How to Prepare for Ski Patrol Training

Talked to Mike, now I’m stoked! How do I prepare for the road ahead?

There is no RIGHT way to prepare. Each person is different with clear individual strengths and weaknesses. However, as a general guideline, here are some thoughts we suggest:


Start with the equipment. Genuinely, objectively evaluate your gear. Take it to a reputable ski shop and have the professionals look at your set up. Equipment is so sophisticated these days that even five-year-old gear may be of questionable value. If you need new stuff, really look at upgrading if possible.


Rarely does equipment for your individual needs fit perfectly out of the box. This is especially true of boots. Have all your gear fitted and examined to quality specifications before you come out. This will only help you in the long run.


Being a Ski Patroller is a physically demanding endeavor. Beyond the skiing, handling patients and muscling toboggans and a hundred other tasks will challenge your physical conditioning. So, it is suggested that you get back in the gym, on the treadmill or hit the trails. Cardio training is a great start, but don’t forget some weight training…you will need it!


If you have the ability to purchase the OEC Training Manual in advance, do it. Start reading it. OEC Instructors will recommend the latest version that will be used for your particular class. Additionally, some people also pick up an anatomy book from their local college book store for even more background. This is a great way to take the first several steps and get a feel for the material before class begins.


This is one to get adjusted immediately! The process for becoming a Ski Patroller is designed to be challenging. As a first responder, we are required to be prepared to demonstrate a high standard of skills in a variety of areas. Easy? No. Hard? Yes. Doable? Absolutely. It all depends on your desire to join the team and your positive attitude in the face of personal challenges. You can do this, but you have to be ready to train like you haven’t trained before.

Links to resources:

OEC book