By Liz Millikin
Like many of the shredding ladies at Stratton Mountain, the love of the mountain started young. Suslavich’s father duct taped her into the smallest ski boots he could find when she was just a year and a half old. “One of my earliest memories is being on the lift, clicking my skis together to get the snow off and having my skis and boots fall off onto a black diamond.” But, a great skier isn’t just born. “While I’d like to tell you that I was a black diamond skier from the time I could walk, the truth is that I took a teary-eyed, barefoot piggy back ride down one early [on], and then didn’t tackle one again for years.”
For all you parents out there trying to find ways to convince reluctant children to join in the winter sport fun, Suslavich is living proof that bribery works. “Until I was 6, my parents really only brought me out when it was 40 degrees and sunny and they bought me all of the hot chocolate I could drink.”
While skiing is a Suslavich family affair, so is Stratton Mountain. Suslavich trained in the mountain race program, scanned tickets in high school and joined the ski patrol at her college hill, only to return to Stratton after graduation to join the Stratton ski patrol team. Even her younger sister, Maisy, caught the ski patrol bug and is also part of the Stratton team.
Suslavich is passionate about her job, from being the first one up on the mountain in the morning to helping skiers and riders stay safe on the slopes. “Ski patrol,” she says, “is like a big family. I’ve adopted a few new grampas, so getting to come up weekends and see everyone helps me keep perspective when med school gets intense.”
Yes, you read that right. In addition to working weekends at Stratton as a ski patroller, Suslavich is also a first year med student at Tufts University in Boston. She sees her job as a way of keeping up her skills and gain experience that she will put to good use in either Emergency Medicine or Orthopedics (two branches of medicine she’s interested in pursuing).
On mountain, Suslavich has snow sports covered. You can find her on skis… snowboard… and telemark. It seems like the only thing she doesn’t do is monoboard, but she immediately said she’d love to learn if you know someone who’d let her borrow one.
When not on the mountain, Suslavich is an avid runner, having competed in her first marathon this past summer, hiking, wakeboarding, water skiing, and learning to surf.
Suslavich’s passion for snow sports and Stratton is incredibly inspiring. She got her start on this hill and keeps coming back for more. People like the Suslavich sisters are what make the Stratton community so special and such a warm, energizing place to be!