An Alpine Patroller’s day on the Santiam Pass Ski Patrol



  • 8:00am:  Arrive by 8:00am to unpack your equipment and attend the morning meeting. Sign in on the Duty Board to obtain your opening and closing position/assignment. Check out a radio. You may be asked to put out the SLOW signs on the ski runs.
  • 8:15am:  Morning meeting see who is on patrol that day, get any news of mtn. problems, events, policy changes, etc.
  • 8:30am:  Get into your ski/board gear and head out to your opening assignment. Ride the lift, clean snow/ice from toboggans, check gear, ski lift line, knock snow off signs, reposition tower pads as needed, look for hazards. 
  • As the day progresses:  With other patrollers, maintain full coverage of the mountain, rotate in and out of dispatch, tend potential concerns/hazards as they arise, be available for any incidents that may occur throughout the day.
  • Lunch:  Time is dependent upon which number you signed up on at the beginning of the day.  Typically you have an hour to eat.
  • Afternoon:  Same as the morning - ski the hill, rotate in and out of dispatch, be available as needed.  Other activities may include assisting the aid room patrollers, training, completing annual “get wet” activities, reviewing first aid problems/equipment, etc.
  • 3:15 p.m.:  Get ready to “sweep” Hodag when it's open.  Hodag closes at 3:30.
  • 3:45 p.m.: Get ready to "sweep" the rest of the mountain. 
  • 4:00 p.m.:  Final mountain "sweep".  Attend final meeting at the end of the day to go over incidents, daily activities, concerns, praises, etc.

That is the typical day.  But, always expect the unexpected.  Even Alpines may need to assist in a back country rescue/search. You may stay until 9pm or later helping with a search on the mountain.  Be flexible and ready. And lastly and most importantly have fun.












Know the Code!!!


1) Always stay in control.


2) People ahead of you have the right of way.


3) Stop in a safe place for you and others.


4) Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.


5) Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.


6) Observe signs and warnings and keep off closed trails.


7) Know how to use the lifts safely.


This is a partial list.  Be safety conscious!