Volunteer Ski Patrol

Voluntary Patrol Programme 2018

Pre-season meeting: Date & Venue to be advised

If you are interested please come along to the pre-season meeting. We will discuss the programme, Cheeseman’s expectations and what Cheeseman can offer you. There will be a contract that you can sign or take away with you. We will talk about the system to book in for the days you wish to volunteer.


The programme is open to people 14 years and older, who have a good ability of skiing and are committed to learning and assisting the patrol on rostered days.

There are 3 levels that you can join which is dependent on age, patrol skills and qualifications.
The Junior level is for young people, 14 years and over, keen to join at the beginner level and attend the training sessions.
The Trainee level is for people 16 years and older who have basic skills and first aid qualifications
The Volunteer Patrol level is for people who have PHEC qualification (first aid) and patrol experience equivalent to Avalanche One qualification.

If you have any questions or cannot make this session contact Al on 022 604 0894 or email on chat@nullmtcheeseman.co.nz


The Cheeseman Voluntary Patrol programme is highly successful in both training volunteers and providing valuable experience on the mountain.

Cheeseman welcomes new volunteers to the programme.

Cheeseman has an excellent reputation of snow safety thanks to a staff of qualified Patrollers and long term volunteers. The Voluntary Patrol programme has been in existence for many years now. Cheeseman is proud that many of the volunteer patrollers have gained skills and experience that have helped them get their dream jobs overseas.

The Voluntary Patrol programme has levels related to age, experience and qualifications. You need to be an advanced skier or boarder, have your own gear, be 14 yrs for a junior and 16 yrs plus for a trainee. You do not need to be a club member to participate.

If you are interested in joining the programme please Contact Us

Read the stories from some of our volunteer patrollers below:

Alex Poetschke – 2017

I came across Cheeseman Voly Patrol in early 2017 following a move down to Christchurch and chance meeting with an individual previously on the voly roster. I had grown up skiing in Canada, and had always held an interest in becoming a ski patroller in some capacity. I joined the Cheeseman team regularly throughout the 2017 season, and was involved in first aid responses, observing and assisting with basic avalanche mitigation efforts, operating lifts, and practising various avalanche search and first aid scenarios on-mountain. The patrollers were both experienced and welcoming, and I enjoyed the challenge of learning new skills as well as the opportunity to spend more time in the mountains.

My experience on voly patrol influenced my decision to complete my CAA Avalanche Operations Level 1 earlier this year, and I look forward to the opportunity to apply some of my newly acquired skills around snowpack analysis, and strengthen my understanding of the factors influencing the local avalanche bulletin for the region this season. I intend to apply for a season of patrol work sometime in the future, and know that the time spent volunteering at Mt Cheeseman will be a valuable asset to that application.

Maddy Ball – 2015-2017 

I first started volunteer patrolling at Mt Cheeseman in my third year of high school when I was in search of a new challenge for the winter season.  Soon I ended up at the hill nearly every weekend and holiday, learning the ropes of the hill and the patrol job. During my time volunteering, I learned about many different aspects of mountain operations; toboggan handling, first aid, weather observations, avalanche rescue practise, Recco practise, dug snow pits and learned about crystal formation, as well as general mountain operations. Being such a small hill, I was also taught how to operate the lifts and load people onto the t-bar. As well as gaining practical knowledge, I was also privileged enough to have the most amazing patrollers as my mentors and role models through school. I have met so many awesome like minded and outdoorsy people through my time volunteering.

Following the footsteps of many others to volunteer at Mt Cheeseman, I am now working as a ski patroller at Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park (AB, Canada).  As well as giving me a head start on more specific skills such as toboggan handling, Mt Cheeseman’s volunteer programme provided me with an invaluable understanding of the basics before I started on patrol at Marmot. Even outside of my current job, voly patrol has been instrumental in teaching me many valuable life skills. Should I return to New Zealand in the near future I would jump at the opportunity to volunteer there again!