This is actually from CHRISTINA:


Sara rides the chair with Avi Dog "Riki"


"Puppy, puppy, puppy!" this is all I hear as I’m running my professionally trained avalanche search and rescue dog (who is also a cute puppy puppy).

Our dogs are an essential part of our patrol and snow safety program. Last week we had our annual avalanche training scenario where all the patrollers were dispatched to a scene below powder bowl and ran through a mock avalanche with eight buried people.

We called the dogs on sight, ran with transceivers, RECCOs, and large probe lines.  In the end, the patrollers did a great job organizing and covering the area, but it was the dogs who really stole the show.  The dogs found 5 of the 8 people and in good time!  The bottom line is this:  Our dogs are well trained tools;  they can cover as much area as 100 people probing, and in faster time.


On big-snow days we post dogs on top of the King, on top of High Cambell lift, and top of Northway–this should be a clue to you to ski with your partner and ski smart (not directly above your buddy so you don’t create an avalanche).  And, when you see a cute puppy running down the hill you can politely ask the patroller if you can pet the dog, but please do not cause unneeded distractions because they are always in training and a valuable resource.



2 thoughts on “PUPPY! PUPPY! PUPPY!

  1. mountainboy11

    Would you ever recommend people bring their own dogs in the backcountry? I do not have a dog but some day I would like to get one especially for added backcountry safety. Even with partner and proper safety training, how hard would it be to train my own dog on the basics?
    Kim responds: Avalanche rescue dogs take years of training. One thing to remember is that the dog doesn’t actually dig the person out. Instead, avalanche dogs “alert” on a spot, which tells the handler to probe there. Once the handler has a “strike”, then the digging begins, and the dog is pulled off the scene. The best trained avi dog needs an expert handler. Your greatest protection in the backcountry is always a transceiver, probe and shovel and a partner with same and the knowledge to use these tools. Having said that, I love touring with dogs. My dog, Rocket (rest his soul) loved to make dollar signs out of my powder turns, and I swear he smiled through all those face shots. He might have even loved powder snow more than I did (if that’s even possible).
    If you do get a dog and want to see how we train ours, we would love to teach you some basics. We are always looking for people to get buried in holes so the dogs can find them. If you are willing to spend some time in a hole, even dig a hole, then we can show you how it works. We practice scenarios weekly. Your best bet is to contact a dog handler directly. Introduce yourself. We dog people love to talk about our dogs.


  2. mountainboy11

    Cool, thanks Kim. I’d be willing to get buried….I”ll try to hook up with patrol before end of the season (if it keeps dumping like this I will not be able to spare the freshies though….I’m sure you understand ! )
    Kim responds: If not this year, I’m sure we could use you next season. Enjoy all the pow!


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