Ski & Toboggan

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Senior Ski & Toboggan Program – A Closer Look

The Ski and Toboggan program is a Region wide educational training program that helps NSP members develop higher levels of skiing, snowboarding and rescue toboggan handling skills to aid in the performance of their duties.  Attaining this additional level becomes one step for those Patrollers looking to advance to Senior status.

The NSP Board of Directors, the National Senior Committee, and division ski and toboggan advisors have developed a national-level ski & toboggan training program that provides consistency, standardization, and quality in a supportive environment. The senior ski & toboggan program has nationally established guidelines and requirements, which neither division advisors nor regional ski & toboggan administrators can impose additional requirements to.

The following are the goals of the Senior Ski & Toboggan Program:

  • To provide a training and evaluation environment which encourages all patrollers to participate.
  • To expand and improve the NSP member’s patrolling knowledge and skills through a national program of training and evaluation.
  • To provide NSP members with the opportunity to obtain quality upper level training.
  • To improve the image of patrollers and National Ski Patrol.
  • To provide a method for members to obtain personal improvement and achievement through definable goals.
  • To prepare patrollers for leadership positions in National Ski Patrol.

Are you qualified to participate in the Senior Ski & Toboggan Program?

Patrollers may apply for participation in the senior program at any time after becoming a NSP member, obtaining patroller status, and obtaining their patrol directors recommendation. Skiing and toboggan handling skills should be proficient on “More & Most Difficult ” terrain. Participation can be with alpine skis, telemark skis or snowboard. Applications for participation in the regional senior ski & toboggan program can be downloaded here:

Senior Candidate Application

Components of the Senior Clinic / Evaluation and Senior Challenge:

The senior ski & toboggan program is broken down into three separate stations for clinic and evaluation purposes; they are skiing skills, patroller skills and toboggan skills. For skiing skills the candidates are trained / evaluated on their ability to perform carved short, medium and long radius turns on varying terrain. For patroller skills candidates are trained / evaluated on their snowplow, sideslip and transition skills, and also equipment carry and crud skiing. The toboggan skills station clinics / evaluates candidates skills at loaded toboggan front and rear, and empty toboggan run. Clinics and evaluations will be held on senior rated hills with more to most difficult terrain.

Evaluation Format:

There are two formats which the regional ski & toboggan trainer-evaluators use to evaluate senior candidates, they are the Senior Clinic / Evaluation and the Senior Challenge. The Senior Clinic /Evaluation is a two day event in which senior candidates participate n clinics and evaluation over a two day period. The advantage of this format is that it gives candidates an opportunity for practice and improvement over the two-day period and gives the trainer-evaluators a longer time to evaluate the candidates. This format also reduces the possibility of the candidate being unsuccessful in a station due to a “bad run”, misunderstanding, nervousness, etc. The Senior Challenge is a one day event in which senior candidates are shown demonstrations of the required skills by regional trainer-evaluators then asked to perform the skills themselves. This format takes on more of a testing atmosphere with little time for practice and training due to time constraints. The challenge format is not for everyone, but if you are competent and confident of your senior ski & toboggan skills it can be a challenging and rewarding way to be successful in the program.

Keys to being successful in the Program:

Training! Training! Training! It is unrealistic and inadvisable to participate at a senior ski & toboggan evaluation and expect to pass without practicing in advance. To prepare for the senior evaluation candidates are encouraged to participate in regional Senior Ski & Toboggan Clinics. These clinics are held on senior-rated hills with terrain and conditions which will be used on the day of the formal Senior Clinic / Evaluation. It is best to participate in a senior clinic early in the ski season so that you are aware of the required skills and skill level expected of you. Also, obtain a recent copy of the Senior Program Manual, it outlines the all aspects of the senior program thoroughly and clearly states the evaluation criteria for each component.

For additional in-depth information on the Senior Ski & Toboggan Program, read Chapter 10 and Chapter 18 in the The Ski Patroller’s Manual or contact an S&T Region  staff member:

Position: Officer: E-mail:
Ski & Toboggan Advisor Don Messier E-mail

Position: Staff: E-mail:
S&T Trainer/Evaluator 0rest 0har E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Paul Kelly E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Sue Kelly E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Ed Berry E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Lee Murphy E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Gregor Trinkaus-Randall E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Karen Keane E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Deb Brown E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Rick Rockwood E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Lisa Kling E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Jake Jacobson E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Jeff Hayes E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Jonathan Lang E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Mike Techiera E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Mike Webber E-mail
S&T Trainer/Evaluator Phil Manseau E-mail
Regional Toboggan Instructor John Riley E-mail
Regional Toboggan Instructor Walter Hoeckle E-mail