A Star is Born

Please catchup on the Ski Patrol Radio featuring one of our own!

New episode of Ski Patrol Radio: Women of the National Ski Patrol

In the historically male-centric culture of ski patrolling, women are finding a better place in the community. We sit down with Kolina Coe, the Assistant Director and a dog handler at Northstar California, and Kristen Russo, the Assistant Patrol Director at Holiday Valley in New York state. We discuss their experiences as being women ski patrollers, what has changed over the years, and what still needs to be improved.

Just click below:


Hope all of you are well and enjoying summer.


Patrol Update 4/5


We have a regional dog training event at Northstar on Wednesday so any Patrol help would be appreciated.


Patrol News 4/5

Hi Team – Please excuse the delay, but we are going to order our Annual Patrol Shirts for the last two years. Lia put these together, and they turned out awesome. There might be slight changes to the graphics due to cost, but this should give you a good idea of how they should look. I dont think the shirts should exceed more then $35, but we are aiming for closer to $20. Shipping not included. 

 Please see the link below, and also feel free to share the link with anyone I may have missed. This is kinda last minute, so we have to have this order in by next Thursday. 

2019-2021 Patrol Shirt Order Form


Call for special shipping details

Hope you all are having a great season!

Dirk Lewis

Northstar California Resort

Patrol Specialist

O: 530.562.3441

C: 415.419.1417

Patrol News 3/29


Thank you to everyone who came out for Forrest’s Celebration of Life. It was beautiful to see the community come together. 

Three weeks left of the season and it definitely feels like spring. In that spirit, Matt Reeder Memorial Flannel Day is scheduled for Friday 4/2. Wear a flannel under your patrol vest if you are working that day.

Also, we are hosting a Dog Day for the region on April 7th. We would greatly appreciate help so that we can train.

Mountain Conditions 

We got 35 inches so far this March. This week has been sunny and mild and this pattern should continue into next week. 

All terrain is open to the public with the Biscuit and Sawtooth opening per conditions. Teams continue to use Hornet’s Nest and Surprise. Village express and Timberline will be closed midweek for the remainder of the season. Pipeline will close at 3:30 pm on warmer days.

Mountain Updates/Reminders

-There is a bear den skier’s left of Rail Splitter. 

-They will continue to groom Timberline so we need to pull the rope at sweep and set up the closure in the mornings.

-When PLE is running, don’t forget to let the lift operators at the bottom terminal know to call last chairs on sweep. Drifter usually does it but the first person down should take care of it. 

COVID Reminders

– Continue to do the online home health screening questionnaire every morning before coming in. This can be questionnaire accessed via the following link: 

Northstar Volunteer Health Screen Form

-We are now offering indoor dining at Big Springs and Zephyr with 100 person capacity. First come first serve.

-Even though more people are getting vaccinated, the patrol COVID-19 protocol will not change this winter. 

Ongoing Training

– There is a double beacon course on Jiboom. There are no boo markings this course. The course starts at Goldmine and runs to the length of Jiboom with the treeline indicating the avalanche flanks.

Again, many thanks to Dan Abbott and Bruce Downs for taking the lead on sled training this season.

We anticipate a NSP candidate class of 10 this season and appreciate the help during ski checks from Fanelli, Onaga, Abbott, Downs, Blake, Sherry and Brown.

If you have any last minute candidates, please let Dave Rozzi know.

National YURT Cleanup

If you have finished your season you will need to get your gear out of the Yurt.

If you decided not to patrol this season, see the note below regarding cleanup.

We plan to re vitalize the Yurt and provide more space and lockers by opening and cleaning out all lockers for those that no longer are part of our patrol.

If there is any gear that is not stored in a locker, it will be cleaned out also.

We will announce the cleanup date 2 weeks prior to the event and give everyone a chance to get up to the mountain.

Thank you to everyone who came out for Forrest’s Celebration of Life. It was beautiful to see the community come together. 

Hope to see you out on the hill soon! 

Hannah Lian

Remembering Forrest 3/18/2021


We know this moment has been long anticipated and we are pleased to finally be able to invite you to join the Northstar Ski Patrol family to celebrate the life of Forrest Philpot. The loss of Forrest is incredibly difficult for us all and the pandemic has made this even more challenging, but we will now be able to come together and honor him safely. The memorial event will be held on March 18th at Northstar Resort and will consist of a mountain sweep at 4pm followed by a patrol salute in the Village at 6pm.

A few details to help you plan:

Please catch a final chair up Comstock before 4pm to be able to make the sweep. We will spend a moment at the summit in remembrance before we ski down.

The 21 ‘bomb’ salute will be at 6pm, and will be audible from the Village at Northstar, the Village View parking lots, and surrounding area. There will be plenty of space to spread out and share in the memoriam. If you are sensitive to loud noise or are bringing children, please consider ear protection or listening from inside your car.

We must continue to adhere to Covid-safe practices which means face coverings and physical distancing will be required at all times, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated. No alcohol will be permitted. Please respect these rules in respect of the event.Please catch a final chair up Comstock before 4pm to be able to make the sweep. We will spend a moment at the summit in remembrance before we ski down.

 If you would like to participate in the skiing portion of the day and do not have a pass, please follow this link: Lift Ticket Request Form

We look forward to seeing you and sharing memories, and please do not hesitate to reach out with questions.

Kurtis Gale

Ski Patrol Director

Patrol Update 3/11


There will be a celebration of life for Forrest Philpot at Northstar on March 18th. The day of skiing will be dedicated to Forrest. We will meet at the summit around 4pm to sweep the mountain together then head to the village for a 21 bomb salute at 6pm. Anyone is invited and we are trying to have as many crosses at the summit at the end of the day as possible. Also, we are putting together some sort of photo tribute that will be on the hill so If you have any photos of Forrest that you think should be included email them to me Kurt or Kolina.

There should be a more official communication / flyer that will come out in the next few days.


Hannah Lian

Patrol Update 3/8


As a reminder, you need to sign up 48 hours prior to Patrol. If not, the pass office will not have time to activate your pass. Sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate your support on the mountain


Patrol News 3/2

A big thank you to everyone who helped us get through the holiday week and busy weekend. This past weekend in particular made it evident how much we rely on every patroller on the hill. We really appreciate everyone who came out!

Mountain Conditions 

We got 21 inches over the 12th, 13th and 14th and 6 inches over the 19th and 20th. The past week has been dry with warm temps and sunny skies. This pattern should continue through this week. The forecast shows a weak system moving in on Saturday and a more active pattern into the following week.

We opened Pipeline on the 17th. That means all terrain has been opened to the public with the exception of the White Rabbit. We have been opening the Biscuit and Sawtooth based on conditions. Teams continue to use Hornet’s Nest and Surprise. 

Mountain Updates/Reminders

-We are working on being more visibly present around the mountain. We are encouraging everyone to spend more time standing by slow signs and trail maps or doing mask enforcement every day. We are additionally doing mask enforcement at the top of pinball in the area snowboarders strap in and people tend to congregate.

-Please restrict radio traffic after Code 3 or Code Blue is called until dispatch says to resume normal radio traffic. If you have non emergent communication, please call the bump/dispatch/personal numbers or hold off. 

-If ‘circle the wagons’ is called, every patoller should cycle up to Pluto (except Lookout patrol) even if this means leaving lower bumps uncovered. 

-There is a ‘Sidewinder’ sign at the top of the park off Zephyr chair lift. This may lead to some confusion in regards to 10-50 locations. Dispatch will try to clarify which chair lift the patient rode and we are working on having the sign changed. 

-Be sure to hold tension when reeling up closure ropes.

-Patrol is not allowed in low clearance areas. Only lift operations and maintenance are. Please speak to someone in one of these departments if someone needs to enter a low clearance area. 

-The ranger has an updated dump bed lock. The new system required that patrollers to reach under the fender well on the passenger side to check the oil.

-Lower Boondocks now has two exits.

Safety Video 

With help from ski and ride school, we put a video together about risk awareness and prevention. You can access the video via the link below. No need to fill out the form, as this is used to track employees. Please try to watch the video before your next day on the hill. 


after you open click blue to left of edit box

COVID Reminders

– When riding the lift, you must have an empty seat between you and other parties. 

– Please remember to do the online home health screening questionnaire every morning before coming in. This can be questionnaire accessed via the following link: 

Northstar Volunteer Health Screen Form

Ongoing Training

– Please reach out to Dan Abbott or Bruce Downs for onhill OET and SMR training. 

-There are beacon courses available accessible from Pluto and Lookout. 

Hope to see you out on the hill soon! 

Hannah Lian

Patrol Update 2/24


This COVID season  has presented us with many challenges as a Patroller , Instructor and as a person.

We appreciate all of the adjustments and respect all of the decisions that you  have made personally this year and continued good health.

As we go forward for the remainder of the season and look forward to next season, I think it is appropriate to remind ourselves of our WINS for this season so far and what we have learned about our Team in positioning our vision for next season.

WINS this season:

1)     Through 2/22/2021 we have 20 Patrollers on the mountain that have supported the Northstar Team  with 172 days of patrolling.

2)     This year the entire Team came together to become educated regarding the COVID challenge and embraced the additional training and protocols in order to keep ourselves and patients safe.

3)     We stayed flexible and adapted  to many changing situations and continue to do so.

4)     Hannah Lian has taken the role of NSP liaison and has done a great job in communicating weekly Patrol News..

5)     Kevin Sloane, is certainly Rookie of the Year and doing a fantastic job with over 20 days of patrolling and will be coordinating and responsible for supplies in  the Eastern Sierra Region (ESR) equipment shed housed at Northstar.

6)     We were able to complete a 2 week intensive OEC class with 10 students and 6 instructors all in one bubble, passing all 10 with 9 students coming on to the Pro Patrol.

The support over the 2 weeks period from the team of Lauren, Bruce, Garrett, Colby and Hannah made it happen.  Jeff Landucci and Mike Fanelli stepped up for the OEC final as evaluators.

7)     We welcomed and congratulated  Kurt and Kolina, both in new roles in our Patrol.

8)     The  NSNSP web site continues to be updated with new Protocols and COVID information.

9)      Doubek has been most accommodating and tried to make a memorable experience with the  N95 fit test and Brewster (Lia) continues to keep us updated on SMR protocols..

10)  We have a couple of Team members that are committed to improving and reinforcing the value that we bring as a Patroller to Northstar and I want to recognize Dan Abbott and Bruce Downs.

I  will also share the message below on their approach and achievements  to training for this season and the coordinated effort that we have discussed for initial candidate and ongoing  Patroller training for next season.


Dan and Bruce have developed and implemented a training package this year to elevate all of us as Patrollers and make it easy to engage. They have been very creative in their written communication and practical methods as illustrated by their message below:

Starting this year we’re going to require everyone to complete a Mountain Operations Refresher. This year the refresher is comprised of three 10-question quizzes.

These quizzes are designed as teaching tools to review the mountain operations at Northstar. They are not evaluations. The hope is that by taking these quizzes and reviewing the answers you missed, you’ll be more prepared for Patrolling.  

Most of the content comes from the COVID training, Radio Protocols page on the NSNSP website, the Trail Closure cheat sheet, and the “Patrol News” emails that have gone out this year.

Feel free to review those materials before taking these quizzes or just jump right in and we recommend that you take the quiz prior to your 1st day of Patrolling..

They  have  also taken on the role of toboggan instruction with the emphasis on Patroller improvement in all conditions and different aspects of the mountain.

Understanding that we all have a different skill set due experience, time on the mountain and age, their approach will be nurturing within each person’s comfort zone.

This program is ongoing and has been well received by the Patrollers that have participated in it. It has been a training challenge this season due to a lower than normal Patroller count on the hill  but we request that if you are patrolling this season,please take action on the following:   

1)   Take the quizzes prior to your  1st day of patrolling.

2)   Connect with Dan or Bruce and make sure you pull an empty and loaded sled under their supervision. If they are not available, Mike Fanelli, Jason Onaga or check with Kolina for support.

3)   Engage, ask questions, be involved.

4)   Get out of your comfort zone.

5)   Leave the day with one thing that you learned.

6] Our hope is to help everyone involved to became a better and more knowledgeable  Patroller.


Our goal for next season is to take what we continue to learn from this season and develop an updated coordinated  training package for candidates and Patrollers.

Our 10 point plan is aggressive and can only be accomplished by increasing our training team members.

1)     Specific OEC and OET training criteria to be established.

2)     Published Patroller schedule and agenda for training with some required dates.

3)     Establish a specific day to update and refresh all current Team members that are instructing and/or participating in the program for 2022.

4)     Conduct an Instructor class that support OEC and OET that was postponed due to COVID this year.

5)     Create more interactive tools that can be used by phone.

6)     Develop an easy monitoring system that captures Patroller participation in training

7)     Create rewards and recognition  as p[art of the program.

8)     Update the  Training Team members  contact info and roles  for 2022.

9)     Create a training reference tool that can be updated on our site or access by phone.

10) Roll out the concept, package and establish expectations  at the annual refresher in November.

I understand that this is quite an undertaking and we are dedicated to creating new momentum to ELEVATE our Patrollers at Northstar, small steps but a big footprint.

I encourage your participation.

Patrolling at times can be hard work and stressful, but should be something we enjoy doing and still find rewarding.

We are confident that with your help and engagement, we can make it happen.

Dave Rozzi

NSP Training Director