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Working for the Ski Patrol

Ski patrolmen administer first aid to injured guests and evacuate victims from mountain locations to local medical facilities. An extensive knowledge of first aid and mountaineering skills may be required. Ski patrolmen work in conjunction with the other departments of the ski resort to insure the overall safety of the guests while participating in activities on the mountain.

A few things to consider before applying for a ski patrol job are the hours and the working conditions. While patrolling may appear glamorous on the surface, ski patrolmen work very long hours, typically starting their shifts before 7:00 AM.

If you happen to be part of the avalanche control crew, you'll be up on the mountain well before sunrise dropping explosives or firing high-powered rounds into areas that are prone to slide. After everyone else has gone home or is sitting around the fire enjoying a brew, patrolmen are still up on the mountain performing a "sweep." During the sweep, patrolmen systematically ski down every run on the mountain as the sun is setting, making sure that they are free of the skiing public. If they incur someone who is hurt or get a report of a lost skier, they could remain up on the mountain into the night until the situation is resolved.

Despite some of the challenging aspects of the job, ski patrolling can be one of the most rewarding jobs you'll ever have. If you work for a large resort with a long season, you can easily rack up more than 150 skiing days in one season and ski more vertical feet in a week than most people do in several years. At the end of the day, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped many people in need of assistance - often saving their lives.

Learn more about working for the National Ski Patrol in our special first-person interview, also on this website.

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