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Cliff Rescue for Ski Patrol (CRSP) is a four-day certification course designed specifically for ski patrollers that deal with guests who need help getting out of steep terrain. Despite efforts to warn and inform guests with signage and closures, rescuing cliffed-out guests is a low-frequency/high-consequence event that patrollers must be prepared to handle.

Rescuing guests from cliffy terrain at ski resorts presents unique challenges that differ from other rope-rescue environments. This demands specialized training. Participants will learn systems that are simple, standardized, and team-based to maximize their training time and reduce risks.

This certification course provides patrollers with tools to access, stabilize and transport cliffed-out guests. It introduces concepts and techniques in the classroom and then moves onto the mountain where participants practice scene size-ups in hazardous terrain, quickly stabilizing the guest, anchoring, belaying, and lowering. Based on the situation, participants will rescue the guest using an assisted belay, solo lower, tandem lower, or mechanical advantage raise. In addition to technical skills, this course focuses on communication, situational awareness, decision-making, and leadership skills.

The instructors on this course, Andy Rich and Steve Achelis, have performed hundreds of backcountry rescues and have decades of experience patrolling and teaching backcountry rescue. The CRSP systems have been validated with testing and extensive training. Hundreds of actual rescues have been performed by patrollers who have been trained using the CRSP methods that were developed by Andy and Steve.

Rescuing guests who are stuck in cliffy terrain requires specific skills and expertise. Get the training and certification you need to deal with this unique challenge and protect your guests, patrollers, and ski resort.

Open enrollment courses are typically taught at Brighton and Snowbird ski resorts in Utah, or you can book a class at your resort. Contacting Remote Rescue Training at or 801-581-3785.


  • This course is open to current ski patrollers with OEC or EMT medical training and expert skiing abilities. Experience with basic rope skills is helpful but not required. Participation will involve working while suspended by ropes in hazardous terrain. Aspiring and non-current ski patrollers will be assessed on an individual basis and should contact Remote Rescue Training before registering.

Read about the Cliff Rescue for Ski Patrol course in the Winter 2015 Ski Patrol Magazine.

The Cliff Rescue for Ski Patrol course can be scheduled for groups of 8 to 10 patrollers. Contact Remote Rescue Training for information on scheduling a course.