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Snoqualmie Pass Volunteer Ski Patrol staffs volunteer patrollers at Summit West. We are a part of the National Ski Patrol (NSP). Becoming a patroller is a significant investment, but it is ultimately worth it - after their candidate year, patrollers continue their services for years.


Why Join SPVSP?

The Summit West volunteer ski patrol is by no means your only option for joining a ski patrol in the Seattle area. We're partial, of course, but we think we're one of the best choices. Here's why.

  • No assigned shifts.
    • You pick when you want to patrol. You choose your shifts as long as you complete the shift count requirements.
  • Family-friendly atmosphere.
    • Your family is welcome to stay in the building.
    • Get to know other patrol families.
  • Early to open
    • Typically, Summit West is the first of the four Summit at Snoqualmie ski areas to open for the season. Get bragging rights after a weekend on the hill while everyone else is still closed.
  • Lots of action
    • We typically see more first aid incidents at our area, so if you like the ideas of lots of hands on help this is the place for you.
  • Terrain
    • Summit's terrain tends to be a bit easier, but we've also got steeps and cliffs (well hidden!). Come ski with us for a day and we'll show you around and find the secret stashes.


Being a ski patroller can be hard work, but it isn't without its rewards. Of course you'll have the good karma that comes with helping others, but there are a number of more tangible perks as well:

  • Unlimited free skiing while in uniform
  • Discounts on season's passes for patroller and dependents
  • No waiting in lift lines while working
  • Pro deals on outdoor gear, patrol gear, and apparel
  • Free overnight accommodations for patrollers and their families in the patrol building
  • Make new friends
  • Potlocks, banquets, and parties throughout the year
  • Feel good about helping others
  • Further involvement
    • Patrol leadership positions
    • NSP leadership opportunities
    • Volunteer with King County Search and Rescue's Ski Patrol Rescue Team
  • Volunteer opportunities as an OEC technician at events throughout the year
    • Seafair Beach Medical
    • Mountain Bike Races
    • Fourth of July Celebrations
  • Ski Patrol Magazine
  • Education programs and credentials
  • Reimbursement for attending Powderfall
  • NSP Winter Catalog
  • Potential benefits for volunteering with 501(c)(3)
  • Optional low cost health insurance through the National Ski Patrol

Becoming a Patroller

All patrollers are certified as OEC technicians, which can be attained in a class which typically runs in late summer or early fall. OEC Classes are offered by many patrols nationwide, course offerings can be found at the National Ski Patrol's website. This class is nationally accredited, meaning you do not have to take the class from our patrol or in our state.

When the ski season begins, candidates take a 4 to 6 week course learning to use toboggans on the hill. This class typically requires one or both weekend days, depending on the skill level of the candidate. Candidates are required to have intermediate to advanced level on their skis or board. However, don't let skill level deter you from joining - being a patroller is a great way to advance your skill level!

After ski and toboggan training is completed, candidates must complete a series of on-hill and first-aid room tasks which are tracked on a check-off sheet. These tasks cover all patroller duties and responsibilities and are geared towards helping candidates understand the full range of patrol responsibilities and to familiarize candidates with the various procedures for each responsibility.

Upon completion of the check-off sheets, candidates are welcomed into the patrol as full patrollers.

Types of Patrollers

Because the patrol has a variety of responsibilities, we require a variety of patrollers.


Patrollers are trained in first aid and participate in on-hill patient care, hill maintenance, and first-aid room care. Anyone, even those who do not ski or snowboard, is welcome to become a Patroller candidate.

Alpine Patroller

Alpine Patrollers performs all of the same duties as Patrollers but are additionally certified to transport patients in toboggans. Alpine Patrollers can be skiers or boarders, including telemark. Though Alpine Patrollers aren't required to be expert skiers, they must be able to safely and confidently handle any terrain at West under any conditions. Candidates will be evaluated for skiing or boarding ability.

Assistant Patroller

Assistant Patrollers (APs) are persons who have joined patrol but are not yet OEC technicians. They are required to remain with an patroller, and can participate in hill management (ie. opening/closing), chair evacuation (if trained), running empty or loaded toboggans (again, if trained) and any other ski patrol duty excluding all first aid/patient contact. There is a 1-year limit on participation in the AP program.

Doctor Patroller

Physicians are welcome. As a state-certified MD or DO, doctors are exempted from OEC training as their medical training goes beyond OEC standards. These medical associates can perform all of the same duties as the non-physician patrollers, but are permitted to utilize their advanced medical training when needed.

Other Medical Professionals

At this time, the NSP directly accept the medical credentials of EMTs, Paramedics, RNs, PAs, etc. However, they may be eligible to challenge the OEC curriculum for an OEC certification.

Time Commitments

Candidate Year

The Snoqualmie Pass Volunteer Ski Patrol is a volunteer organization made up of dedicated members and their contributions. The candidate year involves a significant level of commitment. Candidates participate in all the training below, except auxiliary candidates who do not undergo toboggan training.

Name Description Approximate time required
Ski Test Candidates must show proficiency in their skiing or boarding ability. Candidates do not have to ski fast or professionally, but must be able to handle all terrain under any conditions. 1 weekend day
OEC An emergency first-aid class taught by the National Ski Patrol. See First Aid for different types of first aid. If you have advanced medical training, take a look at challenge requirements. 90-120 hours over 8-12 weeks
CPR/AED/FPR CPR and AED for the professional rescuer. A general Red Cross CPR class does not meet this requirement. 1 day
Chair Evacuation Evacuation procedures for rescuing guests from chairlifts 1 day
Toboggan Toboggan handling and general ski/riding skills. 4-6 weekends
Final Certification Before final acceptance into the patrol, candidates must complete an on-hill check-off list and a first-aid room check-off list. varies

Subsequent Years

Name Approximate time required
OEC Refresher 1 weekend day
CPR/AED/FRP Re-certification 4 hours
Chair Evac & On-hill Refresher 1 weekend day
Duty Shifts 15 shifts

What Does It Cost?

Candidate Year

Name Approximate Cost
OEC Class $100 for books + $250 in course fees
CPR/AED/FRP Class $33
NSP Membership Dues $73
Patrol Uniform $100-$250

Subsequent Years

Name Approximate Cost
NSP Membership Dues $73
CPR/AED/FRP Refresher $5 or $33

More Information and Signup

The candidate year is by far the most time-intensive and most costly. Most patrollers who join stay with the patrol for many years and it can be helpful to view the candidate year as an investment whose benefits will be reaped for many years to come. We do not pressure potential candidates into joining and we would love for you to come visit us on the hill. Feel free to stop by the patrol building and introduce yourself anytime.

You may also email the Patrol Recruiter with any questions you may have.

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