Highly trained patrollers and their dogs
Avalanche Rescue Dogs
We have four working dogs at Crystal: Kala, Piper, Darwin, and Iggy. Field Labradors are often ideal for this work, but you will also see other breeds with a strong work drive and are small enough to be carried into a remote site. These dogs are more than a mascot for the ski patrol and certainly are not carrying whisky around under their necks. They are highly trained working dogs, and like the ones you see out working as a service dog, or keeping our airports safe, please do not approach or distract the dogs when you see them on the hill. rich-text
You might see one of the Avalanche Rescue Dogs while skiing at Crystal. Training is always happening with these dogs. Perhaps you will see them loading a lift, running next to their skiing handler, or working a search drill. It is important that you are respectful and help set the dogs up for success: please do not approach or distract the dogs by yelling or barking at the dogs, or calling the dog’s name. Distraction and skiing too close to the dogs is a major safety concern for the working team. Please give the dogs plenty of space and check your speed when skiing past a team. A ski edge to a dog’s leg from skiing too close or colliding with a dog can cause a cut that can result in a career-ending injury. rich-text
The dogs at Crystal are part of Cascade Mountain Rescue Dogs (CMRD), a 501 (c) 3 that supports the training and care of rescue dogs who train to be ready to respond anywhere in Washington State.
One of our many fundraising methods is through seasonal dog shirts. Every year we offer a new design created in the partnership between our handlers and local artists. Our shirts can be found for purchase in the Aid Room at Ski Patrol.
We’d love to hear from you!
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