Posted on February 12, 2024

At every ski resort in North America, there must be an avalanche program put in place. Steep terrain, weather events and more cause increased risk for avalanches during the winter. Whistler Blakcomb’s team of highly trained avalanche professionals work 7-days a week to keep you safe. If you’ve ever heard the distant echoes of explosions in the morning after a heavy snowfall, that’s patrol deploying controlled explosives to trigger potential avalanches. This is also why the alpine ( top of the mountain) often opens later on snow days. Chairs like 7th Heaven have more terrain with the potential to produce avalanches.

Whistler Blackcomb ops do a fantastic job at keeping everyone in this mountain town safe! but did you know Whistler has a team of four-legged companions who play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of both visitors and staff on the slopes? Yes! that’s right! Avalanche dogs

p: Ben Lamber

Whistler Blackcomb’s Avalanche Dog Program is a team of highly trained dogs and skilled handlers who work tirelessly to minimize the risks associated with avalanches. These dogs, typically breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Border Collies, undergo rigorous training to develop their skills, transforming them into expert avalanche search and rescue companions. Have you ever seen them riding the chairlift?

The primary goal of the Avalanche Dog Program at Whistler Blackcomb is to enhance safety on the slopes.  While human search and rescue teams still play a crucial role, avalanche dogs can swiftly traverse the landscape, increasing the chances of finding buried individuals. Their sense of smell allows them to detect scents through layers of snow, making them invaluable in time-sensitive recuse operations. They also provide a sense of reassurance to visitors, knowing that a highly trained team is ready to respond to any emergency. Beyond their formal duties, having dogs on the slopes is straight-up awesome and brings a sense of community to visitors, locals and even employees.

The Avalanche Dog Program is a testament to Whistler Blackcomb’s commitment to safety and community. With their skilled handlers, these furry friends bring so much! The Whistler Blackcomb Avalanche Dogs are not just heroes – they embody safety and companionship plus bring the spirit of adventure. Whistler is so lucky to have them on the mountain.

If you want to know more about avalanche dogs click here.