Meet the avalanche dog heroes
Crystal Mountain’s Avalanche Rescue Dog Program has been active for nearly 30 years.
Since its start, the professional ski patrollers at Crystal have trained search dogs as an additional resource during an avalanche response. The dogs are trained to find human scent coming from underneath the snow. Primary training and work occur at Crystal Mountain, but at the height of their certification are available for backcountry responses anywhere in the Cascades.
The Crystal Mountain Avalanche Rescue Dogs is a member of Back Country Avalanche Rescue K-9 (B.A.R.K) group, a collective of professional ski patrollers and avalanche rescue dogs. Other BARK ski area members include Stevens Pass, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Alpental.
Teams are trained to work with local county Search and Rescue Sheriff Deputies to respond to remote avalanche accidents. The dog teams consist of a skilled professional ski patroller and a highly trained working dog who was raised training at Crystal. Over the last three decades, several generations of solid working dogs have played a key role in avalanche recovery.
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