Lost Trail Patrol

The Lost Trail Ski Patrol during its annual Outdoor Emergency Care re-certification.

Photo by LT Patroller Trevor Motley

Lost Trail Ski Patrol, an all-volunteer first responder organization to the skiing and riding public at Lost Trail ski area, will host its 34th Annual Steak Fry at Lost Trail Powder Mountain on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The barbecue dinners begin at 4:30 p.m. at the lodge.

Guests can bid on silent auction items, enjoy live music by Headin’ North, and experience the magical Torchlight Parade at 7 p.m. Stevensville resident Stephanie D. Mapelli, an alpine patroller and co-chair of the Lost Trail Ski Patrol Steak Fry, said everyone enjoys skiing or boarding all day and topping it off with a party.

“It is our main fundraiser for the patrol to raise money for our own medical supplies and for our ongoing training,” Mapelli said. “Every year our trainers go to multiple layers of training, so when we’re called to a scene on the mountain we have the most up-to-date training that’s available.”

The Lost Trail Ski Patrol is a member of the National Ski Patrol, a nonprofit dedicated to on-mountain safety and to “serving the public and outdoor recreation industry by providing education and accreditation to emergency care and safety service providers,” according to their website.

Both organizations have evolved and the Lost Trail Ski Patrol is called on as first responders for winter events on the mountain, but are also now responding to events in the summer. They do bike patrols and endurance events in Montana and Idaho.

“Half of our patrollers live in Salmon and the other half in Montana, and there are lots of outdoor events like a mountain bike event or an ultra-marathon run in the mountains,” Mapelli said. “The ski patrol is often called upon to provide first aid to the participants in these races. We’re not just on the mountain doing ski patrol duties, but we’re also there in the summer.”

The Lost Trail Ski Patrol has 60 members and the Steak Fry is an all-hands-on-deck event that attracts between 350 to 500 people. Nearly a dozen patrollers doing the cooking outside, and more are serving the hungry patrons.

The event lasts until 8:30 p.m., with steak dinners costing $15 and hamburger dinners costing $10.

“We provide all the desserts and have good cooks,” Mapelli said. “We make a wonderful salad; this is pretty gourmet fare for being out in the middle of nowhere.”

The highlight for the evening is the Torchlight Parade.

“It is like a conga line that has an exclamation point with one of the patrollers on a toboggan going down the hill – it is really quite the sight,” Mapelli said. “We all have torches and are making our way down ‘South Face’ it is so cool.”

Mapelli has been skiing for 60 years and she and her husband, Michael Sharke, enjoy serving on the Lost Trail Ski Patrol.

“We have joined a terrific family,” she said. “We love the service aspect of it, we love the physical aspect of it, the camaraderie, and meeting the many people that ski at Lost Trail. It’s a great part of our lives at this stage. We do love to be outside - it doesn’t matter the time of year or the day.”

This year’s Lost Trail Ski Patrol Steak Fry is presented by Ravalli Orthopedics and Sports Medicine of Hamilton and Salmon, Idaho.