Revelstoke hosting avalanche rescue dog course

Canada Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) training course taking place at Revelstoke Mountain Resort this week,

A CARDA team takes part in an advanced course at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in 2012.

Don’t be alarmed by the packs of dogs roaming around Revelstoke Mountain Resort this week — they’re here to help.

Revelstoke is hosting the annual Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association training course this week.

Over the course of five days, 21 dogs and their handlers will be in Revelstoke for either their beginner, intermediate or advanced course. The teams are coming from across B.C., Alberta, the Yukon and the USA. The dogs are being trained to assist in avalanche search and rescue situations.

It takes several years for a dog to be certified by CARDA.

New teams attend a course in the spring where they are assessed to see if they have the basic skills to enter the CARDA program. Handlers must be part of a search and rescue team, be strong skiers, have their CAA Level 1 for Ski Operations, and 80 hours of First Aid training. Dogs must have basic obedience training and be at least one-year old before their first winter course.

If a team is accepted, they will attend the winter course as part of the beginner group.

“The first winter course is when they get introduced to the whole game of playing in the snow — digging holes, master runaways, all kinds of stuff like that,” said Al Roberts, a local CARDA handler who is organizing this week’s course.

Teams that pass the beginner course become a team-in-training and enter the intermediate course the following winter. If they’re successful in that course, they apply to be validated as an avalanche dog team with CARDA.

“It takes two years, two winter courses to validate and then you re-validate every year after that,” said Roberts.

The advanced course consists of backcountry situations, such as glacier travel, winter camping and more complex searches.

The course begins today and runs until Friday. The beginner course will take place near the Revelation Lodge, while the intermediate course will take place at various locations around the mountain. The advanced course will start at the resort and participants will also get heli-drops into remote backcountry locations.

After it’s all done, CARDA is hosting a fundraiser at the Big Eddy Pub on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Big Eddy Pub. The Funky Snow Monkeys will provide the music and there will be a raffle with some big prizes as well.

“We’ve had a lot of good support from local businesses, especially the mechanized world, for our fundraiser,” said Roberts.

Revelstoke currently has six CARDA teams, with a seventh currently working towards certification.

There are 30 CARDA teams in Canada.

Just Posted

Revelstoke City Council wants to talk about food insecurity at UBCM

Their proposed resolution incorporates income into policy solutions

CSRD coordinating free wildfire safety assesments

Grant funding is going toward helping apply FireSmart principles to rural properties.

Highway 1 closed to due fatal accident east of Revelstoke

A dump truck lost control and the driver was ejected

Okanagan society sends seniors, shut-ins on boat excursions

Okanagan Quality Life Society has been providing Okanagan Lake boat rides for nearly 30 years

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Okanagan woman heads up college foundation board

Gladys Fraser of Vernon brings experience to role as chair of Okanagan College Foundation board

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Rock the Lake music festival in Okanagan nears Saturday night sellout

Aug. 10th show is nearly sold out and three-day weekend passes are almost gone as well

Police recover $12,700 in stolen pet food from North Shuswap property

Chase RCMP execute third search of property where stolen vehicles, illegal firearms seized

Hergott: Medical cannabis and ICBC

ICBC might start reimbursing the expense of cannabis just like they do for prescription medications

Most Read