Know Before You Go at the Utah Olympic Park

On Wednesday, February 29th the Utah Avalanche Center will be giving a "Know Before You Go" presentation at the Utah Olympic Park.  This is an introduction level presentation for backcountry users in Utah.  Sean Hopewell and Parley will also be on hand to discuss Wasatch Backcountry Rescue's role in the avalanche community.  It's free to attend-come join us!

Where: Utah Olympic Park Museum

When: Friday, February 29th at 7:00PM

Free Avalanche Clinic

Atomic Backcountry Skis, Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, and Level Nine Sports are hosting a free avalanche awareness clinic Friday February 24th.  The free clinic will include a multi-media presentation by Wasatch avalanche professionals and guest Snowbird ski patrollers.  They will speak on safety in the backcountry and sidecountry for your travel and recreation.

WBR at Winter Wilderness Medicine Conference

Sue Purvis and WBR dog handlers, shared thier skills this week and the 20th Annual Worldwide Winter Wilderness Medicine Conference this week in Park City.  WBR teaching skills are ever ready and extra fresh after the WBR In-House Dog School two weeks ago, and great weather made for fun in the snow.

WBR Dog School 2012



It was another great year for participants at the Wastatch Backcountry Rescue In-House Dog School.  A wide range of dogs, handlers, educators, and volunteers gathered at Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon for the four-day training. 

WBR Attends the ARS Avalanche Dog Handler Training Course in Andermatt, Switzerland

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.

Wasatch Backcountry Rescue In-House Dog School Training January 2012

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.

Intern search for Wasatch Backcountry Rescue – Snowbird 2011/2012

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.


Snowbird Activities Center Hosts Basic Avalanche Transceiver Clinics and Backcountry Skills Seminars for the 2011/12 Season

Basic Avalanche Transceiver Skills Clinics

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

Snowbasin Avalanche Dogs go to Roy Elementary


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.

Brighton early season training and O&S testing

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.

WBR training with AirMed at the Utah Olympic Park

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!

Pfeifferhorn rescue 5-11-2011

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. 

2011 IKAR Conference, Spring Field Session, Revelstoke BC

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.

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