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The Sundance dog teams are a critical component of the Sundance Ski Patrol Snow Safety Program.
Keeping avalanche terrain on the Sundance ski area safe for skiers and snowboarders is one of the Sundance ski patrol’s most important jobs. Utah’s Wasatch Mountains are known for their abundance of light powder snow and easy access to the steeps. Within the ski area, ski patrollers monitor slope conditions, hazards and weather. The ski patrol needs to be consistently aware of their surroundings and make safe decisions for themselves and others. Assisting the patrol in this work is a crew of well-trained avalanche dogs, a vital part of the patrols quiver of snow safety equipment.
The Sundance trained avalanche dogs use their keen sense of smell to locate avalanche victims buried under the snow. A person’s best chance of survival in an avalanche is a speedy rescue from within the victim's group. Hopefully each member of the party is wearing an avalanche transceiver and has the knowledge to act quickly. Unfortunately, quite often this is not the case.