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Mountain Travel and Rescue Program

In 1951, there were 15 reported accidents and three fatalities related to mountain travel in the U.S. In 2008, the number of mountaineering-related accidents was 112, with 15 fatalities, according to Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2009. With the rise in the number of people participating in outdoor activities such as skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and hiking, outdoor accidents and fatalities will also rise, based on statistics.

Attendees taking Mountain Travel and Rescue (MTR) courses will learn a variety of skills, including nutrition and how the body performs in a wilderness environment, weather patterns, survival skills, working with group dynamics, an introduction to search and rescue, rope rescue skills, improvised toboggan construction, and land navigation with map, compass, and GPS. The MTR courses are taught in classroom and field sessions, including mock scenarios to ensure the attendees can apply what they have learned to real life situations.

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast looking to expand your survival and travel skills in the backcountry environment or a ski patroller preparing for one of the worst possible scenarios a parent can face at a ski area (a lost child), the MTR courses can help you get prepared.

Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals (MTR F)

This course provides students with basic knowledge and skills to travel and work in reasonable comfort and safety in an outdoor environment. Field practice includes basic navigation, travel, and survival, and an introduction to search and rescue. This course does not include an overnight campout.

Prerequisite: None
Time Commitment: Adequate classroom instruction to prepare students for a field session. There is no overnight campout included in this course curriculum.
Fees: National—none; Division—varies; Local—varies
Credential: NSP Certificate of Achievement
Continuing education/refresher requirement: Attend local on-the-hill/trail refresher, audit/retake course, or attend continuing education seminars offered by MTR instructors.
Instuctor of Record: NSP Mountain Travel and Rescue instructor
Required Text:

Mountain, Travel, and Rescue 1 (MTR 1)

This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to travel and work in reasonable safety and comfort in the outdoor environment and to assist a search and/or rescue team, including possible overnight operations. Field practice includes practice in navigation, travel, survival skills, basic search and rescue exercises, and an overnight campout.

Prerequisite: None
Time commitment: Adequate classroom instruction to prepare students for a field exercise that lasts through one night.
Fees: National—none; Division—varies; Local—varies
Credentials: NSP Certificate of Achievement
Continuing education/refresher requirement: Attend local on-the-hill/trail refresher, audit/retake course, or attend continuing education seminars offered by MTR instructors.
Instructor of record: NSP Mountain Travel and Rescue instructor
Required texts:

Note: Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals and Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 are parallel rather than sequential courses. Students may select one or the other course, depending on area needs and requirements.

Mountain, Travel, and Rescue 2 (MTR 2)

Mountain Travel and Rescue Level 2 is designed as a follow-up course to MTR F and/or MTR 1. This course provides more in-depth training and field work in land navigation, search and rescue, rope rescue, improvised toboggan construction, survival skills, and emergency shelter construction that students can utilize during the length of the course.

Prerequisites:
  1. Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals, Mountain Travel and Rescue 1, or a basic search and rescue course from an approved agency may substitute, as determined by the division MTR supervisor.
  2. Level 1 Avalanche, Avalanche Fundamentals and Rescue courses, or any equivalent avalanche course from an approved agency, as determined by the MTR division supervisor.
Time commitment:
  • Adequate preparation training prior to field session.
  • Minimum two days and one overnight with adequate practice for field session.
  • Up to two additional days and nights may be used, not necessarily consecutively, to better prepare students for the final field exercise.
Fees: National—none; Division—varies; Local—varies; Permit fees—if applicable
Credentials: NSP Certificate of Achievement
Continuing education/refresher requirement: Attend local on-the-hill/trail refresher, audit/retake course, or attend continuing education seminars offered by MTR instructors.
Instructor of record: NSP Mountain Travel and Rescue instructor
Required texts:

Note: Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals and Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 are parallel rather than sequential courses. Students may select one or the other course, depending on area needs and requirements.


Mountain Travel and Rescue Enhancement Seminar

The MTR Enhancement Seminar is designed to provide patrollers with the ability to acquire additional and more in-depth training in specific topics within the MTR program. The extended training of specific skills taught in Mountain Travel & Rescue courses allows the patrollers and instructors to focus on one to two topics based on their area needs.

This course provides patrollers and their areas of operation a source to customize their training based on their needs. If an area of operation is prone to having more guests lost on trails, such as backcountry skiers or snowshoers, the patrollers may require additional training in Search & Rescue techniques or the area may have more ravines or gullies and require patrollers to be more skilled at rope rescue and need deeper training in Low Angle Rescue.

The premise of the course is to allow one to two topics to be taught. If only a single topic is needed, then the course will last eight hours covering field and/possibly class work. If two topics are desired then the course will be divided over the two topics covering field and/possible class work. The extended training will allow a more in-depth study of the topic(s), allow more hands on practice, additional practice scenarios, and more real-life experiential knowledge transfer and discussion from instructor to student.

Potential Course Topics
Search & Rescue  
Low Angle Rescue  
Land Navigation  
Survival Skills  
Extended Backcountry Care  
 
Prerequisite: None
Time Commitment: Eight hours of class and field exercises
Fees: National—none; Division—varies; Local—varies
Credential: NSP Certificate of Achievement
Instuctor of Record: NSP Mountain Travel and Rescue instructor
Required Text: Mountain Travel & Rescue Manual

TEXTS

Mountain Travel and Rescue

The required text for NSP's Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals, Level 1, and Level 2 courses, this manual is designed to equip the students of the MTR courses with the knowledge to enjoy, travel, and survive in the outdoor environment and assist as members of search and rescue and rope rescue teams. Topics include personal survival, backcountry navigation and awareness, basic search and rescue, and basic rope work and rescue techniques. It contains more than 100 illustrations. 1995.

#509: $19.50

Mountain Travel and Rescue Instructor's Manual

This manual serves as the guideline for all MTR courses and is a must for all instructors teaching MTR F, MTR 1, and MTR 2. It includes program descriptions, lesson guides, instructor information, and course activities. This is the first manual to be "e-published" by the NSP, and is available in a .PDF format from each member's bookshelf on his or her member page. 2003.

Electronic Resource Only: $9.50