We aren't the only ones preparing for ski season. A few weeks ago our Avalanche Dogs had a day of training and testing at Utah Olympic Park. Teams from throughout northern Utah descended upon the UOP to allow the dogs to socialize, undergo obedience testing and perform "hot load" training with AirMed.
In the morning, the Avalanche dogs were asked to perform a series of commands and basic obedience skills. Passing this test allows the patrol and avalanche dog team to be eligible for another season of work. Next was practicing a "hot-load" into the AirMed helicopters. A "hot-load" means the handler and dog must load a helicopter while it is still running. This practice allows the avalanche dogs to become comfortable around a running helicopter, something that makes most humans uncomfortable, but allows a quicker and safer search in the backcountry. After the "hot-load", dogs were taken on a short flight! Our newest member of the Park City avalanche dog team, Tremper, was a huge fan of flying in the helicopter and even wanted to stick his nose out the window. What a brave puppy!
The day ended with allowing the dogs to swim in the UOP freestyle training pool. Some even jumped off the ramps!
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.