Nordic Team

What the team does:
The goal of the Nordic Team is to respond safely and effectively in winter search environments. Members of the Nordic Team commit themselves to safety and knowing their surroundings in rough topography during winter conditions. They often scale snowy summits and deploy in conditions with minimal visibility. While trying to locate a subject, they search for tracks, broken branches, patches of caved-in snow or signs that avalanches have passed through the area, and carry necessary equipment, like avalanche probes, snow shovels, extra warm clothes, headlamps and a GPS. The Nordic Team can sometimes search at night in storm conditions, so they must always track weather systems and pay careful attention to the search area’s snowpack. Nordic Team

What it takes to be on the team:
Overall, Nordic Team members must have the confidence and ability to travel in cold weather environments and should have, at minimum, some backcountry skiing or snowshoeing skills. Avalanche training is incorporated into team training and all members of the Nordic Team must be able to demonstrate winter navigation skills, avalanche beacon proficiency and pass a classroom/field training course based on National Ski Patrol curriculum. They also attend a winter overnight training to learn how to camp in the snow and build a snow cave shelter.