If you are interested in skiing some of the best backcountry snow in all of Oregon, you’ll most likely find it at Crater Lake National Park.
And if you want to ski it often, you may want to join us as a volunteer ski patrol member – here’s why – as a volunteer you can enjoy all these benefits:
- Excellent backcountry rescue training
- Overnight lodging in the Park provided on patrol weekends
- Patrol ungroomed trails – lots of skiing!
- Learn about backcountry gear, snow science, avalanche awareness and skills
- Explore the 183,000 acres of Crater Lake National Park
- Meet and adventure with folks of similar interests
Patrollers are required to bring their own food, clothing, equipment and transportation to and from Crater Lake National Park. We have a ski patrol uniform that consists of jacket and pants, which all are expected to wear. We ask for 3 weekends from each volunteer, in addition to the 2 mandatory training weekends. Each patrol weekend consists of 2 days of volunteering, from 9 – 5pm. The Park provides housing and we encourage patrollers to carpool to and from the Park.
A day on the patrol consists of breakfast in our housing unit, the Ski Patrol Hut, followed by the daily meeting with Rangers. We meet about half an hour to determine the day’s priorities and tasks, and to do a short training session. These sessions could be beacon searches, map work, knots, radio protocol and other things we need reminders on throughout the season.
Most of the day consists of accomplishing tasks set out in the morning. We often check rope lines, break trails after big snows, reset signs, chat up the visitors, do practice trainings, organize equipment and ski, ski, ski. We spend most of every day outside, in the splendor!
Saturday nights are generally the night we host a potluck for Park staff and patrollers. Always a fun event and believe it or not, folks really do bring their best food for this potluck.
After Sunday duties, we pack up, clean up and check out by 4pm or so. The Park Rangers are considerate of weather and may call a weekend off, or call it short, depending on the weather and commute conditions.
Though not every weekend is the same, this general outline covers the typical weekend. The snow and the esprit de corps is what brings us all back – weekend after weekend and year after year.
Join us! Send in your application!