Steamboat ski patrol wins overall title


— The Steamboat Springs Ski Patrol reclaimed the title as best patrol in Colorado during the 32nd annual Colorado All-State Ski Patrol Convention held April 1 and 2 at the Steamboat Ski Area.

It marked the third time in four years the Steamboat patrollers have won the overall title. They took top honors in 2000 and 2001, as well.

"To win this award takes plenty of teamwork, training and support from everyone and this honor is a reflection on the entire patrol team," said John Kohnke, patrol director at the ski area.

More than 450 patrollers attended the conference this year but only a few patrols compete seriously for the champion's cup annually, Steamboat patroller John "Pink" Floyd said.

Floyd has been working at the ski area for 16 years. He has been racing in the ski patrol convention races for the same length of time.

"Basically there are a handful that are pretty into it and train," Floyd said. "The people that aren't into competing play it off. The vast majority could care less about the trophy."

Steamboat racked up 280 points overall. Winter Park was a distant second with 155 points.

The Steamboat men's and women's giant slalom teams took first and second in the April 2 races down Sitz/See Me. Steamboat's patrollers also won the derby.

The Vail men and the Winter Park women took first in the 3-person Toboggan Races, while Winter Park won the Bomb/Boo Toss.

Vail also won the Beacon Search.

"The conditions were great for the GS course," Steamboat patroller Charlie Reynolds said. "They salted the course so it held up for two runs. Basically they set a real deal GS course. It was fun to be able to ski it in Steamboat. Our team did really well."

Other mountains represented at the convention included Beaver Creek, Keystone, Aspen, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Durango, Eldora and Telluride.

The Colorado All-State Ski Patrol Convention is a two-day conference that involves professional development, on-mountain competitions and social events. The site changes every year, but the anticipation for the end-of-season event rarely does.

"It's friendly. It's respectful. The camaraderie is great," Reynolds said.

During peak season as many as 42 patrollers are employed full time by the ski area.


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