Joining the Mount Ashland Ski Patrol
Patrolling at Mount Ashland is serious fun. The serious part is serious. The fun part is very fun!
Most of our Patrollers at Mount Ashland are volunteers. Mount Ashland provides benefits (including family season passes) for volunteer Patrollers, but joining the Patrol demands a significant investment of time and effort. This is a hard-working Patrol that maintains industry-beating professional standards. Other than pride in a job well done, the main rewards of Patrol work are the experiences of working on the Mountain, and the pizza parties after the monthly meetings.
Some of our Patrollers are expert skiers, but you don’t have to be an expert skier or rider to join the Patrol. Some of our Patrollers have prior medical training (including a doctor or two), but you don’t need that either. The Mount Ashland Ski Patrol, in conjunction with the National Ski Patrol, provides endless opportunities to improve your skills. How you take advantage of those opportunities (and how quickly your skills develop), is largely up to you.
To help the Mount Ashland Ski Patrol recruit new members, Mount Ashland provides free daily lift tickets to on-duty members of our Trail Crew. All new Patrol candidates start off as Trail Crew for their first season.
Getting Started – Trail Crew Selection
There are two steps to be eligible for Trail Crew.
- Pay your National Ski Patrol yearly dues (currently $81).
- Ride with the Trail Crew for 4 days (free lift tickets!)
During those 4 days, you’ll have a chance to work at various Patrol tasks. You will not be required to do anything hazardous or that you are not comfortable with. After the 4 days, if you have shown a positive attitude and a few basic skills, you’ll be invited to join the Trail Crew for the remainder of the season (free lift tickets!).
Trail Crew: First Season Learning Objectives
There are two main learning objectives that Patrol candidates will want to complete in their Trail Crew season:
- Area Knowledge Test: To be an effective Patroller, you need detailed knowledge of the Mountain and its operations. This test ensures you know what’s what, where’s where, and who’s who.
- Basic Ropes Test: This test ensures you can tie the basic knots (clove hitch, girth hitch, half-barrel knot) to maintain closures and boundaries.
Training on these and other skills is a continuous, everyday, informal process in the Patrol. The process is driven by the candidate. You get copies of the tests to carry around with you every day. It’s up to you to know all the answers by the end of the season. It’s best to start learning early in the season.
Outdoor Emergency Care
In the Summer after Trail Crew season, candidates take the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) class. This class covers how to respond to all kinds of medical and trauma emergencies. It consists of about twelve 3-hour evening sessions in the Summer. Upon successful completion of OEC, the candidate can be designated a “Patroller” in the National Ski Patrol.
Candidates with prior medical training and current active EMS affiliation can challenge the OEC class.
OEC book and registration costs about $125 to $150. Patrollers buy their own vests: a vest costs about $130. Expect to spend another $40 or so on your initial stock of first aid supplies.
Volunteer Commitment and Benefits
Patrol volunteers are expected to work 4 days a month during ski season. In return, Patrollers receive free season passes for themselves and family.
As a Patroller in the Mount Ashland Ski Patrol, you will have frequent opportunities to continue your training in the following areas:
- Skiing / Snowboarding
- Sled Handling / Patient Transport
- Rope Rescue
- Mountain Travel and Rescue
- Avalanche Assessment / Rescue / Control
- Lift Evacuation
- First Aid / Emergency Response
If you have any questions or are interested in joining the Patrol send email to our recruiter.