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Ski Patrol CourseFernie, Canada - 11 Weeks

A Challenging Big Mountain Resort

Train to become a ski patroller in Fernie, a resort with challenging terrain and complex avalanche operations. Learn the heroic skills needed to work in one of the most exciting and interesting jobs on the mountain.

Who's it for?
Age ranges
Skill level Ability guide >>
Gender
Nationality
Resort

Fernie has a significant amount of expert terrain. This means that the ski patrol need the highest levels of skill in first aid, toboggan, rope, lift and avalanche rescue - all of which they will teach you.

 

The complex nature of the avalanche challenges in Fernie means that their control techniques are world-leading. There really is no better resort to gain your ski patrol professional level qualifications.

Training

Our hands-on patrol training will take you through how to tackle various scenarios such as avalanche control, lift evacuation, advanced first aid, rope rescue and much more. These are skills that will be put into practice in high pressure situations in a work environment.

 

You will need to be a strong skier to take this course (you'll be able to link controlled parallel turns in challenging off piste terrain). It's important that you're confident enough to tackle any terrain on the mountain before you learn to help others who need patrol assistance. If you have any doubts about your ability then get in touch so we can assess your suitability for the course.

Qualifications

During the course you will work towards official certifications with world-recognised bodies. Your first aid qualifications will include advanced first aid, CPR and AED defibrillator training, pain management using nitrous oxide. You will be trained and assessed in the Non Urban Emergency Care program, one of the most patrol-specific courses available.

 

You'll gain the respected CAA (Canadian Avalanche Association) Operations Level 1 as well as the pre-requisite Avalanche Skills Training Level 1. Full details can be found on the CAA website.

 

Shadow Fernie Ski Patrol once you have your first aid qualification and put your skills into practice whenver possible, learning valuable work experience to really boost your resume. 

Weekends & Activities

When you're not volunteering with Fernie Ski Patrol, you can join the 11 week instructor course participants on the action-packed program of weekend courses and activities.

 

It's an awesome experience to live in the mountains and your time on the course is only a part of it. With our local knowledge and experience we have pulled together a program of activities ranging from traditional Canadian sports to road trips to other resorts to test out your skiing on new terrain. Build and sleep in your own snow cave or go cat-skiing, where you will ski fresh powder all day long. You can pick from a wide variety on offer.

 

Our local course host will also organise loads of social activities, such as trips to watch the local ice-hockey team, trying out street hockey, quiz nights, night skiing and even curling.

Heli Skiing
Snowmobiling
Cat Skiing
Avalanche Training
Snowshoeing
Ice Hockey
Backcountry Touring
Winter Camping
Accommodation

If you're keen on an independent "locals" experience, we have a number of centrally located Nonstop house-shares that are a great way to spend a season. Or stay in oiw own hotel, the Red Tree Lodge and relax in your own queen sized bed with en suite room. Wherever you stay, you can use all the awesome on site facilities including the bar, restaurant, lounge, movie theatre, hot tub and sauna for those tired muscles, and a games room.

Course Milestones It will be an action-packed 11 weeks... here's how it'll go down!
Week 1
Meet your course mates and settle into Fernie life. The initial focus will be on personal ski improvement and familiarisation of Fernie’s terrain and the Ski Patrol department.
Week 2-3
We buckle down for the Emergency First Aid course - the most critical and universal outdoor leadership skill. We’ll be in the classroom and outdoors in a practical learning setting.
Week 4-7
The learning continues: Toboggan handling, avalanche skills, risk management, snowmobile training, knots, pulley systems, cliffs and crevasses.
USA
A chance to road trip south for a super fun weekend in the USA. Whitefish is an awesome Montana town with both great skiing and an awesome party scene.
Weeks 8-9
Ski lifts can break... take turns being the subject and leading the evacuation of a chairlift. Plus, get an overview of all the ski resort departments you'll need to work alongside.
Winter Camping
Dig your own snow cave, roast marshmallows on the campfire, sleep 6ft under the snow, and wake for first tracks to the base area. An experience you won’t forget!
Weeks 10-11
The CAA Operations Level 1 is a serious course which you’re now ready for. Learn to take avalanche and weather observations to professional standards, plus learn control and rescue techniques.
Post Course
Stay in Fernie until the winter ends (you have a season pass) and enjoy sunny spring ski days with your mates. A great winddown to our intense course.
Dates & Prices

What's Included

Professional Ski Patrol Training +

You'll receive training every week from leading ski patrollers at Fernie Alpine Resort. The number of hours per week varies depending on what the focus is. The maximum group size is 6 students per instructor.

Shadowing the Fernie Ski Patrol +

You'll have the opportunity to shadow the Fernie Ski Patrol, gaining hands-on experience and enhancing your resumé.

Level 1 CAA Operations Course & Exam Fee +

The CAA Level 1 Operations course is a professional level certification required by any avalanche observation or control operation. Minimum age - 19 years old

AST Level 1 +

Avalanche Safety Training 1 is the first recreational training course offered by the CAA and covers topics such as avalanche formation, snow stability tests, safe travel in the backcountry, and search and rescue techniques. It is a pre-requisite for the CAA Operations 1 course.

NUEC First Aid Exam Fee +

Non Urban Emergency Care content is designed specifically for dealing with ski and outdoor adventure sport injuries and illnesses. It will not only be accepted for patrol work but also any other outdoor guiding jobs. Skills gained include advanced first aid, CPR and AED defibrillator training.

Accommodation +

Choose to stay in the Red Tree Lodge or go for the authentic expereince in houses in downtown Fernie. Either way, you'll have access to all the Red Tree Lodge facilities, including:

Breakfasts - Five Days Per Week +

You'll be treated to an awesome breakfast at the Red Tree Lodge five days per week. Options include a coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, porridge oats, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.

Dinners - Four Nights Per Week +

Enjoy a nutritionally balanced & filling three course meal at the Red Tree Lodge four evenings a week.

The only exception is during the CAA Level 1 Ops course when on three evenings there will be no inclusive meals; the CAA course schedule is flexible, can be influenced by weather, and can not be pre-determined by meal reservations.

Season Lift Pass +

You'll be given a season lift pass so you can ski as much as you please. Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you.

Airport Transfers & Resort Transport +

If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop transfer to the resort. All your transport within the resort is taken care of, just don't forget your gear.

24 Hour Hosting +

Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.

Weekly Technical Sessions +

Each week you'll receive a technical talk on subjects such as ski maintenance, injury prevention and working as a patroller.

Patrol Career Advice +

You'll be given an 'Patrol Starter Kit' booklet with a directory of ski patrol contacts, receive a seminar on 'Working as an Patroller', and be given constant advice from our trainers.

Weekly Socials +

Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in.

The More Program +

A contender for the highlight of this course! The More Program let's you get involved with dozens of winter activities and experiences during your time with us, from cat skiing to ice hockey, from weekend road trips to photography courses to winter camping. We'll give you 25 "More credits" to select the activities you want to experience. Download the Course Brochure to see the full list.

Optional Pre and Post Stay +

Come out before the course begins or stay on at the end. You'll have a season lift pass so it's just a case of booking extra accommodation.

Not Included +

These things are not included in the package:

Flights +
We can give you advice on the best flights to get.
Travel Insurance +
We can point you to insurance policies that previous clients have rated. Some offer discounts to Nonstop participants.
Ski Equipment +
You will need alpine ski boots with a walk mode, any all mountain ski with skins & a heavier 'slack country' type binding. It's best to buy your equipment when in resort, if you don't already have it. Our coaches will give you advice on the best skis to get, and you can get a Nonstop discount at some local shops.
Avalanche & Self Rescue Equipment +
You will need to own your own shovel, avalanche transceiver, avalanche probe, pocket knife, flashlight, 40l Day pack, Locking Caribener, 3m 1 inch tubular webbing. All can be purchased in Fernie.
Lunches & Weekend Meals +
Make your own or try out some of the local restaurants or resort options.
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