22|23 January Pro of the Month : Ryan Harris
Our Pro of the Month column celebrates the remarkable individuals within The Pro Collective. Enjoy inspirational stories shared by your fellow mountain professionals and see how Faction Skis allow them to thrive on the front lines. To be featured as a Pro of the Month, fill out the form linked here.
Our January Pro of the Month is Ryan Harris, a ski patroller based in Park City, Utah. Read on to find out about Ryan's life as a patroller and what makes him tick when he's not working.
WHICH RESORT DO YOU WORK AT?
Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB ON THE MOUNTAIN? AND WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ENTAIL?
I’m a ski patroller at Park City. I carry out rescues, do avalanche control, and prepare the mountain so it’s safe for the general public.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS PROFESSION?
I grew up skiing in Colorado, at a small resort called Echo Mountain, where there's just one chair lift and two runs. This was the playground of my youth. I was inspired by the passionate resort staff at Echo Mountain, and this made me want to be a patroller when I grew up.
I got my job at Park City after working for four years at several resorts and developing my mountain skills in my free time. I also took an outdoor emergency care certification, which is a requirement for becoming a ski patroller.
WHAT ARE THE ASPECTS OF YOUR JOB THAT MAKE YOU FEEL PROUD TO WORK IN THIS ROLE, AND IN THIS INDUSTRY?
I love the constant learning and progression I experience through my work as a patroller. From managing complex rescues to securing avalanche terrain, there’s always something new to learn.
I also love being able to help people when they are in a tough situation.
DO YOU HAVE ONE OR TWO SHORT STORIES TO DEMONSTRATE HAPPY OR NOTEWORTHY MOMENTS ON THE JOB?
One experience stands out. A young girl had crashed and was in a lot of pain. As I was treating her, she noticed my pink Faction skis, and after a brief exchange with me, guessed that my favorite color is pink. As I got her in the sled, I gave her my pink sunglasses, and we had a big laugh about it. These small things make those scary experiences better. I find this very rewarding.
WHAT SKIS DO YOU USE?
I use two different skis. My daily driver is the Faction Dictator 2.0X, in hot pink, of course. I use the Prodigy 4s when I go out for avalanche mitigation - they are awesome in deep snow!
WHAT KIND OF SKIING DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME AND WHY?
I ski a lot in the backcountry. In deep winter, when the avalanche danger is high, I like skiing mellow powder in the trees. In springtime, I hunt out steep couloirs.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR WORK DURING THE OFF-SEASON?
I work as a climbing guide in the summer. This is an amazing way to experience the mountains, and it keeps my average adrenaline levels high throughout the year!
Have your own story to share with The Pro Collective? Apply to be featured as our next Pro of the Month!