The National Ski Patrol at Mt Bachelor: Who We Are
The Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol is an organization that provides first aid and rescue services to skiers and participants of other snow sports, at the ski area and in the immediate back country area surrounding Mt. Bachelor.
Contrary to the name's implications, ski patrollers can be snowboarders in addition to alpine, telemark, or nordic skiers. The Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol also has a non-skiing position, called auxiliary, that provide emergency care in a first aid room.
Join The Mt. Bachelor National Ski Patrol
Thank you for your interest in joining the Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol in Bend, Oregon. Being a patroller is a very rewarding experience. For those of us who patrol it is a combination of love for the outdoors, skiing, helping others and long lasting friendships. Read on to learn more about the different patrol disciplines, the steps to joining our patrol, and the training we offer. Keep in mind with all disciplines we’re here to provide a positive and safe experience to the guests that visit Mt. Bachelor.
At Mt. Bachelor we have three types of volunteer ski patrollers: Alpine, Auxiliary, and Nordic. Patrollers provide emergency medical care in addition to their other duties when volunteering at Mt. Bachelor. The following gives an idea on the different level of training and responsibilities for each discipline.
Alpine patrollers start their day when the lifts first start turning. After the morning meeting we ride to the top and begin the daily setup. Once the mountain is open we provide emergency medical assistance to any guest in need. We also provide patient transport via toboggan. Our day ends after the mountain is closed when we finish sweeping each run.
All alpine patrollers are certified Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technicians or have an equivalent or higher medical certification. Alpine patrollers are also trained to run toboggans to and from accidents, and are certified Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) technicians. Familiarity with Mt. Bachelor and strong skiing skills are necessary to be a patroller. Alpine patrollers must successfully complete the candidate training program and the OEC components.
Nordic patrollers operate on the other side of the parking lot. They provide coverage for all Nordic trails within the Mt. Bachelor operating area. Their day begins with setup of the Nordic area. This may involve marking hazards, shoveling out signs and entrance ways buried by a recent storm. Throughout the day they provide emergency medical coverage in the Nordic area. Once the Nordic center is closed they sweep their trails.
All Nordic patrollers are certified Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technicians or have an equivalent or higher medical certification. Nordic patrollers must be competent Nordic skiers and willing to drive a snowmobile. Like alpine patrollers, Nordic patrollers must successfully complete the applicable candidate training modules and all OEC components.
Auxiliary patrollers provide emergency medical services in the two aid rooms at Mt. Bachelor. Many of our guests who need assistance walk or ski to the aid rooms. In addition to handling their own patients they often assist other patrollers arriving at the aid room with an injured guest.
All auxiliary patrollers are certified Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technicians or have an equivalent or higher medical certification. Auxiliary candidates must successfully complete all OEC components.
HOW TO JOIN
Sign up & Ski Evaluation
Contact us at
to learn when the next ski evaluation and training program will be held. Be sure to include your name, contact info, and your desired discipline (Alpine, Nordic, or Auxiliary.) Auxiliary patrol candidates are not required to take a ski evaluation. Nordic patrol candidates will complete their ski evaluation at the Nordic area. Alpine patrol candidates and Nordic patrol candidates, must demonstrate a skiing ability at a level required for the given discipline. Alpine skiers, snowboarders, and tele skiers are all encouraged to tryout for Alpine patrol.
Membership affords the individual access to the NSP Website, Instructional Materials, Certified Training Programs (Avalanche, Mountain Travel, etc.), Online Catalog-where substantial product discounts can be realized, and individuals receive the Ski Patrol Magazine. Membership also affords the individual substantial discounts from NSP Sponsors, such as Patagonia, SUBARU, and Nordica, as examples. Membership is mandated prior to instruction, according to NSP Policy and Procedures, as a qualification for liability coverage to our local Patrol.
Candidate Training Begins
Successful candidates will be immediately enrolled in the candidate training program. The first module taught will be toboggan handling training.
Describe the Ski Evaluation?
For Alpine patrol we are looking for skiers, snowboarders or tele-skiers that are stable and confident anywhere on our mountain. This assures us that a candidate has the requisite ski skills necessary to ski any type of terrain found in the Mt. Bachelor ski area. We have a wide variety of terrain, and our conditions change dramatically throughout the year. We don't expect pretty, but we do expect competent.
Do I need OEC if I'm already an EMT-B or higher?
Yes and no. We offer a challenge class for EMTs, so they won't need to take the full OEC class. But experience has taught us that an EMT-B certification may not fully prepare students for the types of first aid skills they are likely to need on the mountain. The EMTs who have taken the OEC class have consistently commented that it was a good refresher and the hands-on aspect of the class was excellent. Please discuss this option with us if you desire to challenge the OEC requirement.
Do I need Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification?
We require CPR for Emergency Care Professionals certification for every discipline. We teach CPR at numerous times and dates in Bend. If you currently are certified through your workplace, a copy of your current card is required to document your status. To meet NSP requirements, you must recertify your CPR on an annual basis.
What is the Fall Refresher?
Annual OEC-recertification is required of our membership, either by attending Mt. Bachelor's Fall Refresher held in October, or refreshers offered by other NSP Patrols. This training refreshes the patroller's skills such as OEC, chairlift evacuation and hill protocols. The OEC refresher occurs on Saturday, and the mountain operations refresher is on Sunday.
What and When is the On-The-Hill OEC Training - Patrol Candidates Only?
This training follows the OEC training and begins in November. You take your newly learned medical skills to Mt. Bachelor for training. This training focuses on emergency medical scenarios in an outdoor environment. Prior to the mountain opening the training is held on “flat land”. Once the mountain is open the training is held on various ski runs. With successful completion of this training all candidates must pass a “hands-on” evaluation, blending medical skills with transportation skills. Having passed this on-the-hill evaluation, Patroller Candidates advance to Probationary Status.
What is Probationary Status?
Prior to being voted on by the patrol to join our ranks all candidates must complete probationary patrolling. Candidates will patrol with various patrollers throughout the day. Candidates are required to “work” a given number of accidents along with completing other probationary details. This is where other patrol members get a chance to know you, observe your skills and dedication to the patrol. Probation Status consists of a minimum of 8 working days.
What is my commitment to the volunteer patrol?
The National Ski Patrol is a volunteer organization. As such, you will not be paid for your time. However, all your expenses associated with Ski Patrol (OEC textbook, CPR certification, clothing, equipment, meals and lodging) are tax deductible because the NSP is classified as a non-profit organization (consult your tax professional).
You will be required to Patrol a minimum of 18 weekend days (holidays and Christmas week also count) and attend a CPR and Fall Refresher each year. You will signup for patrol days each trimester, or two month period beginning in November. You are free to choose your weekends. If a conflict occurs during the season, you may swap days with other patrollers to assure the mountain has appropriate patrol coverage.
The best benefit of the Mt. Bachelor Ski Patrol is the friendships and camaraderie you will develop as you patrol with the many exceptional people at Mt. Bachelor.
Alpine & Nordic Ski Patrol
As an Alpine or Nordic Patroller, you will receive a season ski pass at Mt. Bachelor. If you are married, your spouse and children under the age of 18 will also receive ski passes. Candidates ski free, as long as they are in training or shadowing a patroller.
Auxiliary Ski Patrol
We have a limited number of Auxiliary Ski Patrol positions for those who have excellent OEC skills, but do not posses or choose to use the ski skills required of the "on-the-hill" ski patrol. The primary responsibility of Auxiliary Ski Patrol is to staff one of Mt. Bachelor's two first aid rooms in four hour shifts, providing OEC. Auxiliary Ski Patrol receives a season ski pass at Mt. Bachelor. If you are married, your spouse and children under the age of 18 may obtain a pass at 1/2 the lowest season price.
Who do I talk to if I have a question?