Flathead nordic backcountry ski patrol

The Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol (FNBP) is a non-profit group of volunteer men and women trained and prepared to respond to any type of winter back-country emergency. The Patrol's area of responsibility is primarily Flathead County, although the patrol will respond anywhere in NW Montana, or if circumstances indicate, we will respond anywhere our services may be helpful.


Our History

Flathead Nordic originated in 1975 as the Essex Nordic Patrol serving to patrol the trails of Izaak Walton Inn.
In 1981 we renamed ourselves to better reflect the growth and demand of our services. We played an instrumental role in creating both the Flathead County Avalanche Search Plan and the Northwest Montana Avalanche Information Center. We are the only nordic patrols in the Northern Division of NSP.
The Patrol conducts regular business meetings the first Monday of each month at 7:00 pm from October through April at the National Parks Realty office in Whitefish. We participate in several public education presentations each season.


our training

Training opportunities for candidates and Patrollers include: CPR, Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC), Mountain Travel and Rescue (MTR), Advanced MTR, Avalanche I, Avalanche II, candidate training, skiing skills, toboggan handling, Instructor programs, and senior training. All of these programs are available throughout the Northern Division.



Do you have a desire to fine tune your backcountry skills, meet people with similar interests, educate the public about backcountry safety, perform an important public service, and embark on impromptu backcountry tours (a.k.a. rescues) at a moment's notice? We'd love to have you.Meetings
To get stared, we suggest you attend one of our monthly meetings.
FNBP conducts regular business meetings the first Monday of each month from October through April. Anyone interested in joining or just learning more about FNBP is welcome to attend the monthly meetings.>First Monday of each month, 7pm at 601 Spokane Ave, Whitefish, MT 59937 (go downstairs)


Becoming a Member

To become a member of FNBP, you need to show up to meetings and pay your dues--at which point you would be considered a "candidate" and can participate in any FNBP training and educational opportunity. To become a "patroller" with all the privileges and responsibilities afforded to patrollers, you must meet a few basic educational/skill requirements. We ask that all candidates who wish to remain in patrol, make an effort to meet these requirements. These opportunities are free of charge for dues-paying members of patrol.


Basic Requirements

> Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC)
> Professional Rescuer CPR
> NSP Level I Avalanche ("Avy I")
> NSP Level I Mountain Travel and Rescue ("MTR I")
> Candidate Training by FNBP
Don't have these certifications? No problem. The benefit to joining patrol is that we provide the training. Training for the various courses are typically provided to candidates on a regular basis. You just need to have the motivation to learn and expand your backcountry skills.Skills
Members are experienced in a wide variety of backcountry specialties: avalanche rescue and education, mountain travel and education, outdoor emergency care and transport.
You don't need to be an expert skier, however it helps if you are physically fit and able to navigate variable terrain on skis as most of our rescues occur in uncontrolled terrain, often in the dark. Snowboarders are welcome, but you should be able to travel efficiently---a split board is highly recommended.