Thebest part of patrolling is the comraderie. Yes you do a ton of work that you will never get any recognition for. You do things like haul 2x2's, carry hundrededs of feet of rope, cut up downed trees, repair damaged signs, transport guests, give directions, tell people to slow down, treat injuries, and countless other duties as assigned.
Like others said, there are bad seeds that are volunteers and there are bad seeds that are pros. The bad seeds rarely last morethan a few seasons if they manage to stay that long.
As far as toboggan handling, depending on the area, it can be incredibly ticky. I remember hauling a tobaggon down one of the chutes off of Jupiter Peak at Park City. It took four of us to manuever it around rocks and cliffs. We were all volunteers. When we got down, the patient, who was severly injured, and several witnesses said that they were amazed at the teamwork, effort, and professionalism that we displayed in getting the patient down safely. The patrollers who were on the scene were some of the best skiers on the mountain, and that is why we were assigned to work the peak (including participating in snow safety activities). On another toboggan run, I was runnning the tail rope and a pro was piloting the sled. It was in a steep mogul field and the conditions were very icy. The pro's binding broke while he was mid turn and he went down. I managed to guide the sled to a safe spot and stop it without incident.
The quality of the patroller depends on their dedication and willingness to improve.
[ March 21, 2003, 10:26 AM: Message edited by: crew cut ]