Since its inception in the mid-70s, the Avalanche Dog Program at Sundance Mountain Resort has played a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of adventurers exploring the pristine slopes of Utah. Over two decades, more than 20 dogs have been an integral part of this life-saving program, with each passing year adding new layers of expertise and knowledge to the curriculum.
The program operates as a living legacy of dog training in Utah, where skills, information, and knowledge are not only passed down from one handler to the next but are also continuously refined and improved. It’s a torch of knowledge that illuminates the path to safety, ensuring that the Avalanche Dog Program remains at the forefront of rescue efforts in the mountainous terrain.
At the heart of this program are three remarkable dogs – Jagger, the wise nine-year-old black lab; Finn, the two-almost three-year-old yellow lab; and Ida, the six-month-old black lab puppy. These four-legged heroes embody the spirit of the program, showcasing the potential and bright future that lies ahead for Sundance’s Avalanche Dog Program.
What sets this program apart is the seamless collaboration between the handlers and their canine companions. The Avalanche Dog Program thrives on the unique bond between dog and handler, creating a symbiotic relationship where each relies on the other for success. This teamwork is the foundation upon which lives are saved in the event of an avalanche.
The professionalism of the dog handlers is a testament to their commitment to safety. Working with the pups, they instill a sense of discipline and purpose that is truly remarkable. The connection between handler and dog is the linchpin, enabling the program to excel in its mission of saving lives on the mountain.
Despite the advancements in modern technology aiding rescue efforts, the unparalleled value of a dog’s ability to swiftly locate human scent cannot be overstated. Sundance Mountain Resort recognizes the irreplaceable contribution of these canine heroes, whose skills have been refined over thousands of years. In the challenging terrain of Utah, where time is of the essence, a dog’s nose proves to be an invaluable asset.
For these Avalanche dogs and their handlers, the mountain is not just a workplace; it’s their natural environment. From puppyhood, these dogs have been navigating the slopes, making them an integral part of the mountain community. The passionate and enthusiastic handlers consider it a privilege to work in such a beautiful setting every day alongside their furry companions.
As Sundance Mountain Resort continues to prioritize safety and adventure, the Avalanche Dog Program stands as a beacon of hope and skill. The legacy of over 50 years, the dedicated handlers, and the incredible canine team contribute to making Sundance a haven for those seeking the thrill of the slopes, reassured by the unwavering commitment of the Avalanche Dog Program.
Interested in learning more about our resort's history, environment, activities, and lodging? Our field guide, given to each guest at check-in, contains a fun vacation checklist, useful maps, and interesting facts about the Sundance community.
The browser you are using is outdated, and unfortunately not supported.
We recommend the use of evergreen browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera.