Dodge Ridge NSP
An early patrol organization was formed after World War II, which was supplemented by the Stockton Ski Patrol in the 1950's, with assists from the Heavenly Valley Patrol and other visitors from neighboring areas. In the summer of 1961, the Modesto Patrol was organized, with four charter National patrollers, and in coming years the Modesto Patrol assumed a growing role at Dodge Ridge. At the time, patrolling wasn't complicated; it required considerable time and commitment, an advanced first aid card, strong skiing ability and a desire to help the skiing public.
In 1961, Dodge Ridge had one chair lift, which is now Chair #3. The chair had a midway station where one could get on, but not off. "The Face", then much rockier than today, was for experts only, and the only grooming was by patrollers on their skis. Often, after a storm, the patrollers would spend the entire morning stamping out the "Face" and other runs for the public. There was also a platter pull where Chair #2 is today, and Poma lifts where Chair 4 and 6 are today. Dodge was then, as now, a successful and well-appointed ski area, with the old Prospector Lodge large and spacious for its time.
In the 1970's and 1980's, a separate patrol, made up of residents and homeowners in and around the Pinecrest to Miwuk Village area, was formed to become the Sonora Pass Patrol. For years the two patrols served Dodge Ridge, working as partners, though with separate organizations. By the late 1980's it became apparent to both the area and to the two patrols that a single, unified patrol would be beneficial, and the two patrols were merged to become the Prospector Ski Patrol. Since that time the Prospector Patrol has frequently been judged best ski patrol in both the Mother Lode Region and Far West Division, and in 1996-97 was voted runner-up as National Patrol of the Year, out of more than 600 patrols system-wide.