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Jackson Hole Avalanche team attributes great success to their dogs


JACKSON, WYOMING (KIFI) - Avalanches are rare at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort but it could happen at any time. The resort says they prioritize safety first before anything else. That includes an avalanche team. They are always prepared if and when an avalanche occurs. It's not just people on the team, but dogs are big contributors too.

Five dogs make up the avalanche team at Jackson Hole. Each one is partnered with a member of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol that specializes in avalanche safety. Training is not easy. They usually go through 2 to 3 years of practice to prepare them in case anything happens. Training exercises mainly include hide-and-seek. The dogs have to find people who have dug themselves a snow caves.

The team says the dogs are a big asset. Even though the dogs haven't been involved in active searches, they have been able to find bodies trapped by an avalanche. It's an important job to provide closure to families whose loved one were missing they said.

Even though the current avalanche risk is moderate, The Sawtooth Avalanche Center said avalanches in April are unpredictable and harder to forecast. In fact, the center received a report of an avalanche on Monday from some shaken people who were caught in one.

This is a developing story and will be updated later.

Article Topic Follows: Local News

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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.


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