(The bulk of this text is complements of Ron
Diamond Peaks Nordic Ski Patrol)
Updated December 7, 2005
Members of the Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol provide backcountry assistance
to snow travellers in the Snowy and Laramie Range Mountains, southeastern
Wyoming. Typical patrol-day duties include monitoring of USFS trailhead
facilities in the Medicine Bow National Forest, measuring backcountry snow
conditions, and providing emergency first aid assistance to travellers
as determined by the USFS and the Albany County Sheriff. Many of
our members are dual-registered with the Snowy Range Ski Patrol, a nearby
alpine patrol. National Ski Patrol and local standards require active patrollers
to devote approximately 10 days per year to primary patrol assignments,
including annual refreshers for maintaining essential patroller skills.
1. Registration with the National Ski Patrol (NSP - ~$55)
2. Registration with local patrol (Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol - ~$10)
Completion of 1-2 above gives you 'Candidate' status
3. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR-BLS for Health Care Providers or CPR-BLSFRP for the Professional Rescuer) (must certify every year) (American Heart or Red Cross $20)
4. Outdoor Emergency Care course (OEC or WEC) and certification
exam (~$80 plus first aid supplies)
-- entails approximately 90 hours of classroom and practicum exercises
Completion of 1-4 above gives you 'Auxiliary' status (You'll need to buy a jacket and aid belt/pack, ~$200)
5. Ski and Toboggan training and certification exam (~$20) assuming you own boots/skis/poles
Completion of 1-5 above gives you 'Patroller' status
6. Level One Avalanche class and exam (~$20 plus books)
7. Introductory Mountain Travel and Rescue class and exam (~$20 plus books)
Completion of 1-7 above is required of all 'Patrollers' within 2 years
8. Advanced OEC/WEC clinic and exam (~$20)
9. Advanced Ski and Toboggan clinic and exam (~$20) plus travel and training sessions
Completion of 1-9 above gets you to 'Senior' status, can substitute an elective for Advanced OEC
10. Level Two Avalanche class and exam (~$20)
11. Advanced Mountain Travel and Rescue class and exam (~$20)
12. '6-pack' instructor class
13. Co-teach any skill class above
14. Written recommendation of skill advisor
Completion of above gives you 'Instructor' status in one skill. There are 'Instructor' certifications for both basic and advanced skill levels in each of the skill areas of OEC/WEC, avalanche, mountaineering, and ski and toboggan. You may also become an instructor-trainer in any of the skill areas and 'teach the teachers.'
Completion of 1-9 above, and demonstrated dedication beyond the average patroller makes you eligible for a 'National' appointment classification. A patroller who holds 'National' status has been nominated by fellow patrollers for this honor - it is not a status you can earn. Those holding this status wear a star-shaped emblem rather than the traditional gold-cross chest emblem.
Completion of steps 1-11 above allow you to train for
'Certified' patroller status. This status is much like a graduate degree,
and covers areas such as search and rescue leadership, explosive handling
for avalanche control etc. The certification exam for this status is held
at a destination ski area. It is a comprehensive 4 day seminar covering
all skill levels mentioned above. Currently, only a small number of
patrollers world-wide hold this status.
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Page last updated April 07, 2021.
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