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Joining Patrol - The French way

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After 20+ years of skibum preofesions I am finally working my way towards what here is considered a real and sensible profession (My 3 winters in Japan was consided a very real and highly profesional job there, but the way it was run would not be allowed whatsoever in Europe).

Over the years I've skied a bit, probably 2000+ days, Since first learning on plastic artificial slopes (a bit like whte astroturf) in '78. I made it as far as Junior national squad in ski racing in the late '80's and raced a bit at University. I qualified as an Electronic and Electrical engineer but became a skibum. I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100 pairs of skis (For my own company and others). In Canada I have worked alongside patrol in Sunshine Village allthough never officially (Didn't have the time or qualifications back then).

I passed my WFR more than a decade ago, along with AAIRE Avie 2 while working my way through the American Guides Scheme (That came to nothing in the End) . Here I am an International Mountain Leader - Middle mountain guide/Trekking guide.

BUT in France I have to start form square 1. There is also no Voly patrol system, pro patrol only. I have done a few days shadowing friends on Patrol here, which the resort couldn't understan why I wanted to, bt they were happy with an extra pair of hands.

Pre requesit

First aid - Premiere Securist 1 + 2. This is run by the Fire department and is the defacto first, first aid scheme for anyone becoming a Firefighter, Ambulance service, Lifeguard, Police, Mountain Rescue and others. A tough two week course that is more about procedures than first aid, although there is a fair bit of first aid in it. The reason for all of the procedures and rules is, France is a very integrated country when it comes to Emergency Services and everyone read form the same book. Yes it can be a PIA, but in many ways it means a Patroller get the same profesional respect as Firefighter. This also means that in a large imergency there are more Securist (first responders) who can be called upon who know how the system works.

Ski Test - 2 parts - First speed - you need to get a Vermillion level in a Ski school race - sounds easy, but if you don't bash gates it will take you many goes to get near enough to the instructor (most be an ex FIS racer) s time to pass.....Most of the weekend amateur races were not posting times fast enough. Took me 2 goes, 2nd time on borrowed race skis, not just piste carvers.....25 years since I'd raced.

The Technical test - 400m vertical of mixed off piste, don't look like a numpty, juged.... Need to get 12 out of possible 20, Speed, Control, Choice of line, Technique. Sounds easy - Took me 4 attempts. All but 1 of my tests were just bump fields on a black run. 2nd go the guy in front was ex FIS the guy following was ex FRWT, we all got 9.75!
To pass I did a weeks preparation course. Turns out I had been doing 2 things wrong. 1st I was skiing the terrain in a normal fashion. Instead of making it look like there were almost no bumps out there. And making GS turns, just resturning to short radius turns at the change of slope to re-asses my line. 2rd I was skiing too slow - Requied speed 20-50kph (12-30mph).
I finaly passed on the last but one 1 before they shut down France! I got lucky, not only had I practiced (I say practiced, I mean I was beasted for a week) on the same ski hill. We had fresh snow overnight and no freeze - Upper part 20cm (8") Fresh on not frozen, middle just soft, lower section had been rained on, so 1m (3') bumps but soft enough that I was going in 50cm (1'6") on 100+ underfoot. 30% or more coudn't stand up, less than 10% passed (some tests have sub 5% pass rate).

I was supposed to start a 5 week patrol course the next weekend but as the world has become a bit of a mess I had to wait until November Sad. But at least I am allowed to do the course.

Form friends whove done the course and from the literature it's all the things you would learn as through the volly system in other parts of the world. Difference being this is a goverment run course to a very specific sillabus. And unlike other parts of the world most people starting the course have never touched a snowmobile let alone a rescue taboggan!. In that respect I am lucky, procedures I will have to learn, radio calls in French I will struggle with, but the rest, I've not just done, I've taught!


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 17-11-20 20:22; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Good luck Idris. Best job on the hill.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Idris, nice one! Well done!
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Idris, interesting read. I knew patrol were solid skiers but I never imagined the bar was quite that high
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
What @Arno, said, Chapeau!
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Congratulations! Living the dream
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Idris wrote:
I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100mpais of skis (For my own company and others).


Sorry, I couldn't understand that, could you clarify?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Alastair Pink wrote:
Idris wrote:
I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100mpais of skis (For my own company and others).


Sorry, I couldn't understand that, could you clarify?


It is not only French Idris needs help with.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Idris, Great topic, well done so far, and good luck with the rest.

Have always respected and admired the job patrollers do.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Bones wrote:
Idris, Great topic, well done so far, and good luck with the rest.

Have always respected and admired the job patrollers do.


+1
Keep us updated.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Alastair Pink wrote:
Idris wrote:
I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100 pairs of skis (For my own company and others).


Sorry, I couldn't understand that, could you clarify?


Fixed it for you
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
davidof wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
Idris wrote:
I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100mpais of skis (For my own company and others).


Sorry, I couldn't understand that, could you clarify?


It is not only French Idris needs help with.


Sorry I am both dislexic and 1st language welsh....not english
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Idris, great thread and thanks for describing the process for us. Look forward to hearing how you get on
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Idris, thanks.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Ski patrollers are always slick skiers. I saw some people do some part of the test in Flaines- down Diamant- hell for leather. All very strong.

But Idris' description does really stand out- at the standard of people who fail. So Irdis so above- Chapeau!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The official training video is very... Puzzled ...informative?


http://youtube.com/v/tqQUIKY_UU0

Seriously, congratulations and well done @Idris,
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
adithorp wrote:
The official training video is very... Puzzled ...informative?


http://youtube.com/v/tqQUIKY_UU0

Seriously, congratulations and well done @Idris,


Quite accurate , includes some aspects of PGHM and Grimp/Securite Civile.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Idris wrote:
30% or more coudn't stand up, less than 10% passed (some tests have sub 5% pass rate).


And they say the Eurotest is hard..!! Happy

Good work @Idris - saw your FB oost on this. Hopefully they manage to keep the training running smoothly despite the current situation.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Impressive. I've always thought the Piste Patrol were very sound skiers - now I know why. I hope that @Idrisgets the final part of course soon.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
There is an English pisteur here, been in the job many years. In fact he's now in charge of the Toura section of the mountain.

Hope your training goes well. There was a training course here at the start of last season. Guys here from many resorts.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
When we were at the PSB last year stephap had a crash and was recover by a UK pisteur, respect to the way he skied back down with the blood wagon
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Idris wrote:
davidof wrote:
Alastair Pink wrote:
Idris wrote:
I've done most skibum jobs over the years and mad a few 100mpais of skis (For my own company and others).


Sorry, I couldn't understand that, could you clarify?


It is not only French Idris needs help with.


Sorry I am both dislexic and 1st language welsh....not english


Mae croeso i chi bostio yn Gymraeg
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Idris, bon chance, thanks for sharing your journey on what must be a pretty rough road to finish.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Idris, you are one of the most accomplished skiers on this forum and I always enjoy reading your posts. Good luck in your new role!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Idris,

Always admired your adventures, going back to reading trip reports from when some of the powder forum (now TGR) skiers came over to ski with you. Then onto starting up your own einviromentally friendly ski manufacturing company and more recently your time in Japan.
.... but let's be honest, it's about time you found yourself a proper job innit? wink
Seriously, big respect to you going through the french patrol tests and best of luck for the future.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Wed 18-11-20 12:12; edited 1 time in total
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Idris, Really interesting account. Wishing you the best of luck on completing the course. Smile
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
This is the sort of level you need to be at for the off piste test. This is the guide's exam and dates a bit now so the level will have gone up but is judged in the same way: skiing fast but in control with a pack.


http://youtube.com/v/7yOV3lNdVMw


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Wed 18-11-20 14:34; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Idris wrote:
30% or more coudn't stand up, less than 10% passed (some tests have sub 5% pass rate).


Different country but the results would be similar here outside the Mooserwirt, St Anton, Austria (if they enforced breathlyser testing during Apres ski).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
All the best
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Congratulations from someone who has followed you around the web for years. Remember "Vibram sole on downhill boots" with the whacky ear defenders? Looking forward to the next chapter.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Survived the first week and my first written exam in French (my first aid courses all had practical exams).
I now have a CGMM BPS 1ere Degre (yes the french system loves its achronisms).
Onto next week, still (mostly) indoors but with more practical stuff, or so we have been prommised.
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