Greg Limeberry: Skiing for Your Life

imagesGreg Limeberry was was born and raised in Utica, New York.  Living in upstate New York is not always the most exciting experience, but Greg Limeberry made the most of it by throwing himself headlong into every winter sport that was available.  Upstate New York is known for its harsh, snowy winters, and many people in Utica and the surrounding area have no choice but to engage in winter activities.  Greg Limeberry played hockey on his middle school and high school team, loved to go on long snow-shoeing treks, cross country skied, and was an avid tobogganer.  However, above all, Greg Limeberry loved to ski.  His entire family skied, and ever since he hit the mountain for he first time, he was hooked on the sport.

Every winter, Greg Limeberry would ski at some of the local mountains, and his family went on a number of trips to mountains out in the northeast, such as Okemo and Killington, in Vermont.  At these bigger ski resorts, Greg Limeberry was able to hone his skills and become a stronger skier.  He mastered more difficult terrain and skied in some nasty conditions, such as icy slopes and nasty winter storms.  Each year, he spent all the time he could on the slopes during the winter season. While he loved skiing growing up, Greg Limeberry never thought more of it than the fact that it was a hobby of his. He studied hard in school, and after graduating high school he went on to go to a small college out in the West.  Attending college out west allowed him to be even closer to the skiing culture, with so many incredible ski resorts out there, such as Alta, Jackson Hole, Deer Valley, Park City, Steamboat, Vail, Aspen, and many many more.  He would take long weekend trips to ski at these well known resorts, and took jobs working at mountains when he could. In the summer, he would hike at these mountains and take trips whenever he could out west; camping and traveling and meeting fellow skiers.

Greg Limeberry

Back-Country Skiing out West

By the time he graduated from College, Greg Limeberry felt completely at home out West.  That being said, he still was not sure what career path he wanted to take.  As he had become close with a number of skiers and people who worked at ski resorts, he decided to take a full time job at one of the mountains in order to generate some income while he decided what he wanted to do next.  Over that next year, Greg Limeberry spent more of his time skiing than ever before.  He could ski any terrain and became accustomed to the typical ski conditions out in the west- much more powdery snow than the ice he was used to in the east.  It ultimately dawned on him that he could do this forever.  He decided to take the next step and work towards the position that would allow him to ski every single day: a ski patrolman.  He began rigorous physical training, as well as began taking the required courses and medical training necessary for becoming a patrolman. Upon completing his training, Greg Limeberry secured a job with Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He absolutely loves his job; it allows him to ski every single day, which is his passion, but he has also found that every day poses a new challenge and there is never a dull moment.  Blizzards, avalanches and injured skiers are just a few of the dangers and issues that ski patrolmen deal with within the realm of their expertise. Each morning, Greg Limeberry and the rest of his team are at the mountain long before the rest of the skiers arrive at the mountain. It is the job of the ski patrol forces to take the first run of the mountain every day in order to scour the slopes for anything that could be harmful to the skiers, such as rocks, fallen trees, icy areas, battered fences, slopes that are un-skiable, and anything else that may be a hazard to those on the mountain.

Greg Limeberry

Mountain view

But even prior to taking this early run down the slopes, Greg Limeberry and the ski patrolmen congregate in one of the lodges for a morning meeting, where they review updates or brush up on training, so that the patrollers are aware of the happenings on the mountain that day, and so that their technical skills stay sharp. When the paying skiers do finally get onto the slopes, Greg Limeberry and the rest of the ski patrolmen continue to do runs on the mountain throughout the day. While to many it may seem that these patrols are skiing at their leisure, it is not just for enjoyment- they keep a keen eye out for skiers that are in harms way or have been injured, and they select the runs they take  based on which trails are most dangerous, are most frequented by skiers- even closed runs- you never know what skier decided to ignore the big yellow warning signs.  Greg Limeberry and the patrollers are constantly paying close attention to their radios, on which they receive calls for assistance.  If an emergency occurs, a call goes out to all patrollers, and those that are closest respond to the call and rescue the injured/lost skier, or address whatever issue it may be. Greg Limeberry is trained in first aid, as are all ski patrolmen, so upon arriving to the scene of an accident, they go through routine procedure to determine the injury, then stabilize the injured individual and take them down mountain quickly and carefully on an emergency toboggan sled.

Greg Limeberry spends his days skiing, teaching lessons, rescuing skiers, dealing with issues on mountain runs, all while constantly skiing.  He finishes each day of work with a sweep of the mountain in order to make sure there are no skiers left behind, so they can officially close the mountain until the next day. Greg Limeberry loves his work, and despite it being a difficult job, he wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Skiing is his passion and this is a job that lets him live his passion.  Being able to help people is a great part of the deal as well.

When Greg Limeberry isn’t skiing, he hardly takes a break.  In the summer seasons, Greg Limeberry is planning travels and adventures across the United States- especially those that involve outdoors, camping, being active and exploring the unknown.  He has camped for weeks at a time at Glacier National Park, exploring the trails, camping, and seeing some incredible wildlife. He has climbed Mt. McKinley in Alaska, and has been heli-skiing in Montana.  Greg Limeberry is an adventure enthusiast, and every trip he takes is focused around adventure.  Hopefully this year he will make it out of the country for the first time- one thing he has never done before!