Backcountry Patrol Keeps Tahoe Trails Safe
Note from Katherine: Just passing along an impressive note from our NMBP group in Lake Tahoe. This is a great example of how to do your patrol training and a reminder that it's encouraged to crow about your successes! Let people know your group exists and is here to help.
Over 30 volunteers recently completed the annual training program to begin patrolling by bike, foot, or horseback on the backcountry trails around Lake Tahoe. The training was conducted jointly by the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Backcountry Patrol and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.
The training included multiple presentations on topics useful for patrol in the backcountry. These included equestrian issues which included the opportunity for patrollers to safely handle and secure a loose horse; a bike repair session that covered basic repairs in a field environment; a medical scenario that included a CareFlight medical helicopter flying in and educating the group on helicopter safety and patient packaging; proper radio use, rapid medical assessments; and a presentation on “Verbal Judo”. Verbal Judo is described as the gentle art of persuasion. It will assist the patrollers in handling difficult people and gain voluntary compliance from errant park users.
This was the second day of training for the patrol members. Earlier in the season, they spent a day in the classroom learning about trails, Tahoe history, park regulations and patrol procedures.
Currently in its tenth year of operation, the patrol is part of the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s National Mountain Bike Patrol program. The 50 or so active patrollers are responsible for approximately 2,000 assists during the summer riding season. These are usually questions about the park history, trail recommendations, or riding etiquette; but the patrollers are also ready to fix a flat tire, bandage a wound, or assist with an emergency evacuation.
The patrol operates primarily out of Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park on the east shore, including the world famous Flume Trail. The patrol also partners with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to cover other areas of the Tahoe Rim Trail around the lake. The organization relies on donations, grants, and special events such as the TRT Ultra Marathon July 16 and the Great Tahoe Flume Race on September 10 for funding.
For more information on the patrol, please visit www.tahoebikepatrol.org.