When Jerry Colburn is on rescue duty at Squaw Valley it is understandable if male skiers hope for accidents. Jerry is undoubtedly the prettiest ski patroller on either side of the Rockies, and in six years she has brought aid and comfort to more than 200 injured skiers. But Jerry is more than a pretty rescue worker on skis; she is the only woman member of the U.S. Forest Service's Snow Rangers—a small and sturdy group of experts trained in the art of avalanche control. Since the job requires strength, skill and endurance, the Forest Service was reluctant to accept a woman when Jerry first applied to the Snow Ranger school at Alta, Utah.
"They relented at last," says Jerry, "with the warning that I would be granted no special considerations (other than separate sleeping quarters) and that I must keep up with the men."
Jerry kept up all right and even stepped out ahead. In addition to her rescue work at Squaw, she now teaches avalanche control to others.