Skills for Mountain & Ski Resort Staff
The 2012 Article “Frost Bit: The Risks of Running a Ski Resort” beautifully captures the trials and tribulations faced by ski resorts and winter recreation industries. From keeping skiers and snowboarders safe to running a profitable business model, resort managers must be aware and manage a multitude of risks. One of the fascinating differences ski resorts face compared to other areas of the outdoor industry is the ability to directly communicate and interface with guests.
In Frost Bit, several points are made as to how managing risk in the skiing environment is more challenging than in the climbing world due to factors like proximity to the athletes and the risk of complacency in an alpine environment on a blue-bird powder day.
Even before the snow flies, ski resorts around the world gear up for the winter season by making improvements to their premises, investing in infrastructure, recruiting staff and ensuring a strong mountain safety presence. For all of the precautions and careful planning, the outdoor world continues to be unpredictable and tragedies do occur.
Mountain hosts, ski patrollers, and resort staff face the challenging role of working where they play. Whether on duty as a designated first responder or enjoying some turns on their breaks, ski resort personnel can and are exposed to emergency situations and critical situations without warning. Avalanche fatalities continue to impact resort personnel. Tree-well deaths continue to make headlines, and the constant exposure to trauma in the role of a ski patroller or mountain medic begins to take its toll.
Across the United States, many ski resorts are seeking ways to mitigate the stress of critical incidents on their volunteers and employees. Programs are being developed to promote mountain ambassadors, peer support teams, mountain chaplains, and crisis response programs. At Anchorpoint Response, we applaud these innovative steps to confront a growing epidemic of post-incident stress and are eager to help. Through consultations to discuss the needs of your area and what options are available, Anchorpoint Response offers a starting point for mountain and ski resorts in the early stages of managing critical incidents in their area. Our expert facilitators are prepared to travel to you, whatever the season, to deliver evidence-based practices to help your team improve in caring for guests and colleagues in worst-case events.
At Anchorpoint Response, we believe that physiological and emotional first aid should be as universal in your resort as wilderness first aid and first responder training. All personnel who work and play in potentially hazardous environments can benefit from an awareness level training on how to recognize and respond to a critical incident and a person in crisis. Additional training for staff in how to respond to individuals in crisis or assess and plan for group crisis interventions following a critical incident or disaster event provides a valuable resource in promoting wellness, resilience, and healing.
For our mountain and ski industry partners, we recommend reviewing the various crisis intervention solutions we provide. As with all of our products, Anchorpoint Response’s primary focus is on meeting your needs on your time. Please contact us with questions or to request a consultation on how we can bring a system of support to your area.