'There's no patrol to go to if you need help; there's no place to go to get warm'

The Willamette Back Country Ski Patrol isn't allowed to make volunteer patrols on Forest Service lands during the government shutdown. So if you’re headed to play in this snow, know that you’re on your own until the shutdown is over. (SBG)

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - The partial government shutdown affects everyone in different ways, but one effect in particular is concerning for some winter enthusiasts.

Cory Miner has been part of the Willamette Back Country Ski Patrol for nearly 20 years.

He’s an avid skier and a paramedic, which makes him the perfect fit to patrol Gold Lake Sno-Park.

“All of our volunteers are first aid and CPR trained,” he says.

Four patrols ski and snowshoe the area on the weekends to make sure everyone is safe.

But volunteering on U.S. Forest Service land means they and the U.S. Forest Service’s medical supplies are out of commission on the trails until the federal government is up and running again.

“There’s no patrol to go to if you need help; there's no place to go to get warm,” he says. “There's very little cell service, so you're completely on your own if you need a rescue or anything to that effect.”

Typically, they keep track of who’s here based on the vehicles in the parking lot.

“We’ve never had anybody go overnight; we've always found them before 10 o’clock,” ski patrol Joseph Calbreath says.

That’s why they want to warn skiers and snow shoes to be extra prepared for the backcountry.

“The biggest problem is that we can't have the restrooms open; we can't have the cabin open,” Miner says.

All three overnight shelters in the park are closed, which means keeping warm is now a challenge.

“People that don't have a lot of experience in the backcountry, they'll walk up in their jeans and their cotton sweatshirts,” Miner says. “But, in the backcountry, it collects water and makes you very, very cold.”

So if you’re headed to play in this snow, know that you’re on your own until the shutdown is over.

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