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As November turns into December we are all reminded that it’s the most wonderful time of year once again…WINTER! During the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas there is a lot to do; between traveling, visiting friends and family, cooking, squeezing in some work here and there and of course skiing ...Read More
Kent “want to pet my puppy?” May With marriage out of the way Kent is following the age old stall tactic of delaying having kids by just getting a dog instead. He won the kids vs. dog argument with the astute observation that no infant has ever successfully rescued anyone ...Read More
Thursday, November 28 is going to be a busy day at Alyeska. Not only is it OPENING DAY for the ski resort, but lots of people also choose to skip the kitchen stress and celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday with us. The Pond Café Thanksgiving Buffet is sold out for all ...Read More
In an effort to continually improve its nationally recognized Snow Safety and Ski Patrol, Alyeska has developed the Alyeska Patrol Avalanche Canine Program, a reflection of Patrol’s on-going commitment to skier and snowboarder safety and rescue. The program utilizes highly trained air scenting rescue dog and handler teams. Since their arrival, the dog and handler teams have been training daily at Alyeska Resort.
The objectives of the Alyeska Ski Patrol Avalanche Canine Program are:
When it comes to avalanche rescue, time is of the essence. Rescue dogs provide a fast and efficient way of searching a large area that would take teams of rescuers a much longer to search with probes. Certified avalanche rescue dogs can detect human scent under layers of snow; ultimately increasing a buried skier or rider’s chance of survival. A trained rescue dog can indicate the location of a buried person or article by aggressive digging and barking. They also have the ability to tell a handler that an area is clear of human scent so decisions can be made to call off search efforts once it is determined that no one was involved in a slide.
The canine breed selected for the dog program is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a small retriever with a distinctive red coat and fox-like markings. Lead dog handler Brain McGorry explains, “The Toller’s intelligence, trainability, and compact size make them an ideal candidate for search dogs. The dogs routinely load ski lifts, travel on snow machines, and are carried on the shoulders of their handlers.” Carrying the dogs keeps them away from sharp ski edges, crowds, and also enables patrol to transport them into far outer areas with deep snow and steep terrain. Smaller breeds typically have less health problems and a longer life span, and therefore a longer career as a search dog.
The Alyeska Ski Patrol Avalanche Canine Program is an affiliate of Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs (ASARD). The ski patrol has worked closely with ASARD since 1986, and they where instrumental in mentoring our patrol dog teams. The three full-time dog teams are Brian McGorry and Fundy, Mik Jedlicka and Zooka, and Tim Glassett and Yuki. Brian was one of the original founders of the group along with Shane Patrick who was the original handler of Zooka. Mik joined the group in October of 2011 when she took over as primary handler of Zooka. Tim joined in 2010 when Yuki came to the team as a puppy. In summer 2013 the resort welcomed the newest addition to the team, Monty and his handler, Kent May. With training, Monty should be certified and officially an avalanche rescue dog by the time he is two years old.
Special thanks to supporters of the Alyeska Patrol Avalanche Canine Program