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Great Divide Volunteer Ski Patrol

Ski Patrolling offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a whole new dimension of snowsports. Patrollers work and play within a context of close cooperation with other patrollers and mountain management who are dedicated to safety and fun on the hill. A great esprit develops within the patrol based on the development of advanced first aid and mountain rescue skills along with a deeper understanding of ski area operations. This is not to mention the “responsibility” to get first and last runs of the day and other benefits. If this is for you, read further.
Ski Patrol
General Information:
The Great Divide Volunteer Ski Patrol works hand-in-hand with the Great Divide Paid Patrollers and management as agents of Great Divide Snowsports to promote a fun and safe snowsports experience at Great Divide. Each patroller must fulfill extensive training in first aid, toboggan handling techniques, and on-mountain operations and procedures as well as serve a required number of duty days each season. The Great Divide Ski Patrol is affiliated with the National Ski Patrol System. The current Director of the Volunteer Patrol is Chris Smith. The volunteer patrol is organized to conduct necessary training and to assist in organizing the patrol service days.
Duties and Responsibilities:
A ski patroller’s primary function is to assist in providing a safe and fun environment for pursuing snowsports activities. Routine daily tasks include trail maintenance, safety, and safety education throughout the day. In the event an injury should occur to a guest, patrollers provide first aid and on mountain transport for the injured person.
Only “qualified” patrollers may serve at Great Divide. To qualify, a patroller must fulfill all of the requirements listed below:

  • Be a current member of National Ski Patrol
  • Outdoor Emergency Care (first aid training) (requires 80 hour course taught over 10 weeks in Sept. through Nov. and annual refresher)
  • Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (annually – health care provider CPR)
  • Duty schedule approved by area management
  • Mountain Operations review annually
  • For alpine patrollers: Toboggan qualification annually and maintain appropriate ski or snowboard and toboggan skills
A patroller gains valuable first aid and leadership skills that can be a great asset in a variety of recreational settings. Whether enjoying a weekend walk or a backcountry adventure, knowledge of how to take care of emergencies to yourself and others builds confidence and may help you save a life. A season pass, family or friend pass benefits are also available.
Miscellaneous Information
The Great Divide Ski Patrol provides or coordinates training designed to assist candidates in meeting the skill requirements for patrolling. Training includes first aid training applicable to the outdoor environment through the National Ski Patrol’s Outdoor Emergency Care program and appropriate certifications in CPR skills. The Patrol also provides training in Procedures used at Great Divide in which a patroller may be involved in performing assigned duties. Instruction in skiing and snowboarding skills is also available.

A ski patroller is expected to patrol at least 14 days a season.

For those who cannot or do not desire to meet the on snow skills requirements, auxiliary positions may also be available.

Beyond training and duty day requirements, patrolling involves other time commitments as well. Regular patrol meetings are held from September through April that requires an evening ‘s time. The patrol has fundraising events from time-to-time in which each member is expected to participate.

In addition to time commitments, there are monetary commitments. A person taking the OEC course will have to pay an enrollment fee, plus books and supplies (approximately $105 payable on enrollment). The CPR course is an additional $25. Patrol membership dues are $58. Once on the patrol, a patrol jacket and a first aid belt must be purchased — the price varies depending on personal choice, but expect around $175 or more.


Ski patrolling is not for everyone… It demands a high level of personal commitment and a great deal of time. Ski patrollers provide a great service to our community. Patrolling gives ski patrollers the opportunity to help others and experience “esprit de corps” and expand a person’s snowsports experience in a meaningful way.

If this is for you, contact us.


If you are interested in becoming a volunteer ski patroller or learning more about the program, please call 406.449.3746, send us an email or stop by our service desk with the following information: Your Name, Mailing address, email, telephone number, and mention your interest in patrolling.