On December 15, 2009 WBR Snowbird traveled to the Jewish Community Center kindergarten class for a educational talk on avalanche safety, avalanche dogs, and the mission of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue. The class was very enthusiastic about the avy dogs and were very excited to see WBR President Dean Cardinale and avy rescue dog Akela visit their class.
The Rescue Training Center (RTC) in Little Cottonwood Canyon is up and running for the season. Snowbird Ski Patrollers set up and tested the training center today. The Snowbird Freeride Avalanche Summit 2009 attendees were the first out at the RTC this season practicing their transceiver search skills. With over 40 inches in the last week it is a great pre ski activity to refresh yourselves with transceiver search and probing practice and the RTC is a worthwhile venue to sharpen your avy rescue skills.
Saturday, December 19th WBR Snowbird in conjunction with the Snowbird Ski Patrol and the Snowbird activities center, taught a six hour backcountry skills seminar at Snowbird Utah. The weather was perfect and the participants were able to receive both classroom as well as field instruction on many important winter backcountry skills. The participants were instructed on such topics as: safe winter travel, snow evaluation, snow science, avalanche transceiver use and mountain rescue techniques.
On October 14th, the Utah Olympic Park hosted the first obedience test of the 2009/2010 season. Fourteen area Avalanche Dog teams attended from seven Utah resorts. In addition to the obedience testing, LifeFlight was on site for the morning to practice loading procedures with the Dog Teams.
With Sue Anderson (Deer Valley) and Jake Hutchinson (The Canyons) evaluating, each dog team was put through their paces in socialization and obedience. For socialization, the dogs were allowed an off-leash “play” period where they interact with the other dogs under supervision. The socialization period allows the dogs to familiarize themselves with the other teams to ensure that all teams can work together during an actual incident.
Sundance Ski and Mountain Resort hosted the November WBR training, the focus was on obedience and socialization of the dogs. 18 teams attend from every ski resort represented by WBR. We also put on a demonstration of some lift evacuation equipment we had just purchased for this up coming season. For the 8th of November it was warm and sunny, not great for the up coming ski season but a great day for dog training. The socialization and obedience portion of the day was fun with great performances from all teams.