New Patrollers

Need to know before joining CSP

Thank you so much for your interest in joining the Canadian Ski Patrol, Yukon Zone! Being a patroller can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is not for everyone. The purpose of this article is to outline what volunteering for CSP Yukon entails and to answer some of the most frequent questions we receive.

Commitment

We are a volunteer organization and invest a lot of time in training. It is hard for our instructors to train people to never see them again. On the other side, you are not benefitting from the CSP experience by not attending events. For this reason, we require a minimum commitment from every patroller as described below.  

If you chose to be mostly an Alpine patroller, we expect 10 full days at Sima which are booked in advance on our website. A full day includes both morning and evening sweeps, and ranges from 9 am to 3 or 4 pm depending on the time of the year.

-or-

Nordic patrollers must patrol 3 races/events and 7 priority patrol times at Mount MacIntyre during the winter. The priority patrol times are defined by Mount MacIntyre as periods of the day or week where the guest attendance is higher and justify patrol coverage. These are usually weeknights and weekends.

Because our summer events help keep the registration fees to a minimum, we expect patrollers to attend one summer event of their choice.

Incomplete commitment

We understand there can be some unforeseen events in life that make it harder or impossible to meet the commitment for a year. If such an unfortunate situation occurs to you (knock wood), please let the patrol leader of your discipline or president know. 

Membership fee

Patrollers are required to pay their National Membership fee of $165.00 by etransfer. These fees are to support the continuous improvement to the first aid course and the insurance coverage. During your first year, you will have opportunities to earn Patrol Bucks which can cover your membership fee.

The CSP has Standard First Aid accreditation from the Canadian federal government Human Resources Development Skills Canada. This accreditation is recognized in the workplace and may be subsidized by your employer.

Overview of a year

CSP Yukon is active all year long. What we call a year usually starts in September with patroller recruitment and recertification. Early October, we offer the first aid training for new patrollers over 3 weekends and start the On-Snow training in November. You can read more about the training below. Throughout the winter, from December to April, there are countless opportunities to volunteer and connect with other patrollers either at Mount Sima, Mount MacIntyre, and events hosted at various locations around Whitehorse. Once in a while, you'll get an invitation for a social night either for a jam, a drink or BBQ. We hold our AGM in May to celebrate the end of a great winter and the beginning of summer.  Throughout the summer, we accept first aid opportunities such as running, biking or other sporting events.

CSP Yukon is active throughout the year and there are countless opportunities to provide first aid.

Training

First aid

We offer an Advanced First Aid training (60 hours) to all new patrollers. It is done as a mix of Online Learning (at your pace), and 3 weekends of classroom review and hands-on practice. We always make sure to keep the long weekend off.  It can be quite demanding, especially for people without previous first aid experience. However, if you are putting the energy in, our fantastic instructors will support you and you will succeed. 

Class attendance is mandatory. However, we do understand it is near impossible to set a schedule up which will work with everyone's busy life. Absence from class must be approved by the VP Education and is evaluated on a case by case basis. There is an opportunity to catch up with some missed content early November. 

The CSP has Standard First Aid accreditation from the Canadian federal government Human Resources Development Skills Canada. This accreditation is recognized in the workplace and may be subsidized by your employer.

On-snow

On top of First aid, patrollers must be proficient with travelling and transporting patients in snowy conditions. Extra training sessions are held usually in November or December depending on snow conditions at the various patrol areas. 

On-snow training is discipline-specific. For example, certification must be obtained separately for Alpine and Nordic. Our dedicated instructors will make sure you succeed in the very specific skills required as long as you meet the minimum skills skiing/riding skills.

Additional training opportunities

There are many additional training opportunities available throughout the year. There are some optional training scenarios during the winter and summer to make sure everyone is comfortable with their skills. In addition, you can always ask questions and seek mentoring to returning patrollers, you have access to discounts on ski lessons. There is an opportunity for a week with a semi-private instructor at Kicking Horse Ski Improvement Clinic and there is a Mountain Division First Aid On Snow competition. One of our patrollers offers an Avalanche Safety Training (AST1) course at cost. Depending on the years, you may also get a substantial discount on mountain biking lessons with CMBC.   

Recertification

The first aid recertification process happens over 3 days (usually a weekend and an extra evening for CPR in late September). It is much quicker than the full training but still requires some discipline to study ahead of time. There is an hour-long review session using the ELearning platform. You will go over a checklist and demonstrate your various first aid skills in bandaging, splinting, diagnosis and treatment of patients. On-Snow recertification happens every second year to ensure patrollers are still comfortable with their equipment.

Patrol areas and duties

Alpine: Mount Sima 

Shifts are a full day, from 9 am to either 4 pm or 5 pm depending on opening hours. New patrollers are paired with returning patrollers in order to get the best mentoring and develop confidence in their abilities. 

A typical day includes a mix of 

Nordic: Mount MacIntyre and other event locations 

There are 2 different types of nordic patrolling: trail patrol and event patrol. Trail patrol is being present either at Mt. MacIntyre chalet or on cross country skiing the trails with a first aid kit, and be ready to respond to an emergency call to your cellphone. 

Event patrol varies according to each event and the needs but can include sweeping the trail, manning a first aid station and providing patient transport. Some of the patrolled events are  

Summer 

 We are active throughout the summer as well with events like Atlin Music Fest, Krank fest, Sima bike nights, Yukon River Trail marathon, Slamfest, Royalty of the Canyon, etc. There is a blend of running, biking and sporting events.

Skiing and snowboarding ability 

Nordic: Good physical condition, and be comfortable on skis over uphill, downhill and flat terrain. A patroller would ideally already be proficient on black trails. Responding to incidents is usually done using a snowmachine with a toboggan. 

Alpine: Able to ride Dan’s descent (steep blue run) confidently with the willingness to be able to ride Chilkoot (moguls) and gladed runs as the season progresses. 

Adequate previous experience (intermediate level) is required to join CSP. You don't need to be at the athlete level and you should not be a beginner. 

Required equipment

Patrollers are expected to own their snow equipment such as Alpine skis, Snowboard or nordic skis, black or dark blue snow pants and helmet.  

First-year patrollers have access to CSP jackets and patrol backpacks 

Second-year patrollers are expected to provide their own black or red backpack with first aid supplies 

Third-year patrollers are expected to obtain a patrol jacket for their main patrol area. 

Perks and benefits

A great family

One of the best benefits of CSP is being part of a team of people who want to help the community. We come from a variety of backgrounds and you will most definitely be inspired. In addition, many people join the Ski Patrol because they want to put in practice the first aid knowledge they have had for a long time. This is a valuable and rewarding experience.

Ski passes

Some more tangible perks are the ability to obtain a day or even season passes with our partners (Sima and Mount MacIntyre), some great discounts on ski lessons, food and beverage, etc. In the case of Mount Sima, if you have been a patroller for 5 years, you could have a pass for your entire family.  

Pro deals

It seems like every year new deals are scored with reputable brands such as Arcteryx, Avalanche, Icebreaker, Marks, Burton, Elan, Head, K2, Racoon, Tecnica, Prior, Backcountry Access, Ortovox, Seaward kayaks, etc. The list would be too long, and there is more to CSP than the Pro Deals ;)

Guest patrolling at other hills

CSP is a national organization and your certification is recognized as such. With prior arrangements, it is possible to go patrol in other areas. Some restrictions may apply to the scope of your duties. 

Registration

Registration is available anytime from September until the first day of the New Patroller training (first weekend of October). The sooner, the better since there is an Online Learning account to create for you. You will need to fill the Online Registration Form and send an etransfer of $ 165.00 to president@yukonskipatrol.ca.

How to get in touch

Communications are coming from many channels and it is hard to keep track. The best way is to confirm your interest by filling the form at the bottom of the Join the CSP page on our website. This way, we will have your contact information and will be able to relay to the appropriate person.

We are also available on Facebook or by email at president@yukonskipatrol.ca.