Eastern Sierra Region Women's Program
Eastern Sierra Women's Program Advisor
What an outstanding ski season this year! March 6, 2016 marked the 19th annual Heavenly Women’s ski and toboggan clinic. Dear Mother Nature kept us guessing with regard to the weather conditions right up to the day of the clinic. As you know from past years, it takes quite a storm to silence this group of vibrant, ski patrol ladies!
Weather cooperating, we began our morning warming up with some basic sled handling drills followed by several sled runs down one of our black diamond runs. The newly fallen snow allowed us to sharpen our techniques in the handles, tail rope, and learning to laugh at oneself as the passenger being the mummy buried with snow by the time we reached the bottom! In the afternoon session we divided into two groups with the ski instructors. The skiing conditions could not have been more perfect.
As you will notice from the smiles in the photos, we all had a fantastic time, made new friends, were challenged, and most certainly learned techniques and skills to put in our tool box. Next year will be the 20th year for the Heavenly Women’s clinic and we are beginning the planning process NOW! Make sure to mark your calendar for the last Sunday in February of 2017 and join us for the celebration!
Welcome to the first ever Eastern Sierra Region Women's Program page! I hope that this will be a great source of information for the outstanding women in our region and only the first of many updates, so please, keep on checking back.
I'd like to introduce myself and list some of my goals for this year and beyond. I have been a patroller at Heavenly Resort since about 1998. I decided to become a patroller when living in the Central Valley and patrolling at a small resort which was called Sierra Summit, but now called China Peak. Their mountain had some wonderful very supportive patrollers that taught me a great deal; however, my heart was truly stolen when I attended one of the Women’s toboggan clinics at Heavenly.
As I took the plunge to go to this BIG resort by myself to the clinic it was scary not knowing anyone and being very new to patrolling. The camaraderie of the women at the clinic made me feel welcome and comfortable. I was so amazed at the techniques that I had learned with regard to toboggan handling, and did I mention the fantastic ski lesson after? It is this reason that I have now been a patroller at Heavenly for going on 17 years.
I am now a CPR instructor and a transportation instructor (toboggan) for Heavenly. I have learned a great deal from my mentor and friend Trudy Nye about Women’s toboggan handling over the years. We have taught clinics in many different locations around the Tahoe basin and even at Mt. Hood in Oregon!
I hope to use the knowledge that I have gained over the years to continue to encourage and inspire the women of the Eastern Sierra region to become active in the many programs that the NSP has to offer. Some of the goals that I have are to establish a few motivated main contacts at each of the resorts for an open line of communication with region. By doing this I will be able to understand what your resort is interested in doing. An example would be if you would like to learn more about a particular topic, host a mountaineering clinic, have a women’s tele-mark clinic (something we have done) or you name it! We are focused on you!
Please feel free to contact me any time via email Tammie Hoedeman. I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and concerns about how we can build our region of truly strong NSP women!
Below are summaries and photos from past events.
2015 Heavenly Women’s Clinic
2014 Heavenly Women’s Clinic
The Feb. 22, 17th Annual Heavenly women’s clinic went well considering minimal snow levels. We also had a guest visitor: Tom Sherry from Northstar who is also an NSP board member. He brought his NSP Subaru and we took a group picture in front of it. He also wanted to observe the first part of the clinic and rode in the sled for one run. Btw, my general rule for men attending is: get in, sit down, hold on and shut up. Tom did a great job following those rules!
The only sled run available that didn’t have obstacles was a short advanced run with bumps, so I emphasized that each person choose what was comfortable for them regarding where they wanted to do handles and/or tail. It was a beautiful day, and 23 of us headed out, including 4 TI’s. We did 4 runs on Waterfall, lap loading sleds each time. We had a very quick lunch at the top of the tram, outside on the deck with beautiful views of the lake.
At 1:00 we met Heidi and a second ski instructor, Jaqueline. We split into 2 groups, one staying mostly on established runs, the other heading to Killebrew Canyon. Unfortunately snow conditions were terrible so we ended up practicing our steep crud skiing. The ski trail out of Killebrew back to Mott Canyon chair (it’s a part of the Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail) was dirt for a part of it and one of the pictures shows how we had to handle that problem. It was an adventure! We re-connected with the other group at the end of the day. 4 of us decided to ski the last run down East Bowl with Heidi. It was great practice on hard pack/ice for sure!
Afterwards, we went to a café for refreshments and snacks while Heidi showed us video of our skiing. We sure looked different that we felt on those runs! Video is a great additional teaching tool and should be a part of every TES or SES if possible.
Everyone had a great day, and we even discussed adding a second day (not possible with Heavenly unfortunately) or adjusting how much time we spent on sleds versus skiing.
“Just wanted to say THANK YOU for organizing and running the Women's Sled Clinic at Heavenly! It surpassed my expectations and I look forward to the years ahead participation!”
“It is so great to ski and be supported by women.”
“I cannot thank you enough for an amazing day! It was a great group of women and phenomenal training. I cannot give you any areas to improve because it was that good. I guess after 17 years you have mastered the process. It is so great to work with women IT's. The guys just muscle and I don't have the size or strength. I feel I am now on a more level playing field.”
We had a great day! Also, I gave Tom Sherry some “homework”: to write up an article of his experience that day and post it on our region, division and the national websites. Whoo hoo!
2013 Heavenly Women’s Clinic
On Feb. 23, 20 female patrollers from all over the Tahoe Basin and down to Dodge Ridge converged on Heavenly for the 16th annual event. Represented patrols were: Heavenly Area, Homewood, Diamond Peak, Dodge Ridge, Northstar, Sierra at Tahoe and Donner Ski Ranch. What a great group!
After completing the necessary forms, we headed up the mountain. We first did a warm up run and drill practice working on back side slip, rope a goat with ski poles, and working with communication with front and back. We then picked up 5 sleds and made a preliminary run on an intermediate to advanced tree run. Everyone did great! After that we headed to Waterfall, an advanced run and did 3 more runs. The bumps were big so we worked hard on technique. By the end of the morning, we did 4 sled runs, broke one sled (good job, Beth!) and used another for an accident.
After lunch, we met with two fantastic ski instructors, Heidi and Jackie. Both groups did a run in Mott Canyon (fun!) and went into Powder Bowl trees. Our last run was on The Face/Eastbowl practicing how to edge on hard pack. We were given techniques to work on and we also practiced our Super Woman attitude and body language. Go Girls!
By the end of the day, we were tired but happy! Everyone enjoyed their day of not only learning new techniques but also connecting with other female patrollers.
Each year, the Heavenly Women’s Clinic is on the last weekend of February. Check it out!
2012 Heavenly Women’s Clinic—our 15th!
A group of 11 women patrollers from Heavenly, Northstar and Homewood gathered at Heavenly for the 15th annual Women’s Clinic on Feb. 26. We had great weather though the snow conditions were minimal. From 8:30 until 11:30, we first did warm up exercises on Ridge run, then multiple toboggan passes on Ridge Bowl. Toboggan instructors Tammie Hoedeman, Leilani Connolly and Kim Ranalla helped guide everyone through the terrain. Conditions and the bumps were perfect and everyone worked on improving their techniques in both handles and tail rope. We broke for lunch from 11:30 to 12:30, eating at the Lakeview restaurant at the top of the tram. At 12:45 we met our “go to” instructor extraordinaire, Heidi Ettlinger, for ski lessons. She had us do some warm up technique drills and then we went over to the NV side to do multiple runs down Hotwheels Canyon off of Comet. The snow was protected in the trees and was perfect skiing conditions. Everyone had a great day connecting with each other, working and skiing together, and learning new tips. Contact Trudy at email@example.com for information on women’s clinics in our region and division.
2011 Heavenly women’s clinic was held Feb. 27 on a glorious blue bird day. We had 19 women from all over the Tahoe basin including 2 National Ski Patrol directors from Central Division, Linda Barthel, our NSP Women’s Program Director, and Sandi Hammonds, Central Div. women’s program director. We were excited to show them both our mountain and our highly successful women’s clinic now running for 14 years. The morning was spent running sleds on the old Waterfall chair line, Waterfall run and finally on the Face. We broke for lunch and had an informal discussion with Linda Barthel regarding women’s programs throughout NSP. At 1:00 we met our 2 ski instructors, split into 2 groups, and tore up the mountain including Mott Canyon working on our skiing techniques. It was a great day for the clinic and the group was fantastic! We look forward to next season’s clinic. Contact Trudy Nye at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
March 9 - 11, 2011 - Squaw Valley Spring Ski and Toboggan Seminar
For over 25 years this event has been enjoyed by patrollers from all over the Far West Division. It provides an opportunity to handle toboggans in variable terrain and try various techniques. Half day ski lessons taught by Squaw Valley's finest instructors will complement your sled running.
The seminar is limited to 24 attendees and sign-ups are on a first-come basis. The cost will be approximately $200 for the 3 days. This includes a buffet dinner on Thursday night.
This year we are trying to offer a Spouses clinic. Why should the patrollers get all the fun? This package includes 3 days of lift tickets and 3 half day lessons. A substantially reduced price of approximately $280 for non-Squaw spouses will keep everyone happy. Spouses is loosely defined, as being someone associated with a participating patroller.
For more information and to sign-up visit our website at:
For questions please email: email@example.com
Summary report and photos from 2010 - 13th Annual Heavenly Women’s Proficiency Clinic - 3/7/2010
What a Beautiful Day It Was!
By Trudy Nye, IOR
We had a small but mighty group of 10 ladies for this year’s toboggan and skiing clinic—6 from Heavenly, 1 from Soda Springs, 1 from Sierra and 2 from Squaw. For the first time in 3-4 years, we had clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. After a warm up run, we worked on intermediate to advanced runs, including a former chair line and Waterfall, a short but steep black diamond. Everyone was able to experience success and victory, all in an encouraging, supportive, friendly and fun environment. Thanks go out to Leilani Connolly-Anderson and Kim Ranella for their expert instruction and assistance! After wearing ourselves out with multiple sled runs, we broke for lunch at Lake View restaurant overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe. Then we met Bea Gorman, our wonderful ski instructor who worked with each one of us to improve our skiing techniques on both groomed, ungroomed and tree runs. We ended the day on South Bowl in the sun and trees. It was a great day and everyone enjoyed the instruction and camaraderie. If you are interested in joining us in 2011, contact Trudy on the Heavenly Area Patrol website. GO GIRLS!!!
Summary report and photos from the 12th Annual Heavenly Women’s Proficiency Clinic - 2009
Another Success Story!
By Trudy Nye, TI
13 women patrollers met at Heavenly’s California side in dreary, wet weather to participate in the 12th year of women’s proficiency clinics. Ski patrols participating included Heavenly, Squaw and Dodge Ridge. By the time we headed uphill on the tram, the rain subsided and we had no precipitation for our sled handling on Waterfall, an expert but short run with lots of moguls. Everyone did a wonderful job, had a great time, improved techniques and learned new skills. All groups made 4 or 5 passes and had lots of practice and hands-on time. After breaking for lunch, we met 2 of Heavenly’s top female ski instructors and had a 3-hour lesson in the double black diamond back bowls of Mott Canyon. We finished the day taking our final run on The Face, East Bowl, hitting the bumps.
Everyone agreed that it was a great day, fantastic snow conditions, a heck of a lot of fun, and wonderful “female bonding”!!!
Every year, the Heavenly Women’s Proficiency clinic is on the last Sunday of February. Check the Heavenly Area Ski Patrol website for additional information.