Tahoe XC’s Trail Ambassadors and Ski Patrol

Tahoe XC’s Trail Ambassadors and Ski Patrollers are a small group of individuals with a simple goal: Improving the ski experience for those heading out onto the Tahoe XC trail system. Here are the stories of a ski patroller and a ski ambassador.

Shannon Grover grew up in Wisconsin, cross-country skiing in high school and college, but then went on to live in warmer places without access to snow for ten years. Missing XC skiing she came to Lake Tahoe three years ago and was hired on as a ski patroller at Tahoe XC this year. “Everyone is really nice and friendly, it is pleasant to stop and chat with them and getting to know all the people who cross-country ski,” says Grover. “It reminds me of the cross-country centers in Wisconsin-very community oriented.”

Grover’s job as a Tahoe XC ski patroller includes checking for ski passes, as well as minor trail maintenance. She is a wilderness first responder, so she can also help out with medical first aid if needed. Often her primary role though is as an information source for folks new to the trail system, passing on tips about what trails might best suit their needs. Shannon is a strong skier so you may run into her just about anywhere on the trail system.

Ski Area Valid Trail Pass Required Signage

Becky Ward is a volunteer trail ambassador that most often can be found right at the trailhead. In addition to checking tickets, she often helps beginners figure out how to get their skis and poles on, provides visitors with details on the trail system and gives quick lessons on the basics of cross-country skiing. Becky has also been known to hold people’s dogs so they can put on their skis without interruption.

“People seem to enjoy the ambassadors. They feel they are being helped. We give them whatever they need to better enjoy the experience,” said Ward. Ward retired in 2019 after 24 years with the USPS, and soon after began skiing at Tahoe XC almost every day. Karen Honeywell, Lodge Operations Manager, told her that if she was going to be at the ski area every day, why not volunteer as one of the ambassadors? Becky decided that was a good idea and she came on board.

Both Grover and Ward said that their interactions with skiers have been very positive. “They have thanked me for stopping them and asking for their pass,” said Grover. Ward adds that she has been told by skiers that “we are protecting their investment” by checking for passes. Next time you hit the trails at Tahoe XC, give a warm welcome to Shannon and Becky or to any of the other ambassadors you see out on the trail. Oh, and to make their job easier, have your pass visible.