Nordic Patroller


DIAL 541-822-3799 and ask for the SKI PATROL


The Santiam Pass Ski Patrol, patrols these trails on weekends and many holidays. On the other days, if the area is open, they will dispatch an Alpine patroller via snowmobile. So regardless of the day, the ski area will dispatch a patroller to aid in your rescue if called upon. To call the ski area, DIAL 541-822-3799 ext. 6611 or ask for the SKI PATROL. This will provide you the most rapid response. If you dialed 911, you should indicate to the dispatcher that you are on a Hoodoo in-area trail and need the ski patrol at Hoodoo.


If a search or a rescue is requested, the Sheriff is the responsible agency. If you call Santiam Pass Ski Patrol, we will call the Sheriff as part of our procedures. We become an Asset to the Sheriff in your aid request.

We have previously developed plans with the appropriate ICS (Incident command system) forms. We will immediately establish an incident command until relieved by the County Sheriff or our operational period expires. As the closest asset we are able to deploy in a short period of time.

Dialing 911: Just as in any wilderness area, dialing 911 sometimes creates an interesting issue or two. The primary reason is that the cellular tower may dump you into a 911 telephone system you were not expecting. It is always good to ask which 911 dispatch you have reached and to notify the dispatcher of your proper location so that they may tap out the proper agency.

For out-of-area search and rescues, Santiam Pass Ski Patrol is not a call out agency. Hence the 911 computers are not designed to tap us out. The rescue teams in the appropriate cities are usually called.

As the Santiam Pass Ski Patrol is in the area on weekends and many holidays while the ski area is open, if Santiam Pass Ski Patrol is called, we often respond, at the Sheriffs prerogative. Again, during other days the area is open, Hoodoo will dispatch their patrollers to any incident on the in-area nordic trails.

A Nordic patroller’s day on the Santiam Pass Ski Patrol

8:00am: Arrive by 8:00am to unpack your equipment and attend the morning meeting. On Saturday shift (if it hasn’t already been done) you will need to get the snowmobiles out of storage, gas them up, check oil, etc. and bring them down to the lodge. You may be asked to put out the SLOW signs on the ski runs.
8:15am: Morning meeting – see who is on patrol that day, get any news of mtn. problems, events, policy changes, etc.
8:30am: Get into your x-c boots and gear and head out to open the trails. Knock snow off signs, raise and reposition signs if buried and to break ice off that may be forming, look for hazards. If you are on the upper trail system make sure the out of bounds signs are posted and visible. If divided up, the opening assignment can take about +/- 1 hour.
9:45 – 10:30am: Check snowmobiles for gas, oil, etc. if you haven’t already. Note and make any minor repairs that have to be done on the machines. Dig out storage bay doors so the rescue sled can be retrieved quickly if needed. Dig out snow-mo storage bays (Sunday) so they can be put away easily that evening.
10:30am: Depending on the day and conditions, repairs that have to be attended to, maintenance projects, hill chief request, first aid training, and other non-scheduled activities, you may be spending the next hour, or two, or three?? in and around the aid room/lodge performing these duties. Other times, you may be able to go get a few turns in if you are not needed.
12:00ish: Lunch
1:00-3:30pm: Check in and help out with aid room staff if needed, assist with training, complete annual “get wet” activities, review first aid problems/equipment, basically be around and ready to help with anything that may be requested. If it’s a slow day you may be able to go out and make more turns 🙂
3:45pm: Get ready to “sweep” Nordic trails on the snowmobiles. Let visitors know that the trails are closing at 4pm.
4:30ish: Prepare to put the snowmobiles away (Saturday: park the snowmobiles after sweeps are completed – Sunday: put them back into storage). Keep at least one available until the mountain has been cleared of any incidents, searches, etc.

So that’s the typical day. But, always expect the unexpected. Be ready to head out into the back country for a rescue/search. You may stay until 9pm or later helping with a search on the mountain. Be flexible and ready. Have your pack supplied and ready for an over-night stay. And lastly and most important – have fun.

To make contact with the patrol send an inquiry to recruit at SantiamPassSkiPatrol dot org, or you can fill out this registration form.

You will be contacted at a later date and given a detailed plan that will enable you to patrol after successfully completing your training.