Empowered women come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and interests. Patty (Tasker) Morris is such a woman. We know little about Patty. But we know she was, if not the first, one of the first women on the National Ski Patrol.
Patty Tasker got her first pair of skis from her father when she was five. In the early 1900s, people who loved to ski joined Ski Clubs. Resorts were rare and ski lifts were nonexistent. You climbed the mountain you wanted to ski. But Patty didn’t mind. She loved to ski. She said, “I didn’t like to ever take them off.”
At 18, Patty moved from Brattleboro to Burlington, Vermont, in the late 1930s to work for the government. In 1937, a friend of Patty’s kept telling her about a man named Winston “Win” Morris.
They met in March of that year. In April they had their first date—on the mountain and on skis.
Winston “Win” Morris was among the first ski patrollers of the Mount Mansfield Ski Club in Stowe, Vermont. That club established one of the first US ski patrols around 1935. Eventually that grew into the National Ski Patrol. When asked about how his ski date with Patty went, he claimed she wore him out.
One of the First
Patty and Morris married. They both served as NSP Patrollers. Patrollers at Stowe were mostly men, but there were some women. The women served as full NSP Patrollers. So Patty may not have been the very first woman on the NSP, but she probably was the youngest.
Patty’s husband eventually served in WW II. A jeep collision severely injured his legs. He never downhill skied again.
Patty skied for 77 years. She quit skiing when she was 82.
The National Ski Patrol
The National Ski Patrol is the largest non-urban rescue organization in the world. A seven-minute interview done March 12, 2013 details how the NSP came into existence.
Patrollers respond to accidents, provide first aid, and transport the injured. For many years, the NSP collected data on ski accidents and developed safety protocols. Read more about the NSP on their website.
Patty (Tasker) Morris isn’t a public figure. Little information is available about her life. She gave her last known interview in 2012 at 93. That recording appears to be unavailable today.
We know she was one of the first women on the National Ski Patrol. Most likely she was the youngest female patroller. An avid skier, an octogenarian skier, Patty was a strong woman who empowered herself. Tip of the hat to Patty (Tasker) Morris.