Beginning this year, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) will serve as a partner of the National Ski Patrol (NSP) to promote mountain bike patrols and patrollers. The new partnership furthers NSP’s ongoing efforts to grow summer operations in response to the needs of its mountain resort partners, and aligns with IMBA’s work to refocus on its core mission of places to ride mountain bikes.
“We are very excited to be partnering with IMBA,” said NSP Executive Director Meegan Moszynski. “In 2017, the NSP accepted the first official bike patrol into the organization. The NSP recognizes that bike patrolling is our focus on serving our ski area partners, and IMBA’s experience with the National Mountain Bike Patrol and bike patrolling will prove invaluable as we work to further incorporate this important group of patrollers into the NSP.”
IMBA’s National Mountain Bike Patrol was officially founded in 1994 and now includes more than 50 volunteer bike patrol groups and 600-plus trained patrollers. These volunteers partner with land managers, landowners and emergency personnel to assist at events, educate trail users and monitor trail conditions.
The possibility of joining IMBA’s current NMBP membership with the NSP makes sense for both organizations, says IMBA, as the NSP is the leading patrolling organization and IMBA is a leader in mountain bike advocacy. IMBA’s NMBP Advisory Committee, led by Wade Hartmann, has been involved in the partnership since talks began in late 2016, is in full support of this direction, and is excited about the possibilities this presents for the growth of mountain bike patrolling.
“Working more closely with the National Ski Patrol is a great opportunity for IMBA, and vice versa. Broad, diverse partnerships like these strengthen opportunities for both sports and both organizations,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director.
IMBA and the NSP will be working over the next few months to set up a framework to offer IMBA’s NMBP Patrollers membership in the NSP as mountain bike patrollers.