Western Appalachian Region Nordic SKI Patrol

National SKI Patrol

Western Appalachian Region


Join Us

0130011255a c.3254346 large

Training Programs

The National Ski Patrol offers top notch, nationally recognized instructional programs that have been developed by experts in their respective fields. Most courses are also open to non-patrollers.

  • Back country skiing
  • Outdoor emergency care
  • Mountaineering
  • Land navigation
  • Survival
  • Low angle rope rescue
  • Winter camping
  • Search and rescue
  • Avalanche safety
  • Leadership

The Nordic Ski Patrols of the Western Appalachian Region, as components of the National Ski Patrol, are dedicated to providing outdoor emergency care, rescue, and other safety-related services to the outdoor community, while promoting the enjoyment of winter recreation in the wilderness environment.

Nordic ski patrollers receive the same extensive medical training as our Alpine (downhill) ski patrol counterparts, plus specialized training related to delivering care in remote situations where assistance and support facilities are not immediately available.  The National Ski Patrol’s Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) credential is similar to that of an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) in terms of skills and knowledge.

Qualification Requirements

Are you at least 15 years of age, physically fit, enthusiastic, and an above average Nordic skier?

Do you enjoy the challenge of Nordic skiing in difficult terrain and conditions, and would you like to share that challenge with others?

Would you like the opportunity to hone your skills and to develop new ones in order to make Nordic skiing safer and more enjoyable for everyone?

How to Participate

  1. To submit an application and schedule a tryout, please contact:

    Susie Atkinson for Laurel Highlands Nordic SKI Patrol or

    Sue Lee for Laurel Summit Nordic SKI patrol

  2. Accepted candidates are required to complete a comprehensive course in Outdoor Emergency Care, which is held at various local ski areas each spring.  Candidates must also complete a 2-day Mountain Travel & Rescue course held each autumn, which includes camping overnight.

  3. Candidates who complete these courses will ski with experienced patrollers for at least 10 weekend days during their first winter.  They will receive training in and be evaluated based on skiing technique, toboggan fabrication and handling, land navigation, and other basic outdoor skills.  Those who successfully complete all requirements will be invited to become full members of the patrol the following winter.

  4. Patrollers are required to assemble a duty pack including basic survival gear and first aid equipment.  They are assigned 10 weekend duty days over the course of each winter, and must also attend skill recertification sessions each autumn.  In addition, patrollers are encouraged to participate in advanced training to refine their skills and learn new ones, or even to become course instructors.

Laurel Highland and Laurel Summit Mountain Host Volunteers Wanted

If you are interested in serving people who engage in outdoor recreation, but not interested in becoming a patroller, consider becoming a host.  Hosts serve in a variety of roles and are trained in first aid through the Outdoor First Care (OFC) course.

Contact Susie Atkinson for Laurel Highlands Nordic SKI Patrol or

Bob Blough for Laurel Summit Nordic SKI patrol

Laurel Summit Winter Volunteers Wanted

The all-volunteer Laurel Summit Nordic Ski Patrol is seeking help in and around our Warming Hut this winter from people who would like to assist others.  No special skills are required–and you don’t even have to be a skier to participate!  This assistance is very important, as it will allow our patrollers more time to maintain the trails and to provide aid to skiers.

The Warming Hut is staffed most winter weekends from 9 am to 5 pm, and volunteers are asked to commit to at least 2 hours each month. 

For more information, please contact Laurel Summit Patroller Peg Blough or pick-up a flier at the Warming Hut.