Attend your apprentice year
During your first year of training you must attend and successfully complete the National Ski Patrol Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course. The college level course is held once per year in the Portland area and is approximately 70 hours long (+ homework). The course usually meets one night per week and two weekend days.
Annual OEC Refresher
All patrollers attend every year
One day per year, all patrollers attend the annual OEC refresher and CPR re-certification training. This is usually offered in September or October each year.
All patrollers attend every other year per AHA
All patrollers must maintain a current BLS Professional Rescuer CPR certification.
Chair Lift Evacuation
All patrollers attend every year
One day per year, all patrollers attend a chair lift evacuation practice. This day is typically held at one of the ski areas on Mt. Hood in September, October, or November.
Attend your apprentice year then a refresher every third year
Every patroller must complete a one-time basic avalanche training class and attend periodic refreshers. Bike patrollers are not required to attend the basic avalanche class (unless they are also ski patrollers).
Eight pre-dispatched days per year is the minimum to remain active in the patrol. Patrol days are in addition to the required training days. We maintain an online dispatch system so that you can schedule which days you can patrol. You are expected to meet your commitment and patrol at the designated area when you dispatch for that area. Patrollers are required to find replacements for themselves if they cannot make a scheduled patrol day.
2020-2021 Membership Levels
- Gold Membership = 18 patrol days minimum
- Silver Membership = 12 patrol days minimum
- Bronze Membership = 8 patrol days minimum
To become an alpine patroller (hill) you must pass a skiing/snowboarding test. We look for stability, control, and the ability to ski/board the crud rather than style, form or speed. You must ski/board well enough so we do not have to teach you basics before sled handling. All alpine patrollers complete one season of apprentice training, usually one day every weekend, except for major holidays, beginning in January and ending in March or April. The alpine training is typically 10-12 mandatory days of on-mountain training.
Alpine patrollers are on duty all day and the day is broken into work shifts of two hours on/two hours off specific assignments (7:30-AM-5PM). Assignments consist of remaining at a designated location where you can respond to an emergency, (i.e., at the top of the hill). When off assignment, you ski anywhere in the area, have lunch, etc., but are on call when you are needed to respond.
No particular skiing level is required, however associates have on-the-hill duties but do not run rescue sleds. Associates are specialists in first aid / first response. The associate training is usually a minimum of 10-12 days of on-mountain training. Associates and alpine patrollers have the same service requirements. Associate’s duty assignments are similar to the description of alpine patrollers with the exception that when you are on assignment, it means you are stationed in the first aid room.
To become a bike patroller, you must pass a mountain bike skills test. We look for stability and control rather than style, form or speed. You must bike well enough so we do not have to teach you the basics, and you can get to any area of the mountain. All bike patrollers must complete one season of apprentice training, typically 8 on-mountain training days during weekends between June and September.
Bike patrollers are on duty all day during operating hours, which vary through the summer season. Assignments include remaining at a designated location where you can respond to an emergency (i.e. at the top of the lift), in the first aid room, opening and clearing trails in the morning, and doing a final sweep when the area closes. When off assignment, you can bike anywhere in the area, have lunch, etc., but are on call when you are needed to respond.
In addition to the training requirements listed above (i.e., OEC class and refreshers, CPR, chairlift evacuation), bike patrollers are required to attend an annual refresher at one of the summer resorts with mountain biking).
Once training is completed, bike patrollers are required to complete a minimum of 8 volunteer days in the summer. If the bike patroller is also a ski patroller, the minimum number of days as a bike patroller is 4.
Nordic patrollers are required to have 5 years or more of backcountry nordic skiing experience, meet all OEC requirements annually, complete avalanche and mountain travel and rescue training, attend an annual On-The-Hill-Day, and patrol 10 days or more per year. In addition, nordic patrollers are required to participate in a personal fitness program so that they can safely perform extended backcountry rescue operations. For alpine and associate patrollers who wish to patrol with nordic all standards apply except the patrol commitment is only 5 days per season.
October through April, the MHSP has a monthly meeting in the Portland area with the meeting in May being an awards banquet. All patrollers receive a monthly newsletter called "The Sweep”.