Non-students interested in membership should contact us directly.
The process to become a patroller with the Dartmouth Ski Patrol (DSP) is competitive and challenging. We select those applicants who are most likely to succeed both as patrollers and as contributors to the team. You don't need to be the best skier on the mountain. You don't need to have the longest resume. A strong desire to succeed, grace under pressure, communication and teamwork skills, and/or the ability to work with your hands are all equally important. If you can see yourself as a patroller, you should apply - we will train you!
Patrolling Will Change Your Life
- Dartmouth Ski Patrol members respond to real emergencies.
- Members are personally responsible for rescue of persons with potentially life-altering injuries.
- Ski Patrol work involves inherent risk greater than that experienced by a recreational skier.
- Members must rapidly develop and maintain a high level of proficiency.
- Patrol membership entails a commitment similar to a varsity sport.
- A new member will spend hundreds of hours in challenging training.
- This is a four-year commmitment, no winters off.
- Estimated time commitment, click here.
In a typical year, 75 applications are received; 15 will ultimately become patrollers.
The membership process is as follows:
- Attendance at Information Session
- Online Application
- Formal Interview and Initial Testing
- First Round Selections
- Fall Term Apprentice Classes
- Ski and Ride Skills Evaluation
- Practical Skills Evaluation
- Second Round Selections (15 chosen)
- Winter Term Shift Training
- Spring Outdoor Emergency Care class
- Sophomore Winter Candidate Training
- Sophomore Winter "Vest" Test
First-year students wishing to join the patrol must attend the Fall Info Session which will be held Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at 7:00 PM in 28 Silsby.
After the Info Session, prospective members will be directed to submit an application online during the subsequent 24 hour period.
Selected applicants will be chosen for individual interviews and initial testing.
Interview and Initial Testing
Interviews will include review of application, life experience, ski/snowboard experience and interests, interaction skills, and more. Recommended attire is "business casual". The applicant may be photographed. The interview panel will include at least two interviewers, at least one of whom is an upperclass student. Brief initial testing to determine a baseline of technical and physical ability will be conducted.
At each stage, results of interviews and testing are presented to the patrol director and Skiway Management for final approval.
Fall Apprentice Classes
After the interview, applicants selected to continue in the process will prepare for a testing process which will combine knowledge, technical, and physical ability components.
A class will be provided during the fall term to prepare the applicant for the testing process, one night each week for 5 weeks, 2 hour sessions. All applicants will be required to obtain CPR certification at the American Heart Association (AHA) Healthcare Provider level. CPR class of approximately 6 hours will be provided.
Dates and times for the preparation classes will be announced.
The applicant will have an opportunity to observe the patrol at the Skiway during the first weeks of the winter term, prior to proceeding in the testing process.
The applicant must have appropriate clothing and ski/snowboard equipment ready for inspection upon arrival at the Skiway.
Follow THIS LINK to the list of required equipment.
The testing process is designed to assess the applicant's ability to learn, retain, and perform skills, procedures, and physical tasks similar to those commonly required of a ski patroller. These tasks will require a level of physical fitness and strength. Test components may include:
- ability to perform CPR according to AHA standards
- ability to lift one end of a stretcher holding a weighted dummy
- ability to perform learned technical tasks under stress and physical exertion, i.e.
- assemble medical oxygen equipment
- tie simple knots
- written, verbal, or scenario-based knowledge verification
- Short, medium, and long radius turns.
- Sideslip (toe and heel side for snowboarders)
- Snowplow (skiers only)
- Emergency stop.
- Travel uphill (herringbone or sidestep)
- Travel on flat terrain (skate)
The testing process will be held at the Skiway during early January.
Winter Term Shifts
Applicants selected to continue as Patrol Apprentices after the test will be required to attend two shifts per week at the Skiway during the winter. This is 10 hours or more per week. They will be trained in toboggan handling and ski area operations. Apprentices may be asked to respond to emergency scenes to assist qualified patrollers.
Spring Term OEC Course
Apprentices who are successful throughout the winter will be invited to continue as Candidates, and will take the OEC Technician class during spring term. The OEC class usually meets Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 PM to 10 PM during the entire spring term, plus several weekend days. This is 8 hours of class per week, plus study time, plus weekend sessions. Written and practical final examinations are administered by the National Ski Patrol. A high passing score is required to continue as a member of the DSP.
Sophomore Candidate Training and Vest Test
Members who have successfully completed all phases of training and the OEC course will return several days before their sophomore winter term begins, in late December, for several days of intensive all-day on-mountain training. Members are now considered "Candidates" for the title of Ski Patroller.
This training will assess their progress and prepare them for the "vest test" which will qualify them to be the first responder to an emergency call and to transport customers by toboggan. The vest test is administered in person by the patrol director, assistant director, or by other patrol alumni. The vest test requires the patroller to demonstrate the ability to respond alone and handle a typical injury scenario, and to demonstrate all knowledge and skills acquired over the past year.
Not The End
A member who successfully completes all of the above is considered a "vested" patroller and is fully qualified for duty at the Skiway. All members must attend annual refresher training to maintain their certifications. Continuing education and advanced levels of qualification are also available.