ski ambassador

Teton Backcountry ski ambassador

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The Teton Backcountry Alliance organization is looking for new recruits in its Backcountry Ambassador Program this winter.

Last winter seven skilled volunteers worked closely with the Bridger-Teton National Forest to promote safety, a sense of community and sustainable access for visitors in the wintertime. The backcountry skiing ambassadors wear a bright orange jacket with an embroidered logo reading “Teton Pass Ambassador.”

“(They are) people who can basically be there for folks. We have a lot of out-of-towners. If you’ve gone over Teton Pass recently, you’ll see there’s a lot of licenses that are not nearby folks,” said Teton Backcountry Alliance director Gary Kofinas, last winter announcing the program.

The ambassador program “complements the ongoing and outstanding work of our Teton Pass Ambassador, Jay Pistono,” the Teton Backcountry Alliance said in a recent news release. During the past several winters, Pistono was hired by the Forest Service to help orient winter visitors, particularly to the Teton Pass area, and make sure people know what they’re getting themselves into and answer questions. To help his efforts, more volunteer ambassadors will join him.

Kofinas said they can also help a little with the perennial issue of parking.

"They are not parking attendants but they are helpful with that whole line up of cars on top of people waiting. It can be a little disorganized,” he said.

Ambassador applicants should be knowledgeable in Teton backcountry winter travel, have excellent communication skills, have a desire to inform the public about responsible winter recreation, have their own backcountry equipment, and be avalanche trained at a minimum of Level 1 or the equivalent, the alliance said.

New ambassadors will attend short training sessions in December and rotate shifts one or more days per week from Thanksgiving into April.

“(They should) be willing to meet with the team of ambassadors periodically through the winter to share experiences and receive updates,” the alliance said.

For information on the program and the Teton Backcountry Alliance, go to tetonbackcountryalliance.org.

Deadline for applying for the positions is Nov. 20.