Best of the Boat: Bridget Ross wins best ski instructor
Steamboat Springs — Care, teach, lead and help. Those are the guiding principles by which Bridget Ross leads her ski lessons, which cover much more than technical ski tips.
Ross has taught Alpine skiing at Steamboat Snowsports School for 14 seasons and has a great background and aptitude for the position. A physician’s assistant for two decades, she’s worked as a national park ranger and naturalist everywhere from Denali to Glacier and Everglades national parks; as a ski mountaineering instructor for the Colorado Outward Bound School; and even as a science teacher for California’s Yosemite Institute. All this gives her a great scope to draw upon when teaching skiing, allowing her to provide students with a complete lesson, from information about technical skiing to imparting wisdom on wildlife, geology, botany and even how the body works.
“I’m always looking for different ways to present the skills involved in skiing,” says Ross, who has completed countless certifications with the venerable instruction association Professional Ski Instructors of America.
One of Ross’ favorite moments is when a “never-ever” skier achieves his or her goal of coming to a proficient stop. “It’s a really cool feeling as an instructor,” she says, adding that the stop allows the progression of the skier’s abilities to begin. “Sometimes having a beginner make a simple wedge stop can be like a mini Outbound Course to that individual.”
Ross — who is married to local pediatrician Steve Ross and has raised two daughters, Kate, 20, and Shannon, 17 — truly values the relationships she shares with guests. She also appreciates the relationships she’s made with her fellow snowsport school employees. She says the whole school is full of sheer talent and that her colleagues are smart and fun to be around.
Her enthusiasm and knowledge are a great combination for her line of work. “I work hard to try to have my students enjoy the sport and fall in love with winter,” she says. “I sincerely feel everyone should have a week of winter in their life.”
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