INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (Oct. 24, 2019) – Diamond Peak Ski Resort is thrilled to announce the hiring of Kari Brandt as the resort’s new Ski Patrol Director. Brandt comes to Diamond Peak from Southern California, where she served as the Risk Manager at SkyPark at Santa’s Village – an adventure theme park and mountain bike park in the Lake Arrowhead area – and as a patroller at Big Bear Mountain Resorts.
“We are really happy to be bringing Kari on as our new Patrol Director,” said Diamond Peak Mountain Operations Manager Jay Rydd. “Kari is well qualified on paper, but getting to know her during the interview process made it abundantly clear that she will be a great fit for our team and the resort.”
Raised in the small mountain town of Green Valley Lake, Calif. (population around 250) in the San Bernardino National Forest, Brandt learned to ski at age 2 at Ski Green Valley – a tiny resort with just one chairlift, one Poma lift and two rope tows – where her parents were the volunteer ski patrollers. At age 4, Kari got her own 101 Dalmatians fanny pack stocked with Band-Aids, and she would ski around the hill offering help to anyone who needed it.
After ski racing throughout primary school, Brandt attended California State University, San Bernardino on a cross-country running scholarship, eventually earning her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Kinesiology, followed by a teaching credential in math and PE, thinking she would be a high school math teacher and cross-country/track coach.
After being out of school for a year, and with no motivation to find a teaching job, Kari realized she needed to focus her energy toward different opportunities. That summer she moved to Yosemite National Park to be a lifeguard at Curry Village and fell in love with the place and community of people that surrounded her. The following winter she enrolled in a Wilderness First Responder class and realized a passion for emergency medicine she didn’t know was there. Two weeks after that class ended, she was attending an EMT program to become a ski patroller, and it was all downhill from there… pun intended.
Kari began working as a hiking and backpacking guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School in the summers and ski patrolling at Snow Valley in the winters. This is when she knew that she wanted to make a career in the ski industry.
Snow Valley promoted her to Patrol Director in her third season and she performed that role for three subsequent seasons, after which she took a job as the Risk Manager at SkyPark at Santa’s Village. Kari was with SkyPark for three years helping to develop the Emergency Medical Services and Risk Management programs for this new company.
During this time, Kari maintained her involvement with the ski patrol community by working at Big Bear Mountain Resorts during the winter seasons, becoming a fully certified patroller with the Association of Professional Patrollers (APP), serving as the Secretary for APP, and creating Women of Patrol – a platform for women ski patrollers to meet up, support each other, and participate in specialty clinics.
But something was missing and Kari missed being in the ski industry full time, which is what led her to apply for the Patrol Director position at Lake Tahoe’s Diamond Peak Ski Resort.
Kari is passionate about helping her staff grow as ski patrollers and inspiring women to realize it can be a viable career option. Through her involvement with the Association of Professional Patrollers and her organization Women of Patrol, she is able to facilitate this growth. Women of Patrol and APP offer 3+ women’s patrol clinics throughout the year with hopes to expand and bring them to other regions. These clinics are made possible with support and donations from companies like Coalition Snow, Backcountry Access, Mystery Ranch, Lily Trotters, Noso Patches, Pstyle, Skhoop, SheJumps, Too Pretty Brand and Skida.
As Diamond Peak’s new Patrol Director, Kari’s goals are to learn as much as possible and bring her knowledge and experience to the patrol of Diamond Peak and the community of Incline Village. She also has plans to expand Women of Patrol to be able to reach and inspire more women to be involved in the ski industry.
“I am most excited to be a part of the close-knit staff at Diamond Peak and being a part of the Tahoe community,” Brandt said. “And of course the skiing!”
When Kari is not working on the hill or on Women of Patrol projects, you can usually find her running, training for marathons, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, exploring the Sierra Nevada range with her 4-year old Australian Shepherd named Fred (who is currently training to be an avalanche rescue dog), cooking, crocheting or drinking good beer with good friends.
About Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Since 1966, Diamond Peak Ski Resort has been North Lake Tahoe’s hidden gem. Located in Incline Village, Nevada, the affordable, community-owned and family-friendly resort offers 655 acres and 1,840 vertical feet of skiing and snowboarding, with incredible views of Lake Tahoe, terrain for all levels, and some of the best tree skiing in the Tahoe Basin. For more information visit DiamondPeak.com or call (775) 832–1177.