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Patrol Back Packs in Chair Lifts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello Gang!


I need a little help!

After the Directors of our Ski Resort seen this YouTube movie (http://freeskier.com/videos/why-its-a-good-idea-to-remove-your-backpack-before-riding-the-chairlift) they have decided after years and year of wearing our packs in the chairs that we now must remove our packs to take a ride up the mountain.

Their goal is to completely not allow people to wear the packs on their back while in the chair, customers and staff.

Being that a majority of American resorts already have this rule in effect I need your maximum input to be able to go back to discussion with the directors with ideas!

Now our problem we are foreseeing...

-        How do you guys take a toboggan up in the chair lift if you have your pack in your hands?

-        How do you transport simple tools: Bamboos, signs, drills etc...?

What are the solutions used at your resorts?

What is tolerated? Completely remove pack or only one shoulder strap?

When Patrol goes up in a Quad (4) chair and all patrollers remove their packs are you 3 in the chair?

Thank you in advance for any constructive help!

post #2 of 7

I know this is probably not constructive help, but I have to say it anyways.  Why are you carrying a pack?  The only times I have a need to carry a pack would be during avy control work, backcountry rescues, or a technical rescue.  These are very specific situations where I grab my pack with the appropriate equipment.  95% of the time, I am patrolling without a pack and using my vest.  I have yet to have a situation where I did not have everything I need for an accident right there in my vest.  I would suggest getting rid of the pack, removing some overkill equipment, and using a vest.


I understand the initial thought of having everything you think you could possible need right there in your pack; however, those situations just don't occur on a regular basis if ever.  Take a look at everything in your pack and ask yourself when was the last time you used each item. Remove the items not regulary used. Sorry for not anwering you initial question (How to deal with your pack).  I just thought I would suggest an alternative.

post #3 of 7

Many resorts in the Intermountain Region require Ski Patrollers to not only ski with the appropriate First Aid equipment, but also require them to ski (patrol) with a transceiver, shovel, and probe. Right now, only DaKine and North Face have vests that do the job - somewhat. Thus, many Ski Patrollers ski with backpacks.

Thinkfast, sorry for the hi-jack. Maybe suggest to your management that the patrol take "chairlift riding with backpacks" training and then document the training.

post #4 of 7



I hear what you are saying.  I ski everyday with a shovel, beacon, and probe and still don't carry a pack on a regular basis.  Neither do any of the other patrollers I work with.  As I said, we carry a pack during control work, backcountry rescues, or technical rescues.  Packs get in the way during most of your patrol duties.  This is just my opinon and what I have learned thru my experiences.


If a patroller wants to carry a pack everyday, more power to them.  I am just saying most of the stuff you will pack into your pack will not be used and could be consolidated into a vest.


I do like your idea about the "chairlift riding with backpacks" and a P&P to go with the training.  Most of the time management wants a way to Cover Their A$$.  Other Options, strap you pack to the toboggan you are loading on the lift.  

post #5 of 7

How do you lap a toboggan if you have to pull your pack off as well?

post #6 of 7
At a resort in the Intermountain Division, patrollers who wear backpacks (they're required to carry shovel, probe and transceiver along with first aid equipment) take off their backpack to lap load toboggans up to the summit.

The burrito in the toboggan is placed in the back of the toboggan, with the tail rope tucked underneath the burrito. The rear cinch strap is used to hold part of the burrito in place. The handles are then folded back onto the toboggan and the front and middle straps are secured tightly around the handles (holding the burrito in place). The patroller's backpack is then placed in the front portion of the toboggan and secured there with its waist belt and sternum strap.

The patroller gets his skis on, reaches over and carefully picks up the toboggan (or gets it handed to him by another patroller), grabbing it by now folded and secured handles (the cross bars - the toboggan is now horizontal, with the Skaggs facing up the hill), skis up to the loading ramp, waits for the chair to come around, loads the chair, and has the toboggan sit/rest on the patrollers thighs. The transport up can be done with one or two patrollers. The patroller maintains control of the toboggan on the way up the chair.

Once at the top, the patroller verifies he has the toboggan weight, stands up at the unloading ramp, and skis to the bottom of the unloading ramp with the toboggan, goes to the side of the ramp, out of the way of public, and puts the toboggan on the ground.

The patroller then takes off his skis, gets his backpack out, un-cinches the straps securing the handles, flips the handles forward, cinches the middle strap to secure the front part of the burrito, and puts the toboggan back in service. The patrollers poles are either carried up but public or another patroller.

post #7 of 7
- Put the pack in the toboggan
- Same with the other stuff
- It isn't that hard to loop a pack strap over one arm and hold other stuff
- Wear a vest
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