Keeping people safe and field in order

Remarkables ski patrol team leader Jonathan Gillan (37), originally from Australia. Photo by Ben...
Remarkables ski patrol team leader Jonathan Gillan (37), originally from Australia. Photo by Ben Kien.
In this week's Off Piste, Remarkables ski patrol team leader Jonathan Gillan tells us about the highs and lows of his job.

What's involved in your job?

I work in a department responsible for reducing hazards on the mountain.

After morning checks and avalanche control (if it snows), we do a training session and then respond to any medical situations that arise.

What skills or experience do you need?

First aid, avalanche mitigation, hazard identification and some form of obsessive compulsive disorder.

What were you doing before you joined NZSki?

Ski patrolling in Canada and the United States.

Highs of the job?

Working with a motivated team and seeing good outcomes from stressful situations.

Lows of the job?

Chipping the topsheet of my vintage Atomic powder plus skis.

Most memorable skifield moment?

Too numerous to mention.

Possibly creating a particularly large controlled avalanche by throwing explosives out of a helicopter.

Best part of living in Queenstown?

Chasing goats on the lakefront at Bobs Cove with my dog.

Worst part?

Dodging camper vans as they come around the corner on the wrong side of the road on my drive home to Bobs Cove.

Advice for people here for the season?

Stay! It's possibly better than your alternate reality.


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