Costs vs. Return.
Have patrolled in the past and am re-upping right now. Past OEC (160 hours) and am doing on-hill training (will be about 120 hours when all is said and done) plus another 100 hours of just training/skiing on my own with specific patroller skills in mind.
So, at my going hourly rate, I've invested about $50K in my pursuit of "free skiing". Suddenly, a $450 season pass looks like a real bargain so...if it's about skiing for free, or the amount of money you can make, pass on becoming a patroller.
Oh, we're all volunteer at my local hill, so why do we do it?
- The love of skiing.
- The love of sharing skiing with people.
- The love of helping people when they're hurt, cold and freaked out.
- The love of working with other patrollers to improve your skiing skills, share skiing with them and team up to help people that are hurt, cold and freaking out.
Plus, the really cool coat.
Patrolling is a passion, it's certainly not an investment or career choice that will ever pay you back monetarily and you'll never make enough money to pay for that free skiing jones that so many un-initiated think is such a great deal.
Love skiing, then look to get better by joining your local patrol and have a real career on the side . . . at least that's my advice.