The Nordic Backcountry (BC) Program is comprised of Volunteers who are a component of the National Ski Patrol (NSP). They are trained and certified to NSP standards and are certified in and other safety related programs that relate to winter recreation in the wilderness environment.
The winter outdoors serves as a foundation for Nordic Patrollers. The Nordic (BC) Program provides a positive foundation for personal growth and training. Individuals learn how to travel comfortably and safely in the winter environment and become competent in Outdoor Emergency Care, Mountain Travel & Rescue as well as Avalanche Awareness. The outdoors provides an educational environment that allows participants to develop a personal awareness and respect for the natural world and to become effective stewards of our wilderness heritage.
What is a Nordic/Backcountry Patroller?
The diverse nature of the Nordic (BC) classification leads itself to be a unique program within the NSP. These patrollers who may work at ski resorts, as well as in the backcountry, use a variety of equipment and know how to care for an injured patient who may not be able to obtain the necessary medical help immediately as well as having the needed backcountry survival skills. All of this contributes to defining what Nordic Backcountry patrollers do.
What it takes to become a Nordic/Backcountry Patroller
Enjoyment in being outdoors in the back country. You don’t have to be an expert skier. Ski skills are quickly mastered with training and practice.
A desire to learn first aid and wilderness rescue skills. We provide the National Ski Patrol (NSP) Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) Course which consists of self-paced, on-line work and “hands on” training for 12 weeks. You will then spend your first winter season as a “Candidate” practicing first-aid skills and learning mountain travel and rescue skills and avalanche training along with respective patrol procedures.
Willingness to patrol the backcountry or cross-country ski area’s on weekends during the winter season
Willingness to volunteer your time and expertise in carrying out the duties and maintaining your first-aid and outdoor skills.
Duties of Nordic/Backcountry Patrollers:
Nordic/(BC) are volunteers and are self-funded. We rely on donations to maintain equipment and supplies.
During the winter months, we patrol on the weekends at our respective locations.
We’re on the trail educating visitors regarding safety, and we treat any injuries or illnesses that may occur.
We also help visitors with finding their way on the trails and in the forest, suggesting trails to ski, snowshoe, hike, or bike.
We assist with Search and Rescue (SAR) operations putting our navigation and wildness skills to good use.