the volunteers they need to patrol the area.

"In a city where we have so many EMTs and paramedics & kids coming through specific schooling just to become part of the emergency medical services, I'm sure a lot of them are outdoor enthusiasts that might make an easy transition into this," Andria Garbiso said.

Garbiso told State of Nevada she wants people to know the patrol is up there and looking out for people, whether they're skiing in or out of bounds.

"It really takes passion and drive for the outdoor sports industry," Garbiso said.

The patrol helps people who get hurt on the slopes, sections off the terrain park from the other runs, makes sure all signs are visible & closes areas under avalanche warning.

Garbiso said the volunteers go through specific outdoor emergency training, and the National Ski Patrol offers continuing education on all kinds of topics.  

Support comes from

While the demand for patrol members grows, but their numbers shrink, Garbiso doesn't believe it is time to transition the volunteer force into paid positions.

"The resort does give us benefits, but it also gives people the flexibility to be a part of something on their own time -- that they can give and still have their regular 9 to 5 or enjoy their retirement," she said. "It doesn't have to be a full-time commitment for them. they get a little bit of both worlds."


Andria Garbiso, patrol representative, Lee Canyon Ski Patrol