Alumni photo


Alumni membership is a special NSP registration category for members who no longer want to provide emergency care or rescue services but wish to remain involved with NSP. It is available for any member who has patrolled for at least a year but needs to take time away for some reason. If you want to go back to patrolling, you may, as long as your certifications are current. You can switch out of alumni status and go back to patrolling at any time. Being an alumni member is a great way to stay connected with NSP and your fellow members.


NSP has been providing avalanche education to ski patrollers and other search and rescue personnel since 1957, making it the oldest and most experienced avalanche education association for rescue professionals in the U.S. NSP offers avalanche education for general recreationists as well.

All NSP avalanche courses meet or exceed curriculum recommendations established for each course by theĀ American Avalanche Association. Course content is frequently updated to incorporate the latest avalanche research and skills. All avalanche education courses are taught by NSP-certified avalanche instructors who undergo rigorous training and evaluation of technical knowledge and teaching proficiency.

avalanche training

Certified Program

The Certified program is the highest level of certification for alpine patrollers. It enables patrollers to build on their experiences gained while patrolling and through other NSP programs. It consists of six core modules that require independent training, advanced research, and an evaluation to complete.

  • Avalanche
  • Low Angle Lift Evacuation
  • Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC)
  • Outdoor Risk Management (ORM)
  • Skiing/Riding
  • Toboggan

Steps to become a Certified Patroller:

  • Senior Alpine Patroller with 5 years of NSP membership.
  • Read Chapter 12 of the Ski Patrollers Manual.
  • Download the Central Division Certified Manual and National Study Guide.
  • Fill out the application and submit to Certified Program Supervisor prior to January 1st.
  • Attend a Certified Qualification Clinic and demonstrate the skiing and tobogganing skills necessary to be accepted into the program.
  • Attend the annual Certified evaluation, passing all of the program modules within the allotted three-year window.
  • Still have questions? Talk to a Certified Patroller and/or your Region Certified Advisor about the program, contact information is below.

Mountain Travel and Rescue - MTR

The Mountain Travel and Rescue (MTR) program’s goal is to provide ski patrollers and interested members of the public with the knowledge and abilities that will increase their efficacy as ski patrollers, develop their outdoor leadership skills, and enable them to contribute to and act as leaders in search-and-rescue operations, particularly in cold climates and mountainous areas.

The five-course sequence covers fundamental survival skills, mountain travel strategies, wilderness navigation, risk management, mountain weather, group dynamics, environmental considerations, mountain-specific medical issues, search-and-rescue principles, and emergency rescue methods, including rope work.

ski patrol bringing down sled

Senior Program

The Module of the Senior Program (MSP) is a certification for patrollers that have successfully completed the requirements for the Alpine Patroller status. The senior-level certification consists of 3 modules; ski/ride, toboggan, and OEC. This certification can be completed in any discipline, including ski, snowboard, nordic/backcountry, telemark, and soon biking. For more information about the senior certification program, you can contact our region advisors and check out the info available on the Central Division’s website.

Women's Program

The Women’s Program of the Western Michigan Region is a wonderful way to get involved in education and training in a safe environment for female patrollers. Typically, there is one clinic per season where instructors come together to teach in various areas of skiing, riding, and tobogganing skills. This is a very empowering and uplifting experience for many who attend. More information will be posted when clinic details are finalized.

The Central Division Women’s Program also organizes an amazing clinic each season. You can find more information about the central division clinic below.

women's clinic picture of group in sled
YAP program group picture

Young Adult Patroller (Y.A.P.)

The NSP Young Adult Program (Y.A.P.) introduces teenagers to ski patrolling and the NSP. The YAP program often serves as a training ground for future patrollers. NSP young adult members and candidates must be 15 years old by December 31 of the year in which they begin patrolling, so YAPs are generally 15 years old through 17 (or through their senior year in high school). Young adult patrollers must meet the same patroller training and responsibilities as any other member of the patrol with the same skill set.