Nicholas Lerner is known locally as the “Tech-Savvy REALTOR®,” but at Snow Creek Ski Resort outside of Weston, Missouri, he’s one of the experts trained to assist in a ski emergency. The Snow Creek Ski Patrol is a volunteer organization that ensures the ski hill is safe and ready for weekend crowds. In the event of a ski injury, it’s their job to get the skier down the mountain and to medical care as quickly and safely as possible. There is one thing needed to volunteer for a job with such heavy responsibility, and that’s passion. Lerner has no shortage of it.
“I’ve been skiing since I was a little boy, and it’s just part of who I am,” he says. “The smell of the forest in winter, the quiet sounds of nature padded by snow, and the unbelievable views you get from the top of a mountain peak are easy areas to point to. But for me, the rush of flying down a hill is exhilarating.”
With each recreational voyage, Lerner celebrates the thrill of skiing with the same enthusiasm he had as a young boy. He describes the unmatched feeling of executing a ski turn correctly: “The skier puts their ski on the metal edge and the entire ski will follow through the same path cutting through the snow in one beautiful motion. When you manage to hit the apex of a turn at the same time as rolling over the top of an undulation, the feeling of weightlessness makes you feel like you’re flying.”
Lerner became involved in the Snow Creek Ski Patrol, part of the National Ski Patrol, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, during the 2015 ski season while visiting the hill with his family. He was intrigued upon seeing a recruitment poster and quickly went to work completing certifications, including hill training and the Outdoor Emergency Care class centered on first aid. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors overseeing financials as the Treasurer.
“When I’m on duty, I have an Alpine Patroller designation, meaning that I am qualified to operate a toboggan, the device we use to get injured skiers down the hill to safety,” Lerner explains. “Each shift is started by checking our equipment and making sure the hill is safe. After that, I get to ski around and help people out. It’s the best job ever!”
When the day is over, patrollers assist the ski lift operators safely down the hill and do a sweep to make sure there are no stragglers. Lerner’s volunteerism is a way to give back to the sport he loves.
He paints a picture of a perfect day in winter rapture: “The pinnacle of skiing, for me, is the rare blue bird powder day. That’s when a winter storm blows through at night dumping fresh, fluffy snow and the next day is a sunny and calm winter wonderland to play in. The sense of buoyancy created by the powder snow makes it feel like you’re skiing on clouds.”
To fund the volunteer operation and ensure that patrollers remain informed on the latest safety protocols, the organization holds an annual raffle that finances equipment and textbooks. It also sends patrollers to Ski Enhancement Seminars taught by expert instructors.
For just $5 per ticket, raffle participants are entered to win prizes, including five $100 Visa cash cards, one of which is provided by McGrew Real Estate, a two-night stay at the Quality Inn in Platte City, restaurant gift cards, and gift packages from ski shops, bike shops, and a golf course.
You can purchase a raffle ticket from any of the Snow Creek Ski Patrollers, including Lerner. Call him at 785-766-5613 or email Nicholas@AskMcGrew.com to purchase a ticket. You can do so virtually or in-person, and cash, check, credit card, or Venmo payments are accepted. Your phone number will be printed on the ticket and you will be called on the afternoon of February 15, 2021 if you win.