Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Wintergreen Ski Patrol.
Why should I join the Wintergreen Ski Patrol?
Well, to start with it's a very rewarding activity. Most of our guests are really glad to see us! In addition you'll develop new skills, hone your skiing ability, be involved in a community service, and will be working with a great bunch of people who love to ski!
What does Wintergreen Ski Patrol do?
Lots! Ensuring our guests enjoy a safe and rewarding snowsports experience is our number one concern. In general the Wintergreen Ski Patrol, like the National Ski Patrol, is primarily about safety, promoting safe skiing, and providing rescue and emergency care for our guests at Wintergreen. The patrol also works with the resort area staff to control hazards, maintain trails, and to provide any necessary service to Wintergreen's guests, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Since we are all ambassadors of both our sport and our resort, Wintergreen Ski Patrol works to provide a friendly, helpful, and safe atmosphere for resort guests.
What is involved in becoming a Wintergreen Ski Patroller?
We begin the Candidate Program the first weekend after Labor Day each year. That is when we start the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course (National Ski Patrol's medical training program, essentially an EMT equivalent). If you are already an EMT or higher, you may challenge the course, which means that you would only have to attend about seven of the weekend sessions. The course runs until the first part of November and is given Saturdays & Sundays at Wintergreen Resort from 8am to 4pm.
After the course is completed, there is a break until December, when we start the on-the-hill medical training. Over the years, we have discovered that while individuals may learn the basics in the OEC course or have experience via the EMS system, working on inclines with snow/ice and/or off the sides of ski slopes requires the development/refinement of yet another set of skills.
After the December portion you will be evaluated by the resort and if your skill level is acceptable, you are then registered as an Auxiliary member of our ski patrol and authorized to render emergency care services for the resort.
At this point you are fully qualified to participate in all aspects of patrolling except skiing a toboggan. You can schedule to work as an auxilary and/or begin ski/snowboard and toboggan training.
Ski/Snowboard and toboggan (S&T) training occurs beginning the weekend following Christmas. Limited S&T training is available midweek if you make prior arrangements. Training initially focuses on developing advanced skiing/snowboarding skills and confidence. Once a student's fundamental skiing/snowboarding skills are solid, toboggan training begins. Upon successful completion of this training the student is awarded Basic Patroller status, signifying competence in skiing/snowboarding and toboggan handling on all slopes at their home area.
Many students are able to complete this training in one season, though some take multiple seasons to achieve the required level of proficiency.
Is it true that patrollers ski for free?
NO! This depends upon your concept of the word "free". While it's true that patrollers don't pay for their lift tickets, it's equally true that they work like crazy for that benefit!
What other benefits are there to joining the Patrol?
The Wintergreen Ski Patrol, like the National Ski Patrol, is a non-profit organization. As such your contributions to the patrol may be tax deductible (note the careful wording of this sentence... consult your accountant!). In addition, once you're on the patrol you will generally find more "ins" with the skiing community, which means you have a better chance of finding good deals on skis equipment, clothing, etc.
Can I Get An Idea Of What Patrolling Is Like Before I Sign Up?
We offer a "Come Ski With The Patrol Day" every season at Wintergreen Ski Resort. This day will let prospective candidates for the following season see what patrolling is all about. We will demonstrate some of the training drills you would encounter during your candidate year. This is NOT a tryout, and no one is required to demonstrate their skill level. If you CHOOSE to try any of the drills we demonstrate, it is strictly by your own choice. What this day will do for you is let you see the level of commitment and training required. If the attendance demand is high we will schedule a second day. We limit the size of our candidate class each year. We will give preference to individuals who have attended the "Come Ski With The Patrol Day" session when it comes time to allocate slots in the candidate program.