Thanks for visiting our little webpage. We’re leaving it here for now primarily because there are a few things that still link back here that we need, such as the page we put up with links to the New Patroller Candidate Information Form Thing. Facebook just turned out to be much more useful for us, so “Like” us via that widget there in the left-hand column, or go to facebook.com/NASP.ski. Thanks!
Do you love the mountains? Can you brave the cold? Are you a proficient skier or rider?
If so, North Absaroka Ski Patrol (NASP), the volunteer organization that serves Sleeping Giant Ski Area, wants you for the 2011-12 ski season.
The ski patrol provides emergency medical care, mountain-safety education and provides a safe skiing environment for guests of Sleeping Giant, as well as supporting the ski area in other daily operational needs.
The first step in becoming an alpine patroller is to pass the outdoor emergency care (OEC) course. This first-responder level class is developed by the National Ski Patrol (NSP) and tailored toward the specific needs of patrollers. It covers subjects from medical emergencies to trauma to environmental considerations.
“While the OEC course is created for patrolling and assumes the availability of tools such as backboards, oxygen and splints, the knowledge participants gain can be valuable for many activities, such as day hiking, backpacking, guiding or even responding to medical emergencies on the road or in town,” patroller and OEC instructor Kenny Gasch said.
“The Outdoor Emergency Care course was developed for the members of the National Ski Patrol; however, it is also relevant to all emergency first responders in outdoor environments,” patroller and OEC instructor Betsy Penwell said.
An informational and registration meeting for this fall’s OEC class is scheduled for Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Cedar Mountain Room at West Park Hospital (next to the cafeteria).
Along with outdoor emergency care, patrolling provides education in search and rescue, avalanche control, lift evacuation, mountaineering, toboggan handling and other skills.
“In addition to learning opportunities, patrollers also enjoy benefits provided by Sleeping Giant, such as free skiing, equipment tune-ups and discounts,” patrol representative Joel Hunt said. “National Ski Patrol also provides patrollers gear discounts through its sponsors and partners.”
For more information or questions, contact Hunt at email@example.com or 250-6608 or visit the NASP website at
and fill out the contact form on the “Candidates” page.
“This is also a great way to support a community asset whose focus is creating the next generation of skiers and riders, not to mention meeting a fun group of outdoor enthusiasts,” Hunt said.
I use the term “float” loosely, as in 2010 we performed as a lawn-chair drill team and this year we used the high school Nordic team’s roller skis.
As we found out, the Nordic roller skis are different from roller blades and definitely not the same as alpine skiing. But the visual made it work and people seemed amused/amazed by us skiing the concrete on the Fourth (although this year, we could have actually alpine skied on the Fourth with all the snow we has last winter).
Being right after the Sleeping Giant float, which consisted of two lift chairs hanging from a cherry picker, made the conceit complete.
Thanks to patroller Crystal Davis for organizing the parade entry, Andy Quick and the CHS Nordic Team for use of the skates and Sunlight Sports for loaner Nordic boots. It was all very much appreciated!
The NSP is working with Congress to have a bill passed that will protect the organization and patrollers from regulation and liability. Essentially, the bill would encourage NSP members to volunteer their services not only on the slopes, but in the streets and their communities while being afforded legal protection by the legislation. The first meeting took place on May 24 in Washington, D.C. Leaders from the NSP, including NSP Board Chair Burt Mitchell and former Southern Division Director Morgan Armstrong, met with senior staff members from Senator Patrick Leahy’s office. Senator Leahy’s staff was interested, and will be amenable to bringing the idea forward to the Senator for further consideration. We will continue to keep members informed on the progress of the bill.
—from the NSP Sweep newsletter
Wondering what goes on behind the scenes as a National Ski Patroller? “Polaris” is the NSP Northern Division’s newsletter, which includes information about members, training, events and education.
Be sure to check out the photos on page 7 from NASP’s recent snow-skiing and toboggan certification at Sleeping Giant (no Scott’s not falling down, we were required to make some turns on one ski!).
NASP Patrol Rep Blair Van Antwerp vogues for the camera after a good day on the hill at Sleeping Giant. Show him some love!
Here’s a link to a recent article about Sleeping Giant in the Billings Gazette. Better snow at SG than Bridger Bowl over Christmas weekend! And thanks to SG ops manager (and patrol director) Mike Neff for the NASP shout-out!
A big chunk of time during the NASP on-hill refresher Saturday, Oct. 16, was spent practicing chair evacuations.
If a lift were to break down and lift operations was unable to restart it, each chair would have to be unloaded manually using ropes.
The process involves patrollers shooting a line gun attached to a thin rope over the haul line, pulling a 10 mm rope over the haul line and belaying passengers out of the chairs, one by one.
NASP candidates, Sleeping Giant management and lift operations staff, and Forest Service representatives participated in and monitored the process along with the NASP patrollers.
In addition to chair evac, NASP also reviewed knots, standing backboards and low-angle toboggan rescues using anchors, pulleys and prusiks.
Even with no snow on the hill yet, everyone was excited to get back in action and gear up for a great winter ahead. (After last season, you owe us big time, Mother Nature!)