Every year the WBR selects one avalanche dog team and one handler to attend the ARS Avalanche Dog Handler Training Course in Andermatt, Switzerland. This year, Sean Hopewell and Parley from the Utah Olympic Park along with Dan Costaschuk from Canyons were selected to attend. This agreement between the WBR and Alpinerettungshweiz is essentially an exchange program where WBR handlers can learn training techniques from one of the oldest dog programs in the world.
It is an even numbered year, which means the WBR Dog School is ramping up and getting ready to train in-house WBR member teams. Next season (2013), an odd numbered year is available for enrollment for public and International teams by application.
Local WBR dog handlers train on basic and advanced field work, dog socialization, puppy instruction, ranging, beacon search, probing techniques, modern shoveling techniques, dog agility, dog obedience, and the Swiss four phase method. Next week the crew hits Brighton Ski Resort to build on their skills. Check in next week to see how the pups and handlers measure up to these rigorous standards.
Wasatch Backcountry Rescue – Snowbird (WBR) is looking for one to two interns for the 2011/2012 winter season. Interns will assist with the formulation of website content, blog content, accident reports, snow safety data, editing of rescue manuals, and a variety of other projects throughout the winter season.
In addition to assisting WBR with administrative functions, interns will have the opportunity to observe and train with professional ski patrolmen and backcountry rescuers in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.
Learn how to navigate the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache Backcountry safely with Snowbird’s expert guides. In this seminar you will learn how to use transceivers as well as mountain rescue techniques. There is no need to sign-up. Just show up in the rooms below! If you have a transceiver, bring it.
- Saturday, January 7, 2012 Alpine B 5 – 6 p.m. FREE clinic
- Friday, February 3, 2012 Alpine C 5 – 6 p.m. FREE clinic
- Friday, March 2, 2012 Alpine B 5 – 6 p.m. FREE clinic
On November 10th Hans Hjelde and Pivot the dog along with Kory Davis and Nika attended a school event at Roy elementary. They spoke to 3rd and 4th grade students about Wasatch Backcountry Rescue and the Avalanche Dog Program at Snowbasin. The students had a great time and were more intrigued by the dogs than by what we had to say. The visit was sponsored by the United Way of Utah as a reward for a reading program that Roy Elementary had participated in. Snowbasin's Dog Teams joined with the U.S. Air Force, Roy Fire Department, and Roy Police Department for a fun day of learning and reading. The dogs had a great time and the students learned a little about what it is like to be a Ski Patroller and an Avalanche Dog.
WBR Avalanche Rescue canine and handler teams gathered at Brighton Resort 11-07-2001 for an annual obedience and socialization test. Teams from Brighton, Alta, Snowbasin and The Utah Olympic Park passed the annual test and exhibited strong skills. Evidence of the hard work put in over the summer months showed in all the teams. After the testing process each dog had a turn at 4 phase progressions ON SNOW, for the first time of the season.
On October 13th, teams from throughout northern Utah gathered at the Utah Olympic Park for obedience testing and "hot load" training with AirMed.
The teams started off the morning by performing their annual obedience test. Every "A" level team must complete an annual obedience test to be considered operational for the up-and-coming winter season. The test focuses on the K-9's ability to heel, stay, stay with the handler out of site, and aggression with other avalanche teams. Congratulations to the teams that passed!
Members from WBR UDOT, Brighton and Snowbird responded with Salt Lake County Sheriff SAR to an incident off the pfeifferhorn peak in Little Cottonwwod Canyon weds 5-11-2011. A party of two backcountry skiers fell while descending the NW couloir resulting in 1000 ft "slide for life" through the couloir and over a cliff at the base. WBR teams responded on the ground and in the air with help from a Life Flight helicopter crew. The two patients were packaged, transported to a landing zone and flown from the backcountry.
The Canadian Avalanche Association hosted the first North American meeting of the International Commission of Alpine Rescue’s Avalanche Committee, held in Revelstoke BC from March 22-24, 2011. This three day conference brought together mountain and avalanche rescue personnel from around the world to discuss avalanche education, avalanche prevention, and search and rescue procedures.
Learn how to navigate the Wasatch Backcountry safely with instructors from Wasatch Backcountry Rescue and the Snowbird Ski Patrol. In this six hour seminar you will learn how to use transceivers as well as mountain rescue techniques in the classroom and out on the mountain. You will need to be prepared for any kind of weather during this seminar.
Brighton Resort hosted a revalidation test for Canyon's Resort avalanche rescue dog team Dan Costaschuk and Linus. The team worked hard for the entire 20min test scenario. Dan and Linus cleared the path, finding two articles and one live victim. Finding only one victim the team worked quickly to recover areas and clear margins. Upon conclusion of the test when asked "is the site was clear?" Dan replied with a smirk "yes i believe it is". The training and effort this team has put forth is evident in their travel and practice. They are a great asset to The Canyon's Resort and WBR