A dog was killed in a D2.5, R3 avalanche in the South Fork Eagle River area by Harp Mountain’s 2 Bowls, Alaska on February 25th, 2016. A skier (we’re guessing the owner) was carried down in the avalanche for 1,000-feet but not fully buried and was uninjured.
It’s not often that you hear of this situation, but it is truly unfortunate for the pup’s owner and dog lovers around the world. Maybe it’s time to consider not only the safety of yourself but also the safety of your trail dog. Dog-specific avalanche beacons are currently available.
Yes, dog-specific avalanche beacons do exist that operate on a different frequency than human beacons
No, never put a human beacon on a dog.
Dogs are mans best friend- we are inseparable and are known to do everything together, eat, play, work, relax, and sleep. In this scenario the obvious activity in question is skiing. It’s nice to be able to share lines with your pup in the backcountry or on the flip side have a faithful buddy by your side in the backcountry is always reassuring.
Usually we think about the situation where the dog must save their owner from an avalanche, but how often do we think about the flip side of the coin?
- How are you going to rescue your beloved pooch if he gets caught in an avalanche?
- What happens if he’s fully buried?
- Will the point of last seen be close enough to his current position to save him in time?
- Does he have a dog-specific avalanche beacon on?
The avalanche report according to the Anchorage Avalanche Center (AAC) goes as follows for February 27th, 2016:
Red flags (obvious signs of instability):
- Large human triggered persistent slab avalanche from Thursday night (HS-ASu-D2.5-R3-O)
- Wind slab shooting cracks
- Subtle collapsing
- Active wind loading
- Cloudy to obscured skies with intermittent light snowfall, moderate to strong easterly wind, and temps in the mid 20s
- Generally supportable wind slab with at least a dusting of fresh, moist snow
- Cornice formation around treeline
- Snowpit on skier’s right side of crown 2/25/16 HS-ASu-D2.5-R3-O avalanche that caught and carried 1 skier ~1000′ and killed a dog, 4381′, 313 degree NW aspect, 37 degree slope, 109cm height of snow (note that this is on a thin side of the crown and in some places the crown itself is 150cm+):