With the arctic blast that is currently hitting the alps and (hopefully) heralding the approach of winter,  Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) has launched a timely drive for volunteer patrollers for the 2018 snow season.

The patrol is looking for people who can cross country ski, have basic first aid training, love to work outdoors and are keen to join the weekend roster for volunteers over the winter.

LMSP Captain, Tim Hatten, said ski patrolling was a unique way of volunteering with a difference.

Patrolling the trails at Lake Mountain last season are volunteers Lewis Clarey from Ashburton and Michelle Tomkins from Rubicon Outdoor Education Centre.

‘Lake Mountain attracts thousands of day visitors each weekend over the winter which means ski patrol is integral to the smooth operation of the resort. Volunteer patrollers make a positive contribution by providing first aid support as well as assisting visitors to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable experience when they visit this amazing alpine environment,’ said Healesville-based Tim, whose day job is managing the Millgrove Outdoor Education Centre in the Upper Yarra Valley.

‘I can’t over emphasise the value of volunteering whether it is with LMSP, or any other community organisation. The sense of satisfaction gained from helping out, for no other reason than the desire to “’be of assistance”, is priceless.’

LMSP is enriched by its diverse membership with patrollers ranging from university students to active retirees and with backgrounds such as outdoor education, medical and allied health, emergency services, engineering, administration and communications.

‘The breadth and depth of our membership is amazing and we all share a love of the outdoors and skiing as well as a keen interest in helping others,’ said Tim, adding that there is terrific camaraderie within the patrol.

Michelle Tomkins from Rubicon Outdoor Centre said she joined the patrol because of her passion for educating people about the alpine environment and her natural disposition for helping others.

Lake Mountain Volunteer ski patrollers go through their paces during a simulated exercise at a pre-season training weekend.

‘LMSP has a great family and community feel,’ said Michelle who has been on leave from her role as an outdoor education teacher to work in Canada as a ski instructor. She has also been undertaking some Canadian ski patrol training In British Columbia so will have lots to share with LMSP upon her return.

‘The Lake Mountain patrol is a wonderful small team with a wealth of experience and willingness to help others.’

Fellow patroller, Sarah Lefel from Warburton agrees.

‘Patrollers at Lake Mountain are a caring team who encourage and share their skills. I have learnt heaps and grown a lot since joining the patrol,’ said Sarah who originally signed up as a volunteer because ‘I like helping people and I really enjoy being out on the trails. I feel re-engerised.’

Meanwhile, Lewis Clarey from Ashburton has enjoyed the many challenges and benefits of patrolling including building confidence to treat injuries, improving skiing skills and making developing friendships with other patrollers drawn from all walks of life.

“Ski patrolling is a great way to help out the skiing community and we always have great time,’ Lewis said.

LMSP volunteer Sarah Lefel from Warburton checks out the trails last season.

Long serving patroller and active retiree, Ray Malins from Montrose, said he would recommend ski patrol to skiers of any age particularly those looking for an activity to keep them fit and motivated.

‘We have very good ski patrol facilities at LM and a wonderful ski trail network to suit all abilities,’ added Ray. Ray is also co-ordinator of the Lake Mountain mini series which is a LMSP event. In its 25 year this year, the mini series has been extremely successful in introducing school-aged children to cross country skiing and racing with quite a few progressing to the elite ranks and representing Australia overseas.

Wearing their highly visible red ski patrol jackets and first aid packs, a typical day on the mountain sees patrollers rotate between the LMSP base, the extensive network of ski and snow shoe trails, toboggan slopes and other resort facilities.


  • need to be 18 years of age and over and be fit, competent skiers
  • have Provide First Aid (HLTAID003) and Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (HLTAID001) qualifications, with the view to attaining Advanced Emergency Care accreditation through the Australian Ski Patrol Association (ASPA)
  • need to be available to be rostered on weekend days throughout the winter
  • receive free entry to Lake Mountain Alpine Resort
  • are subsidised to gain Australian Ski Patrol Association (ASPA) certification.

For further information please contact LMSP Secretary, Bronwyn Howell on 0409 212 307, or email howell.bronwyn.b@edumail.vic.gov.au

Check out LMSP’s website at www.lakemountainskipatrol.org


On duty in 2017. From left active retiree and long term patroller Ray Malins from Montrose, Michelle Tomkins from Rubicon Outdoor Education Centre, paramedic Nicole Paulding from Malvern and administration officer Sarah Lefel from Warburton.]