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.
Fernie has a significant amount of advanced and 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. However, it is essential that you already consider yourself an advanced skier when you arrive.
The complex nature of the avalanche challenges in Fernie means that their control techniques are world-leading. With an average snowfall of 10m per winter, the patrollers have got their work cut out to ensure they can safely open the resort each day. There really is no better resort to gain your ski patrol professional level qualifications.
Our hands-on patrol training will teach you a huge range of skills, such as avalanche control, lift evacuation, advanced first aid, terrain management, rope rescue, ski touring, snowobiling and much more. These are essential skills for any budding ski patroller that will set you up for success in the high pressured work environment you're training for.
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.
During the course you will work towards several certifications with world-recognised bodies.
You will be trained and assessed in a dual certification first aid course for Non Urban Emergency Care / Occupational First Aid, one of the most patrol-specific first-aid courses available.
You'll gain essential avalanche safety skills on the AST Level 1; a recreational training course with field and theory covering avalanche formation and release, digging a snow pit and performing a compression test, basic companion rescue, how to use a transceiver, shovel and probe, and more.
We will also introduce you to skills and concepts that will help prepare you for any higher level avalanche courses you may wish to take in future to support any career aspirations within the patrol industry.
For those with designs on working as a patroller, this course will suitably train you to find employment at the majority of ski resorts. However, large ski resorts, and those with complex avalanche programs, tend to hire applicants with previous patrol experience, so working at such resorts is something you can work towards as you earn your stipes and further certifications.
There are limited opportunities to volunteer with the Ski Patrol team and help with their responsibilities so you can get an insight to life as a patroller.
You'll also want to take advantage of your free time & get as much free skiing in as possible - as it's important to note that skiing time is limited on training days. We have designed the course so that the classroom based first aid course happens before the resort opens, so we don't eat into your potential skiing time!
Fernie is a laid back authentic Canadian mountain town - an ideal place to call home!
Stay in our purposely renovated ski lodge in the heart of Fernie, which features en-suite rooms and queen-sized beds plus awesome facilities like a movie theatre, hot tub and sauna, as well as a bar and restaurant. We also rent local houses in downtown Fernie exclusively for participants on our patrol course to serve up a true locals experience.
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.
Please note the course schedule varies depending on which dates you select and is dependant on the availability of specialist instructors
Each student has one opportunity to shadow the Fernie Ski Patrol, gaining hands-on experience and enhancing your resumé.
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.
Non Urban Emergency Care / Occupational First Aid 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.
We have rented a house in downtown Fernie specifically for participants on the patrol course. You'll be living like a local - except our team are on hand whenever you need us! There are space for 4 people in the house - in single rooms. We have also set aside 1 twin bedroom at the Red Tree Lodge.
Our restaurant opens on the first weekend in December; so for the first two weeks you will prepare your own meals in either your house kitchen or the public kitchen at the Red Tree Lodge. From the 3rd December, dinners will be served 4 nights per week & breakfast served 5 day per week at the Red Tree Lodge (with the exception of 23-26 December when the restaurant is closed). At all times, you have access to cooking facilities.
You'll be given a season lift pass so you can ski as much as you please.
We provide airport transfers from and to Calgary Airport at set departure times.
During the 23/24 season, we will provide transfers at the following times:
Start date of course: meet the transfer at Calgary Airport at 5pm, opt for a flight that lands before 3:30pm.
End date of course: transfer will arrive at Calgary Airport by approx. 1:30pm, opt for a flight that departs after 4:30pm.
Daily shuttle to and from the slopes.
Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.
Each week you'll receive a technical talk on subjects such as ski maintenance, injury prevention and working as a patroller.
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.
Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in.
1% of revenues support environmental non-profits, including Protect Our Winters
These things are not included in the package:
We look forward to speaking with you.