A ski patroller generally works at a ski resort to ensure that the environment is safe for guests. They enforce the resort's rules, as well as educate guests on these rules and their importance. A key part of this position is responding to emergency situations and aiding, rescuing and evacuating guests as necessary; this includes providing first aid and emergency medical care as needed. Hazards may also have to be removed by the ski patroller; for example, this may include conducting trail checks, preparing equipment for response and conducting tasks related to avalanche control.
Since this work is done outdoors, the ski patroller encounters a variety of weather conditions (such as snowfall, storms and bright sun). They also need to be able to tolerate high altitudes, as well as respond appropriately in emergency situations such as avalanches. It is important that ski patrollers are able to work well with others, as they regularly interact with other patrollers, guests and ski resort personnel.
Prospective ski patrollers should have advanced skiing skills, as they must be able to ski to reach various places on the resort; a test is generally administered prior to employment to demonstrate these skills. The ability to operate a snowmobile is also important since this may be used as a mode of transportation. Since this job involves response to emergency situations, CPR certification is generally required and emergency medical technician (EMT) certification is often needed. A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is typically needed as well.
Ski Patroller Tasks
Close mountain areas, patrolling to ensure all skiers are out of the area.
Respond to accidents and emergencies, providing care and transport.
Mitigate, mark, and communicate hazards.
Patrol and prepare mountain areas, identifying safety hazards and classifying trails.
Report on mountain conditions, accidents, hours, and inventory.