Boomer, Cannon, Jackson, Kaya, Shaka, Trooper, Wylee and their handlers work out on the hill daily at Squaw Valley. Help support a local non-profit dedicated to avalanche rescue and education in our community. All proceeds go directly to Squaw Dogs; product is not eligible for discounts or promotions. To learn more or to donate please visit www.squawdogs.com
The Squaw Avalanche Rescue Dog program was established back in the 1980s, and comprised of one dog and one handler. From its humble beginnings, the dog program has grown over the years, and at one point had as many as ten active dogs on the hill.
Squaw adopted the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) training standard in 2001. Every winter, since that time Squaw Valley has proudly hosted and organized an Avalanche Rescue Dog Seminar for dogs and handlers. We are pleased to report that we have had Patrollers and their dogs from all over the United States attend this weeklong school.
The Dog program currently has six dogs trained to the CARDA standard. The primary goal of the dog program is to be able to staff dog teams on the lower and upper mountain during storm cycles and times of high avalanche hazard.
Avalanche rescue dogs are an invaluable and effective tool in the organized rescue “tool box”. With the use of avalanche transceivers, RECCO and our dog teams, the Ski Patrol has the best chance of recovering an avalanche victim alive.
Our dogs provide a service not only to the Squaw Valley skiing and riding community but to the greater Lake Tahoe community as well. All of our dog teams are also members of the Placer County Sheriff Search & Rescue Tahoe Dogs Team. At any moment of the day, our dogs may be responding to a possible avalanche incident in and around the greater Lake Tahoe area.
The dog program also plays an important role in avalanche education. Dogs and their handlers visit local schools and attend community events to talk about avalanche awareness as well as skier safety.
Don’t be surprised if a four-legged friend in uniform joins you for a chair ride. We look forward to seeing you at Squaw Valley this winter.