The Senior Program is designed for NSP members who aspire to the upper levels of skiing/snowboarding and Outdoor Emergency Care proficiency. It provides a forum in which patrollers can enhance personal skiing/snowboarding and toboggan-handling proficiency, improve their ability to manage OEC scenarios, and expand their patrolling knowledge and skills. The Senior Program is also excellent preparation for patrollers looking to move into leadership or teaching roles in the NSP. The Senior designation signifies that a patroller has the skills to be an effective first responder at any ski resort they happen to be visiting in their home division and region.
The Senior Program consists of core and elective requirements designed for Alpine Patrollers, Nordic Patrollers, and non-skiing Patrollers, with variations for each discipline.
For Alpine and Nordic Patrollers, the Senior evaluation process consists of three core components that each can be evaluated and passed separate from the others, in any order. The skill challenges are:
- Senior OEC / Senior Emergency Management - ability to manage the scene and resources involved in rendering first aid in a difficult scenario.
- Senior Skiing or Riding - ability to respond to any in-area slope in any snow or weather condition in a timely manner with control and confidence.
- Senior Toboggan - ability to safely drive and belay a toboggan down any in-area slope in any snow or weather condition with control and confidence.
Each component is administered by a different Program Supervisor and Instructor/Evaluator trained for that discipline. Accordingly, each component has a separate schedule and registration process as explained in detail, below.
The Senior Ski and Toboggan evaluation traditionally happens once a year on the first weekend in March.
The Ski and Toboggan evaluations are separate from each other and are conducted on the same day. Both evaluations must be registered separately on the NSP website. If you pass one, you will have three seasons to pass the other (plus Senior OEC and your electives) before the skill you passed expire and need to be evaluated again.
The Senior OEC evaluation traditionally happens once a year on the last weekend in February or the second week of March. It alternates between being hosted by the Northern Region and the Southern Region. We want to give a big thank you to Powder Mountain for hosting the 2023 Senior OEC evaluation! The 2024 Senior OEC has been scheduled to be hosted by Kelly Canyon on February 24, 2024.
The Senior OEC evaluation day has a limited capacity; allocation of evaluation slots is first come, first served. Because other patrollers will likely be precluded from participating, the registration fee to be evaluated at a Senior OEC is not refundable. If you say you are coming, we want you to have skin in the game.
There are several steps to the Senior process - you can't just sign up for this event without completing the pre-requisites due on February 10, 2024, Follow this link to get yourself into the pipeline for this year.
The core and elective components for senior candidates are:
Senior Patroller Core Requirements: (Applies to all Patrollers - Alpine, Nordic and Auxilliary)
a. Senior Emergency Management (Senior OEC)
b. Level I Avalanche course (IMD requirement)
1. Alpine Senior (ski/snowboard) candidates
c. Alpine skiing/snowboarding and toboggan handling (Senior S&T)
d. Two electives from the senior elective list
2. Nordic Senior candidates
c. Toboggan construction and handling
d. Nordic skiing and endurance
e. Mountain Travel and Rescue 2
f. Two electives from the senior elective list
3. Auxilliary Senior candidates
c. Three electives from the senior elective list
Note that Senior Auxilliary Patrollers that later pass Basic Alpine Ski and Toboggan become Basic Alpine Patrollers.
While the elective requirements have been met, you must test again on the core requirements of both Senior Emergency Management (Senior OEC) and Senior Alpine skiing/snowboarding and toboggan handling (Senior S&T)
Senior elective list (Any NSP education courses as approved by the NSP Board of Directors qualify for senior electives.)
1. Education Courses
a. Instructor Development course
b. Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals course or Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 course
c. Mountain Travel and Rescue 2 course (required/not an elective for senior nordic candidates)
d. Avalanche Level II course
f. Avalanche Foundation School didactic sessions
g. Avalanche Foundation School field sessions
h. Skiing Enhancement Seminar
i. Ski Trainer’s Workshop
j. Toboggan Enhancement Seminar
k. Any NSP educational course approved in the future
2. Leadership & Proficiency Courses
a. Patroller Enrichment Seminar
b. NSP instructor status (any discipline)
c. NSP instructor trainer appointment (any discipline)
d. Pass Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Certified Instructor Level II Exam
e. Pass Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Certified Instructor Level III Exam
f. CPR Instructor for ARC, AHA or NSC
g. NSP leadership module, course, or equivalent course approved by the board of directors