Ruffwear proudly supports dozens of Avalanche Rescue teams around the United States and Canada by providing gear for these highly trained rescue dogs. Avalanche dogs train with their handlers at their home mountains every day during ski season to help keep skiers and snowboarders safe. The dogs are tested in obedience each season and in search every other year at Wasatch Backcountry Rescue’s avalanche rescue dog training school.
In case you missed our Instagram coverage of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue’s 2016 program, we’ve got the full recap of this year’s event, including a unique behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of an avy rescue dog! And, in honor of National Hat Day (today, January 15th), we’re helping to promote Wasatch Backcountry Rescue’s trucker hat! All proceeds go to Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, helping to support avalanche rescue training and education for WBR members and the public, so that they can make the best decisions while traveling in the mountains and come home safely.
What’s it like to spend a day training with avalanche rescue dogs and their handlers? Well, it begins with an early morning wake-up call followed by a hearty breakfast.
Dogs and patrollers gather their gear for a full day out in the snow!
Handlers and dogs gather outside – the dogs are excited and ready to go! But first, everyone gathers together for a group photo.
Next, the training begins! The dogs practice searching for humans in the snow. The key to training and certifying a dog for avalanche rescue is the reward at the end of the dig. Most avy dogs enjoy a play session with their trainers following a successful search.
Calamity Jane also practices patience as she anticipates her chance to show off her skills!
The dogs also practice hot loading into helicopters. There’s not a moment for hesitation during a real rescue when every moment counts, so getting the dogs used to the noise, loading and unloading, and the experience of flying is critical.
After a long day of hard work, the avy dogs and their handlers head back to the lodge for warmth, rest, social time, and a good meal!
A peak inside the patrollers’ fridge…We see some well-deserved beer and bacon!
Ready to see it all come together? Check out this video:
To learn more about Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, check out their website.