Friday, October 2, 2015

2016 Mount Rainier Nordic Patrol

Mount Rainier Nordic Patrol is tuning up their skis for another season. Since 1993 the volunteers of Nordic Patrol have been traversing the slopes in the Paradise area from Panorama Point to the Tatoosh and Reflection Lakes. Like Snow Rovers, Patrollers main function is to practice Preventive Search And Rescue (PSAR) by being affable, welcoming, and accessible to park visitors on weekends and holidays throughout the winter season. In addition, Patrollers maintain winter signage and monitor over 200 bamboo poles used to mark winter trails. The season begins when the meadows around Paradise fill with snow and can extend into April. 

Last season Patrollers were involved with several searches for overdue visitors, assisted in a medical evacuation, checked camping permits, and even changed a flat tire for an elderly visitor. All Patrollers carry avalanche safety equipment and enough personal gear so they can stay out for the entire day in weather that varies from terrific to terrifying. Skiing prowess is not the most important skill required of volunteer Patrollers and snowshoers are also on our team. 

Nordic Patrol is organized exclusively by the Washington Ski Touring Club ( in cooperation with MORA. For liability purposes all Patrollers must be members of WSTC. Therefore, the first step in volunteering for Nordic Patrol is joining the Ski Club. Additional information about Nordic Patrol qualifications, annual training, and schedule is available to members on the WSTC website. 
Jon Epstein
Nordic Patrol Coordinator

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