National Ski Patrol

Ski Patrol

Many of us need an excuse to get outdoors and be active and many times that excuse needs to be altruistic.  Sometimes the altruistic motive is all it takes.  Perhaps the opportunity to volunteer to clear a trail on National Trails Day or help with some other kind of project on National Public Lands Day would motivate you.  If you take the opportunity,  you are likely to meet other like-minded people that could lead to further motivation to get outdoors.

SkiingSince winter is just around the corner, consider skiing.  If you love to ski and have been to a downhill ski area or a heavily used nordic ski area you’ve probably seen members of the ski patrol.  Ever wonder what it takes to become a member?

If you know how to ski (downhill or nordic) or snowboard, and you don’t need to be an exert, you are almost there.  You will need to learn first aid and emergency care and be interested in improving your skiing skills regardless of your current level of proficiency.  You also need to want to help others – the altruistic motive.

NSPLogoTo get involved you first need to find a ski patrol in your area.  Once you find the contact information for your local patrol, contact the group about their next applicant screening day. That’s a day when people interested in participating work with the local ski patrol to learn what it’s really all about.  This gives the ski patrol a chance to see how you can best fit in to the organization and gives you a chance to get all the information to decide if you really want to get involved.

If the local patrol needs what you can offer and you decide to participate, you will be accepted as a ski patrol candidate, you will join the ski patrol and begin to get some training.

Basic training includes introduction to patrolling.  More specialized training addresses avalanches, instructor training, mountain travel and rescue, nordic toboggan, outdoor emergency care, outdoor first aid, snowsports enhancement, emergency transportation and more.

Once properly trained,  you will have the opportunity to actually get out in the snow and help people at a downhill ski area, a nordic ski area or even a backcountry area.

If this sounds like a way for you to give back and have some fun in the process, check out the National Ski Patrol website for all the details.


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