It’s winter. You’re standing on the top of a mountain, surrounded by the stunning beauty of Sun Peaks. You pause to capture a photo of the incredible run you’re about to take to the ski resort below.
Canadian Ski Patrol’s Inter-Mountain Zone wants you to consider being part of the bigger picture; one that includes the camaraderie of volunteering with teammates to help the injured and sharing your passion for skiing or snowboarding with guests who also want to know where to find the best powder stashes.
On September 4, CSP is hosting a registration night for new volunteers. You can drop by St. John’s Ambulance at 627 Victoria Street in Kamloops from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to sign up or find out more about the opportunities that await.
“As a ski patroller, you’re involved in a community that’s bigger than you,” says Jean Strong, patrol leader for CSP at Sun Peaks Resort and a CSP instructor trainer.
The training involves instruction on advanced first aid for two weekday evenings a week from September to November in Kamloops. Then everyone gathers at Sun Peaks Resort for a day of lift evacuation training. In December, there are four days of on-snow training.
“That’s when we go over accident scene management, ski assessments and toboggan handling. It’s a lot of fun,” Strong says.
Volunteers commit to 12 shifts a season; in the first year, the four days of on-snow training count as four shifts. Volunteers can choose from Sun Peaks Resort, Harper Mountain or Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre.
Most patrollers volunteer on Saturdays and Sundays but weekday shifts are also welcome and you can pick up as many shifts as you like. There are also opportunities to volunteer at ski races and summer events, for which you’re often thanked by the resort with a day pass.
Volunteers must be 18 and older; however, 16- and 17-year-olds can join as junior patrollers who shadow older patrollers until they are 18.
“As long as you are willing to work as a team, be outside and love skiing, you’ll be great,” Strong says.