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Injured skier to be fine

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By Carol A. Clark

It appears that the Los Alamos skier who was injured in a recent accident on the Lumber Yard Run at Pajarito Mountain Ski Hill is going to be fine.

“He (William Crooks) did sustain some significant injuries but our patrol talked to his wife and it looks like he is going to be fine,” said Pajarito Ski Hill General Manager Tom Long during an interview Friday afternoon. “We haven’t heard if he is out of the hospital yet.”

Crooks, 45, fell and hit his head at about 3 p.m. Feb. 27.

The Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol stabilized the man and contacted the Los Alamos Fire Department through the Los Alamos County Consolidated Dispatch Center.

LAFD Firefighter Cress Lee, Driver Engineer Mark Whitcomb and Driver Engineer Kelly Grace-Meyer responded to the scene, as did Los Alamos Police officers Doug Ehler and Monica Salazar.

A Care Flight helicopter from Santa Fe arrived on the ski hill and transported Crooks to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque.

“He is a season pass holder and was wearing a helmet at the time the accident occurred on the Lumber Yard Run,” Long said at the time.

Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol has been providing services to the Los Alamos Ski Club for more than 60 years and is the only completely volunteer patrol in the state.

It is affiliated to the National Ski Patrol, which sets the standards for emergency care and ski and toboggan training that are required of all Pajarito patrollers, according to the organization’s website.

With some 60 patrollers, the Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol is one of the ski area’s most valuable assets because without these individuals, it would be prohibitively expensive to hire professional ski patrollers necessary when operating the ski area.

Each patroller commits to some 15 days patrolling per year, plus training, but many put in more days.

The Patrol is always looking for advanced to expert alpine and telemark skiers and riders who want to be a part of an organization dedicated to helping fellow skiers and riders while enjoying a great sport.

The Patrol provides training in NSP Outdoor Emergency Care first aid and alpine toboggan training.

The patrol sponsors a Young Adult Patroller program for youth age 15-18. It also runs a Mountain Bike Patrol on summer bike lift days and for mountain bike races.

Pajarito Mountain has 40 trails on 300 skiable acres, 1,200 feet vertical, five chair lifts and one surface lift.

For information about the ski hill, access www.skipajarito.com. To learn about the ski patrol, access www.pajaritoskipatrol.org.