For:  Dave Brann & Tim Kelley

This is a “bio” that Sandia Peak Ski Patrol asked me to write.  It is pared down for the ALSAP draft.

I am sorting through photo albums looking for any pic’s of this time frame or area  will follow up.


Frank “Larry” Zentner, Jr., NSP # 1 70335


Brief background:  Larry Zentner was born in 1955, a dependent of Frank Zentner, Sr., MSGT USAF and a life-long avid skier from Maine, Vermont, and Hew Hampshire.  Frank taught Larry how to ski at Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, AK and Elmendorf AFB AK ski areas between 1964 to 1967.  From 1967 to 1978 Larry would develop his ski skills in New Mexico at Sandia Peak ski area and Santa Fe ski area.  From 1976 to 1995, while on USAF active duty, Larry will ski anywhere that time and opportunity would present itself.  These opportunities would include returning to Sandia Peak in NM or a variety of areas in NM and all over Colorado & Alaska then overseas to Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski resort in Bavaria, Germany, Zermatt-Matterhorn, Switzerland, or Kitzbuehel, Austria.   


January 1990, Larry and his family move to Eielson AFB, Alaska.  There they discover Ravenwood ski area, a small ski hill, about 450 foot vertical drop, with two lifts that offer late afternoon and evening skiing.  Both his sons learn to ski at Ravenwood.  The entire Zentner family is now a skiing family.  During the next few years Larry will apply his EMT skills on the hill to the injured.  Ski area employees haul a sled to evacuate the non-ambulatory injured.  Sometimes the lift operators would have to shut down the lifts to haul a sled, none of the employees have first aid training and when injures are sever enough ski area management call the USAF base ambulance and fire department to respond.  As an experienced EMT and Search & Rescue instructor, he recognizes the need for a more formal EMS management at the ski area. 


June 1992, Larry initiates discussions, plans, and receives approval to create a NSP ski patrol at Eielson AFB, Alaska, Ravenwood Ski Area.


August 1992, NSP approves Ravenwood Ski Patrol: #006, Section:  Military 003, Region:  Northern 001, Division:  Alaska A


September 1992, joins NSP and enrolls in Winter Emergency Care (WEC), dues:  $50.00 ($37.00 for NSP and $13.00 for Division)


October 1992, USAF 343 Tactical Fighter Wing approves total support to NSP ski patrol under the supervision of Out-door Recreation Ski Area Management. 

Ken Zalukiewicz, USAF Arctic Survival Course Supervisor is appointed Patrol Director and Larry Zentner is appointed Patrol Operations Officer with a total of twelve NSP charter members and five prospective members


January 1993, all twelve charter members complete NSP WEC under the supervision of the NSP Fairbanks SP, Birch Hill, AK; by the end of the month certifies all Ravenwood’ s Alpine Basic Patrollers and enters prospective members into an NSP Auxiliary status


January 1993, completes the NSP LEGACY - Level 1 Avalanche course


1992-1993 ski season records document:

Ravenwood Ski Area season:  November 1992 to April 1993

Ravenwood Ski Area daily hours of operation:  Thursday - Sunday, closed Monday - Wednesday

Ravenwood Ski Patrol Membership/ Recruiting:  29 personnel (12 Basic & 17 Prospective)

Overall Patrol Hours:  1,160.7, Overall AVE:  40.02, Basic Patroller Hours:  1,031.7, AVE:  85.98

Top Three Patroller Hours:

Mike Branam, Employee & Basic Patroller:  315.2

Larry Zentner, Basic Patroller:  108.3

Wesley Ross, Auxiliary Patroller:  106.8


May 1993, NSP Alaska Division Awards announce ten NSP awards:

Outstanding Patrol-Man for 1992-1993 Season:  Larry Zentner


July 1993, Ken “Zac” steps down as patrol director and Larry Zentner is nominated as his replacement and assumes acting patrol director until the next board of director’s meeting.  Larry Zentner requests USAF 343 TFW/ ODR fund part of the NSP Ravenwood Ski Patrol budget.  The request is approved and provides funds for basic patroller dues, WEC refresher, and all first aid supply expenses.  All other expenses are funded by members or community donations. 


August 1993, Larry contacts the Fairbanks Ski Patrol in Fairbanks to discuss a ski swap to generate funds.  The swap idea is accepted and Fairbanks SP takes the lead of equipment and venue with Ravenwood providing additional manpower.  The swap idea isn’t as successful as hoped as most people were looking to trade gear, not purchase.  Beaver Sports of Fairbanks offers an idea to sell last year’s gear during the next season swap.  Birch Hill SP likes the idea and will follow up...


September 1993, NSP Alaska Division requests the two “northern interior patrols” to host the division annual conference.  Larry Zentner accepts the offer and manages a committee to plan and host the conference at Eielson AFB, AK.  The conference is on base; all facilities for lodging, meals, and venue support are provided by the USAF as recognition to community support and volunteerism. 


November 1993, Daven Decker, NSP Alaska Division Director approves Larry Zentner as Ravenwood Ski Patrol Director and appoints him as a member of the Alaska Division Board of Directors


December 1993, Don Keill of the Moose Mountain Ski Patrol contacts Ravenwood SP and invites patrollers to patrol at Moose Mtn.  A few Ravenwood patrollers drive up and enjoy the new runs; Moose Mtn is just opening, the lodge is not yet painted, the lifts are under construction and we ride a school bus to the top of the ski area to ski down.  They have one Cascade toboggan, no patrol room per say, the injured are taken to the office and family usually take them home or to the hospital.  Night skiing is popular in Alaska and the runs are well illuminated.  There is no radio system in place so patrollers either ski the runs looking for a guest in need of help or sit at the top warming shack until someone knocks on the door asking for help.  This was actually a fun area to patrol and I would go back in a heartbeat.


1993-1994 ski season starts in October ’93 and runs to April ’94.

Larry Zentner is patrol director

Mike Branam is patrol operations officer

David Glasgow is newly appointed WEC advisor


January 1994, Larry Zentner receives USAF official permanent change of station orders to relocate from Eielson AFB, AK to Barksdale AFB, LA.   As a result of these orders, Larry Zentner steps down as patrol director as Mike Branam assumes acting patrol director.  During the going away party, Larry receives a very nice boot bag and ski bag from the NSP catalog.  He will continue to use these bags to carry his NSP gear through 2016.


1994-1995, Larry is technically inactive as a patrolling NSP member; but he does maintain currency of dues, WEC refresher, and ski offs during the seasons that follow. 


June 1994, Larry contacts the Sandia Peak Ski Patrol (SPSP) to transfer his membership from Alaska to Rocky Mountain Division. 


1994-2016, Larry remains active with the NSP SPSP where he serves off and on the board of directors, maintains the radio communication system, and on-the-hill trailing.  He also patrols and trains, more off than on, at Angel Fire, Sipapu, and Ski Rio ski areas.