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thelawgoddess

Interested in "No Boundaries" ski patrolling?

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The Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol is the only backcountry ski patrol in the Northwest Region of the National Ski Patrol. Our motto is "no boundaries" because we do not operate under the management of an organized ski area. "We primarily patrol the undeveloped backcountry ski trails and logging roads at Steven’s and Snoqualmie Passes and in 1999, started patrolling along the North Cascades Hwy (after the road opened)."

 

We are a pretty laid back group of folks who like being on skis and earning our turns.

 

The requirements to become a candidate and a patroller are listed on our Join Now page. OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care) is the number one requirement, and sign-ups take place very soon. Please contact Chris Paulsen (our new Patrol Director) for specifics.

 

Also feel free to contact me or anyone listed on our Contact Us page for more information.

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So what exactly does "backcountry" ski patrol do? One of the beauties of backcountry skiing is the absence of ski patrol and all of the tasks they typically perform. I’m just having a hard time reconciling one of the major things that defines inbounds skiing with the backcountry. Maybe I’m thinking about this wrong and it’s just a search and rescue type group.

 

"Our goal is to be the recognized leader in avalanche and mountain travel and rescue training within the region..."

What is that statement all about? Whose recognition are you seeking? I could see this being some kind of MLU flavored regulation being talked about in Olympia after some accident.

 

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So what exactly does "backcountry" ski patrol do?

 

Probably pretty similar to what most Mountain Rescue outfits do: either body recovery or the twice yearly "rescue" someone with a sprained ankle.

 

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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So what exactly does "backcountry" ski patrol do? One of the beauties of backcountry skiing is the absence of ski patrol and all of the tasks they typically perform.

 

(snip)

 

"Our goal is to be the recognized leader in avalanche and mountain travel and rescue training within the region..."

What is that statement all about? Whose recognition are you seeking?

 

Hi Ron,

 

CBSP is a volunteer organization that works for the National Forest Service. We are not a law enforcement entity in any fashion, nor do we "patrol" the hills looking to keep skiers or climbers out of any particular area. We primarily bring search and rescue, medical and avalanche rescue experience to the party. A typical patrol day is a lot like a typical backcountry day for anyone on this forum, I'd imagine.

 

With respect to the "recognized leader" part of our mission -- that refers to our role in the National Ski Patrol as the primary source for training in avalanche and mountain travel & rescue skills for the NSP members and local government employees.

 

Probably pretty similar to what most Mountain Rescue outfits do: either body recovery or the twice yearly "rescue" someone with a sprained ankle.

 

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

 

CBSP isn't a SAR outfit, though it's closely affiliated with SPART (Ski PAtrol Rescue Team), which is a unit of the King County Search And Rescue Association. Many of our members (myself included) work with SPART and KCSARA in responding to SAR callouts year-round for skiers, climbers, hikers -- anyone who gets in trouble and needs help. The work certainly includes recoveries and sprained ankles, as well as everything in between. There are often up to 20 callouts a month and SPART members choose which ones they can help out with, along with members of the other units in KCSARA. It's worth noting that SPART membership isn't required, of course -- just another perk to being a patroller, if you're interested in that kind of work.

 

As mentioned before, we aren't a policing entity. We ski the backcountry, have fun and help those in need. Unlike inbound patrollers, we take friends and family out skiing with us.

 

Other perks:

 

* Many opportunities for dirt-cheap, high quality education in mountain travel, rescue techniques and avalanche study (including National Avalanche School courses and ISSW attendance)

* Pro-deal prices on a wide range of gear and equipment

* Use of the National Forest Service bunkhouse when patrolling

* Skiing with and getting to know a great group of like-minded folks and their friends/family

 

The patrol is looking for all sorts of folks, be it AT, Tele, snowboard or nordic/skate skiers. If you're interested don't hesitate to ask questions or get in touch via the website, linked above.

 

Marcus

Edited by Elevation

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I am suprised that you have that many callouts per month. Sounds like it might actually be worth the time to join up.

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Hey Pete,

 

Summer time is the busiest and SPART (and KCSARA) work year 'round. There aren't always that many callouts each month, but if you're available and flexible you can go out on a lot of missions.

 

If you're more interested in pure "volume" of callouts, there are other units in KCSARA that go out on just about every mission, but SPART has, historically, been the largest medical component of KCSARA and is more often used on the injury related missions.

 

Hope that helps. Feel free to post more ?s or get in touch via the site.

 

Marcus

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If anyone would like to find out more, a few of us are getting together for adult beverages on Tuesday night (in Seattle).

 

PM me for details. :wave:

 

 

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bump.gif

 

A small unofficial gathering of the Cascade Backcountry Ski Patrol is happening tonight. Come meet a few of us and ask all the confusedbig.gif you want.

 

cheers.gif Some of us are showing up at 6:00 to catch the last 30 minutes of happy hour; others will trickle in as they can.

 

PM me for the top-secret classified location (on the water, near UW). neener_neener.gif

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