Courtesy Patrol at ski resorts
April 8, 2006
Over the last week I decided to take time to contact each of the ski resorts in this area asking them specifically in regards to see if they have or have heard of "Courtesy Patrols". A gentleman wrote meback from Wisp this morning stating that they do in fact have a Courtesy Patrol at Wisp. He didn't give much information on it or no information on how to join it etc. He just stated that I should contact him back in the fall to see if there are any openings.
Could anyone elaborate on your knowledge of Courtesy Patrols at different resorts. What responsibilities do they entail? Is it paid or volunteer staffed? I would like to possibly join one but I'm still in the dark about a few of those things.
Whitetail has a safety patrol. These are the folks that assist the ski patrol. They wear yellow jackets. It's a volunteer position where you commit to working a certain number of shifts over the season in exchange for a pass. Duties include assisting with opening and closing runs, assisting chairlift exit "cleanup" (you want your skis - go get em), accident assistance, accident investigation and the occasional "slow down" patrol.
has a number to contact patrol and describes other volunteer opportunities for mountain host and park and pipe crew.
ditto at snowshoe for a free pass, red jackets.
Similar deal at Wintergreen -- saw it advertised under their seasonal job openings web page earlier in the year. I briefly considered doing it mid-week, but for a measly $169 the season pass lets me ski whenever I feel like it with no commitments.
They have one at Killington I believe. Somewhere else I've been had them too, I forget where though, but I remember asking a bit about it.
From what I understand, at most places, they're sort of an auxiliary to the ski patrol. I think really the idea is to put as many visible "staff" members on the slopes as possible. They share alot of duties with the ski patrol, and can help out with accidents, but I don't think they have OEC training.
The courtesy patroller that I talked to had a radio on the same frequency as ski patroller operations channel, so that if he came upon an accident, he could radio for backup.
It's a good idea. It's actually sponsored by the National Ski Patrol, they have some info on their website about it. I dunno whether the local patrols are part of that program, but probably.
I've never been to a ski area (lift served) that didn't have a courtesy patrol in adjunct with ski patrol. They do everything from the "slow down" patrol to help with directions "which way to Starbucks?" to traffic diversion control at scenes of on slope accidents. They do little things to help out at accidents as well such as carry the injuried person's gear, up/down the hill as needed, stuff like that.
I have a co-worker that worked Whitetail's for a few years. They like you to commit to at least one night a week and a certain number of weekend shifts as well in exchange for a season pass. There are a few more hill perks such as extra day passes for your friends in exchange for your time. It may be a good stepping stone towards ski patrol if that is something that tickles your fancy.
You do get to ski a lot without some of the responsibilities that ski patrol has. However, in my occupation, if I work one day of overtime I make enough to buy a season pass and can ski all the time with no responsibility. Perhaps once the rest of my clan gets up and sliding on snow I will think about it because I can't afford 5 season passes.