Southern Division Programs

The National Ski Patrol has over 4,700 Alumni Members, including over 200 Alumni in the Southern Division. They represent a wealth of experience, talent, knowledge and dedication. While the Alumni Program is certainly an excellent way to "retire" from active patrolling, it also offers numerous opportunities to supplement the efforts of the "active" membership.

There are many reasons to become an Alumni Member other than retirement. Often "Life Issues" such as family responsibilities, health or medical concerns, a move to the South Seas, new additions to the family, job responsibilities, etc. prohibit continuing as an active Patroller. Therefore, many Patrollers choose to maintain their OEC certification and "temporarily" join the ranks of Alumni until they are able to resume active patrolling.

To become an Alumni Member, contact Cheri Overton NSP Alumni Manager (303-988-1111, Ext. 2646).

Alumni Benefits

For annual dues of only $35, you will receive many benefits, which include:

  • An annual subscription to Ski Patrol Magazine
  • The ability to purchase all NSP Online Store items, except NSP uniform-specific items.
  • Access to all Pro Deals, excluding Scarpa, Black Diamond and including limited (20%) Patagonia discounts
  • The ability to participate and be credentialed in an NSP training or education programs such as annual OEC Refreshers
  • Comprehensive support services
  • Online resources
  • Annual updates
  • Continued years of NSP service
  • Voting rights in board elections
Alumni Events

Southern Division: Stay tuned for information about proposed Alumni Appreciation Days.

NSP Alumni Celebration Week, Whitefish Mountain, February 2-9, 2020
Join your fellow Alumni and friends for our second annual event of fun experiences, great skiing, good food and fellowship. Participants receive great discounts on lift tickets for "veteran" skiers, age 62 and older, and lodging at the nearby, highly-rated Grouse Mountain Lodge.

Optional tours into Glacier National Park or Dog Sled Adventures in nearby Montana State Forests are available. So, mark your calendars for February 2-9, 2020.

Further information is available on the NSP Alumni website.


If you are planning to visit an area where avalanche terrain regularly exists, you may want to enroll in the eight-hour Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Rescue course to learn the fundamental principles of avalanche hazards, safety, and rescue. This is particularly true if you are planning to ski/board outside of the controlled ski areas, where avalanches are more prevalent. This course also qualifies as an elective requirement for the NSP Senior Program.

The potential for avalanches exists wherever snow lies on steep slopes. It's not only an issue in "big mountain" areas. Avalanche problems are widespread in geography and degree of hazard. To meet the varying challenges represented by this avalanche danger, the NSP has established several avalanche training courses.

The NSP's avalanche courses fulfill all of the requirements of the Level I and Level II curricula adopted by the American Avalanche Association with one exception; the NSP courses include additional topics related to organized rescue. Please note that actual avalanche control work and rescue operations are under the direction and control of ski area management or other authorized agencies.

The NSP program includes the following courses:

  • Avalanche Awareness (About 30 to 90 minutes): If sufficient students and an instructor are available, this course can be taught just about anywhere at any time of the year. The current limitation is the availability of qualified instructors. This course is designed to expose its audience to the nature of avalanche hazards and the kinds of things they need to know before venturing into avalanche terrain. It serves primarily to develop respect for avalanche hazards and to encourage people enroll in an Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Rescue course. This course does not qualify as an elective requirement for the NSP Senior Program.
  • Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Rescue (About 8 hours). If sufficient students are available, this course is intended to be offered twice a year within the Division. Once at the Southern Division annual conference in Kingsport, TN in August and possibly at Massanutten or other northern patrol in the Spring of each year. This course introduces fundamental principles of avalanche hazards, safety, and rescue. This course does qualify as an elective requirement for the NSP Senior Program, but it does not meet Level 1 avalanche course standards and does not qualify as a prerequisite for enrollment in the Level 2 avalanche courses.
  • Level I Avalanche (Minimum of 24 hours with at least 60% taught in the field). This course is typically not available in Southern Division, since we currently do not have the instructors or equipment to teach the full curriculum. Please see the Eastern Division and Central Division training calendars for training opportunities.
  • Level II Avalanche (Minimum of 28 hours with at least 60% taught in the field). This course is definitely not available in Southern Division, since this course can only be taught in terrain that is prone to avalanches. Please see the Eastern Division training calendar for training opportunities, when it is held every other year at Whiteface Lake Placid, NY in an area appropriately called "The Slides".

Southern Division Avalanche
West Virginia Region
Snowshoe Patrol

Avalanche Senior Elective introduces fundamental concepts and principles of avalanche hazard, safety, and rescue. This course also covers avalanche rescue equipment including transceivers (beacons) and probes with some field practice but does not include snow assessments in the field because we do not have a natural snow pack in the southeast. By itself, the module qualifies as an introductory-level course that satisfies NSP senior elective requirement but does not meet full Level 1 course standards because of the lack of snow pack.

Prerequisites: none.

Class will be limited to 20 participants.

Avalanche Senior Elective 11-17-2019 Mary Lou Legg


Certified is a program that demands "...the highest level of proficiency from patrollers through training and testing and would promote a level of patrolling in which there would be no compromise with excellence in skiing, first aid, patrol management, administration and leadership."
- George Wesson [1921-2010], who developed the Certified Program for NSP and subsequently for Southern Division.

Visit the Southern Division Certified Program Page

Instructor Development

Nothing is more important to the success of NSP's education programs than the cadre of hard-working instructors who deliver those programs. The NSP INstructor Develoment Programs consists of two components that provide training in course management as well as instruction, the Instructor Development course and a mentoring program.

This program includes the following courses:

  • Instructor Development Course
  • Instructor Mentoring Program

More Information

Mountain Travel and Rescue

Attendees taking Mountain Travel and Rescue (MTR) courses will learn a variety of skills, including nutrition and how the body performs in a wilderness environment, weather patterns, survival skills, working with group dynamics, an introduction to search and rescue, rope rescue skills, improvised toboggan construction, and land navigation with map, compass, and GPS. The MTR courses are taught in classroom and field sessions, including mock scenarios to ensure the attendees can apply what they have learned to real life situations.

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to expand your survival and travel skills in the backcountry environment or a ski patroller preparing for one of the worst possible scenarios a parent can face at a ski area (a lost child), the MTR courses can help you get prepared.

This program includes the following courses:

  • Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals
  • Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 (MTR1)
  • Mountain Travel and Rescue 2 (MTR2)

Southern Division Mountain Travel & Rescue
West Virginia Region
Snowshoe Patrol

This course builds on the rope rescue fundamentals covered in the MTR-Clinic Rope Rescue 1 class. After a brief review of safety and basic knowledge the class will provide a more detailed discussion and guided practice for the following; Anchors & Edge Protection/Safety, Litter Movements for Low Angle, and Belay & Rappel. The day will conclude with practice scenarios requiring Rope Rescue 1 and Rope Rescue 2 knowledge and skills. MTR-C RR 1 (or Instructor approval of equivalent training) is a pre-requisite.

Prerequisites: Previous completion of Rope Rescue 1 or a rope certification that has been approved by Instructor of Record.

Class will be limited to 15 participants. - Just a few spots remaining!

Course fee: $15

8 AM - 4 PM

Rope Rescue 2 11-16-2019 Mary Lou Legg

"The diverse nature of the Nordic classification lends itself to be a unique program within the NSP. The variety of equipment types, the extended patient care knowledge required, the needed backcountry survival skills, all contribute to defining what Nordic patrollers are."
- NSP Web Site

Visit the Southern Division OEC Program Page

Southern Division Initial OEC Class
Virginia Region
Wintergreen Patrol
Wintergreen Ski Patrol OEC class begins
Initial OEC Class 9-7-2019 to 11-10-2019 Linda Humphries

Southern Division OEC Refresher
Dixie Region
Ober Gatlinburg Patrol
Instructors Only. Email Jessi Hunter or Tom Barry for permission to attend.
Ober Gatlinburg OEC Instructor Refresher 9-14-2019 to 9-14-2019 Contact: Jessi Hunter
Cataloochee OEC Pre-Refresher
Cataloochee OEC Pre-Refresher 10-12-2019 Jeff Roberts
Wolf Ridge Patrol
Wolf Ridge Instructor Refresher. Sunday at Bill Brazil's office.
Wolf Ridge Instructor Refresher 10-27-2019 Contact: Jeremy Stowe
Cataloochee Patrol
Cataloochee OEC Refresher NOTE: The On the Hill portion is Saturday, Nov. 2, the OEC portion is Sunday, Nov. 3
Cataloochee OEC Refresher 11-2-2019 to 11-3-2019 Jeff Roberts
Ober Gatlinburg Patrol
OEC portion on Saturday, On the Hill portion on Sunday
Ober Gatlinburg OEC and OTH Refresher 11-9-2019 to 11-10-2019 Contact: Clarke Chambers
Wolf Ridge Patrol
Wolf Ridge OEC refresher on Saturday, On the Hill Refresher on Sunday
Wolf OEC and OTH Refresher 11-16-2019 to 11-17-2019 Contact: Jeremy Stowe
Blue Ridge Region
Sugar Mountain Patrol
Beech Mt/Sugar Mt OEC Instructor Refresher 9-7-2019 Contact: Mark Popelka
Appalachian Patrol
Appalachian OEC Instructor Refresher 10-5-2019 Anne Donadio
Sugar Mountain Patrol
Sugar Mt OEC Refresher 10-5-2019 Terry Loges
Appalachian Patrol
Appalachian OEC Referesher 11-2-2019 Anne Donadio
Ski Beech Mountain Patrol
Beech Mt OEC Refresher 11-5-2019 Frances Edwards
Virginia Region
Wintergreen Patrol
Wintergreen Patrol Pre-refresher
Wintergreen OEC Pre-Refresher 9-28-2019 Clint Butts
Wintergreen Patrol
Wintergreen OEC Refresher 10-12-2019 Clint Butts
Massanutten Patrol
Massanutten Refresher 10-19-2019 Nancy Bradburn
Bryce Patrol
Bryce Refresher 10-20-2019 Andy Blugerman
West Virginia Region
Timberline Patrol
Timberline Mountain's OEC Pre-Refresher. Visiting patrollers must reach out and ask permission to join event at this mountain.
Timberline OEC Pre-Refresher 9-14-2019 Steve Cvechko
Timberline Patrol
Timberline Mountain's OEC Refresher. Visiting patrollers must reach out and ask permission to join event at this mountain.
Timberland OEC Refresher 10-12-2019 Steve Cvechko
Snowshoe Patrol
Snowshoe Mountain's OEC Pre-Refresher and Lift Evacuation Pre-Refresher. Visiting patrollers must reach out and ask permission to join event at this mountain.
Snowshoe OEC Pre-Refresher 10-19-2019 to 10-20-2019 Charlotte Bradley
Snowshoe Patrol
Snowshoe Mountain's OEC Refresher and Lift Evacuation Refresher. Visiting patrollers must reach out and ask permission to join event at this mountain.
Snowshoe OEC Refresher 10-26-2019 to 10-27-2019 Charlotte Bradley
Winterplace Patrol
Winterplace Resort's annual Pre-Refresher, Refresher, and Lift Evacuation event. Visiting patrollers must obtain permission to join.
Winterplace OEC Pre-Refresher & Refresher 11-2-2019 Ryan Kelly


"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 roles in the NSP."
- NSP Web Site

Core modules differ by discipline, but may include:

  • Senior OEC
  • Senior Skiing
  • Senior Toboggan Handling

Southern Division Senior OEC Clinic
Dixie Region
Cataloochee Patrol
Contact Paul Gagon or Matt Adams for more information.
Senioe OEC Clinic 1-25-2020 Contact: Matt Adams
Blue Ridge Region
Ski Beech Mountain Patrol
Senior Candidate registration deadline 12-15-2019 JoAnn Ehlinger
Appalachian Patrol
Senior OEC Clinic 1-11-2020 JoAnn Ehlinger
Southern Division Senior OEC Evaluation
Dixie Region
Cataloochee Patrol
Contact Paul Gagon or Matt Adams for more info.
Senioe OEC Evaluation 2-22-2020 Contact: Matt Adams
Southern Division Senior OET Clinic
Dixie Region
Ober Gatlinburg Patrol
You must take a clinic to be eligible for the Senior OET Evaluation. Please consult your local patrol Senior Trainer to make sure that you are good to go.
Senior OET Clinic 1-5-2020 Contact: Jimmy Kuneman
Southern Division Senior OET Evaluation
Dixie Region
Ober Gatlinburg Patrol
Only available to those who have taken a clinic and have been given the "green light" by their local Senior Trainer to test.
Senior OET Evaluation 2-1-2020 Contact: Jimmy Kuneman

Skills Development

This program encompases Introduction to Ski Patrolling, the Senior Program, and the Certified Program—those programs that affect the registration categories of NSP members. As well, you will find information on the Mountain and Avalanche Awareness course, a multi-discipline introduction to backcountry awareness.

This program includes the following courses:

  • Introduction to Patrolling
  • Mountain and Avalanche Awareness
  • Senior Program (Alpine, Nordic, Auxiliary)
  • Certified Program (Alpine)

Transportation Program

Unique to the National Ski Patrol, the Transportation Program offers guidelines for area management to use to set the standard of training for its patrollers who operate toboggans. From training of basic candidates to honing the skills of Transportation instructors, this program ensures training opportunities for members of the NSP.

This program includes the following courses:

  • Skiing Enhancement Seminar (Alpine/Nordic)
  • Toboggan Enhancement Seminar (Alpine/Nordic)
  • Ski Trainer's Workshop (Alpine/Nordic)

Young Adult Program

"The National Ski Patrol supports the establishment of a Young Adult Program at every NSP registered Ski Patrol. You don't know what you missing until you have experienced the benefits that a young adult program can provide. Click on the "establish a program" link to download the resources that you need to establish a successful program."
- NSP Young Adult Program Site

NSP members and patrol candidates must be 15 years of age to qualify as Young Adult patrollers. Young Adult patrollers (age 15 through high school graduation) must meet the same requirements and fulfill the same patroller training and responsibilities as any other member of the patrol with the same skill set.

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Southern Cross Now Available
The latest edition of
The Southern Cross
is now available

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The Final Sweep: In Memory Of The Fallen