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National Ski Patrol - Western Appalachian Region News


14 Patrollers Compelete Instructor Development Course

The 2014 Instructor Development class was held at Boyce Park this year. 14 patrollers from 5 ski areas including Hidden Valley, Seven Springs, Blue Knob, Laurel Summit and Laurel Highlands Nordic patrols participated. As part of the class, each patroller had to teach a 10 minute lesson. This photo shows the successful results of a lesson in how to make a scare crow. If you'd like information on how to take the course, contact Pat Boccardi at patboc@juno.com.



Patrol Assists at Laurel Hill Adventure Race

Diane Murray, Patrol Director of Laurel Highlands Nordic Patrol coodinated efforts with Kooser State Park to have the ski patrol provide first aid services for the 2014 Adventure Race. 14 patrollers from 4 patrols including Laurel Highlands Nordic, Laurel Summit Nordic, Blue Knob and Hidden Valley assisted at the race. The State Park Service appreciated the patrols' efforts and hopes they'll assist again next year. If you'd like to participate, contact Diane Murray at d.murray713@yahoo.com.


On the Trail Nordic Refresher - Open to all

Once again the region's Nordic patrols with host a combined Nordic On-The-Trail refresher. This year it will be held at Kooser State Park on Saturday Oct 4th. All patrollers, not just Nordic patrollers, are invited to participate. If you are interested, or want more information, contact region Nordic Advisor Jerry Timcik at timcik@yahoo.com.


Seven Springs Ski Patrol Honors Three 50-Year Patrollers


Three patrollers were recognized for 50 years of service to the Seven Springs ski patrol and the National Ski Patrol at an awards banquet in April. All started their patrol careers together in 1964, but their backgrounds are quite diverse.


Jack Kowalski (left), born in 1937, is a retired postal carrier. Mild mannered, Jack became a senior early on, then trained many patrollers at his home patrol and the region over the years. He is a former region S&T and Senior adviser, and is still an OEC instructor.  Jack received National Appointment # 5509, a Blue Merit Star in 1995, and the Patroller Cross in 2007. 


Bob "Whitey" Weitzel (center), the young one of the group at 76, is outgoing and garrulous, never afraid to speak his mind. Now retired after years as a Nabisco Cookie sales representative, he serves as both a paid and volunteer patroller, and daylight supervisor. He  received a Purple Merit Star in 2004, and the Patroller Achievement Award this year.  


Jerry Leff (right), born in 1937, helped build his father's business, Leff Electronics, started out of the back of the family station wagon, into a successful enterprise. Now retired, Jerry was a former senior supervisor for his patrol. He also served in the military in the mid-60's.


We honor and thank these three men who have 150 years of patrol experience between them. They have given the better part of the lives to public service and the NSP.


Region Young Adult patroller was stabbing victim


As many of you have heard, Region Patroller, Jared Boger, a Young Adult Patroller from Seven Springs ski patrol, was one of 21 students wounded in a knife attack at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville PA on April 9th. Boger, 17, was among the most seriously wounded with a knife to the chest and through the liver just millimeters from his heart. In critical condition, he under went four surgeries in five days to repair the damage. I am pleased to say Jared is now home from the hospital, but he has a long road to recovery ahead of him. A fund has been set up to assist Jared and his family with the high cost of his care and recovery. If you would like to contribute, you can send your tax deductible contribution to:

Bill Cline

Division Legal Adviser

PO Box 7
Somerset, PA 15501

Please make checks payable to the "Western Appalachian Region - Jared Boger Fund." Jared and his family could use your support.

Region Patrollers to Assist at Pittsburgh Marathon 2014

Once again, the patrollers of the Western Appalachian Region assisted at the Pittsburgh Marathon as Rapid Response Team members. Last year, after the bombing incident at the Boston Marathon, the region was asked to assist. Boyce Ski Patrol director Pat Boccardi volunteered to coordinate the region’s response team consisting of twenty local patrollers. This year, thirty patrollers from patrols all over the region participated, including Blue Knob, Boyce Park, Canaan, Hidden Valley, Seven Springs, and Wisp.


Race medical director Dr. Ron Roth reported that even with great weather, of the 30,000 Pittsburgh Marathon participants the medical teams still treated a total of 166 runners (89 at the finish line medical tent and 77 at the medical aid stations along the course).  


Roughly 40 percent of those injured were treated for musculoskeletal issues (such as cramps and strains) and 30 percent for fatigue after marathon, half-marathon and relay races that were competed under the green flag, representing good weather conditions.


Dr. Roth said that the Rapid Response Teams, made up mostly of thirty volunteer ski patrollers from the region, “are the hardest working individuals on our medial team.”  Dee Stathis, Director of Marathon Operations, echoed that sentiment, saying, “You made a huge impact on how our participants are cared for at the finish line.”

Dr. Eli Friedman, who supervised the Rapid Response Teams, thanked the team for their efforts and sacrifices, saying, “Though the weather was great, I would argue that it was your quick triage and identification of potentially ill runners that kept people out of the medical tent and with their families and friends. You all did a fantastic job. We look forward to seeing you in 2015!”



Region's Young Adult Patrollers Shine at Division YAP Event

Our region Young Adult Patrollers (YAPs) did the region proud at the Eastern Division YAP Seminar at Sugarloaf, Maine. They took home 6 of a possibly 11 awards this weekend including:


1st place Skiing - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob
2nd place OEC - Thomas Eshelman - Hidden Valley
3rd place Toboggan - Jared Boger - Seven Springs
2nd place Over All - Thomas Eshelman - Hidden Valley
1st place Over All - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob
Hans Hyson Award - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob


Congratulations to all 10 YAPs from our region that participated in the event, and to the 11 adults that chaperoned and drove the kids the 12 hours to Maine for the event, and especially to the region YAP advisor Liz Hermann who organized our region's participation in the event.  Please let all of patrollers know what great kids we have in this region, and congratulate the kids when you see them.


Two Newest Certified Patrollers - Bart Gabler & Mike Wess

The region is pleased to announce and recognize Bart Gabler of Hidden Valley (Certified #786) and Mike Wess of Blue Knob (Certified #787) as the National Ski Patrol's newest Certified members! The Eastern Division Certified exam was held at Whiteface Mt. Lake Placid NY in March.  Bart and Mike were the only two candidates to successfully complete all the components of the exam and earn the number and shield of a Certified patroller. As you may know, less than 1% of all NSP members are able to achieve this elite level.  With the addition of these two, the Western Appalachian Region has produced a total of 13 members in the past 40 years to reach this level.  This is a testament to the quality of teaching and dedication found in our region. Bart and Mike, on behalf of the S&T staff, "Congratulations."


2014 Region Patroller School & Women's Seminar a Success

The Western Appalachian Region 2014 Patroller School and Women's Seminar was a hugh success. Nearly 40 patrollers attended the two day event that offered top level training from division and region staff and PSIA level 3 instructors  Designed for all alpine patrollers - Candidate, Basic, Senior or working toward Senior or T/E - patrollers were able to to refine their skills in Skiing, Patroller Skills and Toboggan Handling. Women in the Women's Seminar were taught by top women in the division training staff the easy way to handle a toboggan.

The region thanks the visiting division staff from the Eastern PA and Western NY regions, as well as the Seven Springs PSIA Instructors, the Region TE's, Eric Speedy for coordinating the weekend, and Seven Springs Patrol Director Dick Barron for hosting the event.  

YAP's start on-line fund rasing drive

The Young Adult Patrollers (YAP's) of the Western Appalachian Region are starting an on-line fundraising drive to raise money to go to the Eastern Division Young Adult Patroller Seminar at Sugarloaf in Maine in March of 2014. If you'd like to help, or to learn more, please click on http://www.gofundme.com/434skk. You can read more about all they did last season by clicking on Programs, then on the YAP page. Please support our Region's YAP's. They are the future of the National Ski Patrol.

Blue Knob YAP Caleb Parnell saves life

Caleb Parnell, a 17 year old Young Adult Patroller from Blue Knob Ski Patrol saved the life of a man who collapsed Sunday afternoon May 5th on the Hollidaysburg Area High School track where he and a friend were practicing football footwork drills. Both Golden Tigers football players, Caleb Parnell and Daniel Baker rushed over to Jerry Jackson, 68, who Parnell saw had fallen to the ground. An onlooker immediately called 911, but for the next 10 minutes, Jackson's heartbeat was in Baker's hands and his breath in Parnell's lungs. See the complete story in the Altoona Mirror, by clicking here.

Region hosts NordicFest 

Eastern Division 2013 NordicFest was hosted in Western Appalachian Region by Laurel Highlands Nordic Ski Patrol on March 1st , 2nd & 3rd, 2013. There were 26 patrollers from as far as upstate New York to West Virginia and as far east as New Jersey. Low angle rescue was taught by John Boburchuk from Wilderness Emergency Rescue Institute. They practiced on knot skills that will be incorporated later in to low angle rescue rigging exercise. Afternoon activities were a Ski Enhancement seminar by Nordic Advisor Jerry Timcik. Patrollers also had the chance to practice femur traction splint and emergency toboggan building on the ski trail. In the evening Laurel Hill State Park Manager Mike Mumau had a slide show presentation. The slide show consisted of Laurel Hill, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Highlands Trail and Kooser State Parks which makes up the Laurel Hill State Park Complex. Kooser and Laurel Ridge State Park promote groomed cross-country ski trails. While Laurel Hill State Park has many multi-use trails non-groomed. It was a very informative presentation.

NSP Celebrates 75th Anniversary in Denver

More than 350 patrollers attended the National Ski Patrol 75th Anniversary celebration in Denver February 1 - 3. Not only did patrollers from all over the United States and Alaska attend, but patrollers from around the world attended, including Canada, Germany, and a marine stationed in Amman Jordan came all the way home to celebrate the occasion. Representing the Western Appalachian Region were Region Director Marty Silverman, 2010 Region Patroller of the year Mike Calabreze from Blue Knob, and Andy Miller from Seven Springs.

Why Do We Ski at Tussey, There’s No Gondola?
By Jeff Banks

I read SKI Magazine and I don’t like it! Sure Lindsey Vonn is on the back cover and every other page has a phenomenal picture of incredible skiing in exotic locations but where is the article about our little mountain? I can dig it, who doesn’t love Ms. Vonn, the outrageous skiing off of the Big Sky tram and the ethereal views from the base of Chamonix. The problem is I don’t live in France and my mom doesn’t give me enough allowance anymore to save up for ski trips out west. So, since our mountain is apparently not SKI Magazine article worthy, why do we ski at Tussey Mountain? I ponder this question as I sit in the roost after running training sleds on icy Tuscarora (Jon Eckess made me do it) this past Tuesday evening. It is not just because Eric Vorwald looks fantastic in his custom Patagonia outfits or because we love skiing with Brian Younkin, who is the best skier in the south eastern portion of Centre County, well actually the best in just the north western section of the south eastern portion of Centre County. It is primarily because our patrol has interesting people who have developed camaraderie over the years and we like to have fun skiing regardless of the conditions. When I started the patrol I only knew a few patrol candidates from my cohort and I felt a little intimidated with my limited experience compared to the seasoned patrollers. Over the years though, I am sure that many of us have had a similar experience developing friendships and gradually feeling like a part of a Tussey mountain patrol family (or at least like a step family that we see on weekends). I think that we have a good mix of old school and new school and yes, even the snow boarders aren’t bad to have around as long as they stay on their side of the mountain. Even though we don’t get 500 inches of powder or have slope side condos and the terrain sometimes resembles a frozen glacier or an oatmeal mush bowl more than a ski area, we do have a nice little fun mountain that is close to home and more importantly a place where you can always find a friendly ski partner. It’s been a great season and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

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Fall Refresher Schedule:

Aug 17 - OEC Instructor Refresher - Seven Springs

Aug 23 - OEC Instructor Refresher - Baltimore/DC Area


Sept 13 - OEC Refresher - Seven Springs


Sept 20 - OEC Refresher - Canaan


Sept 21 - OEC Refresher - Blue Knob


Sept 28 - OEC Instructor Refresher - Ski Sawmill


Sept 28 - OEC Refresher - Boyce Park


Oct 4 - Nordic On-The-Trail - Kooser State Park


Oct 5 - OEC Refresher - Hidden Valley


Oct 19 - OEC Refresher - Ski Sawmill


Oct 19 - OEC Refresher - Wisp


2014 - 2015

Winter Training Schedule


Dec 20 - TE S&T Refresher - Seven Springs


Jan 24 - S&T Clinic - Canaan Valley


Jan 25 - S&T Clinic - Wisp


Jan 24 & 25 - Patroller School - Elk Mt., PA


Jan 31 & Feb 1 - Patroller School - Holiday Valley, NY


Feb 7 & 8 - Region YAP Seminar - Blue Knob


Mar 1 - Senior S&T Pretest - TBD


Mar 7 - Senior S&T Test - TBD


Mar 14 & 15 - Division YAP Seminar - Jiminy Peak, MA



National Ski Patrol

NSP - Eastern Division

Eastern PA Region

Region Nordic Patrols

Region Director

Marty Silverman