Dogs Trained to Assist in Avalanche Rescues


Lake Louise, AB April 8, 2004 — A special Search and Rescue team has recently been accredited with their Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) Certificate and is now posted at the Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Mel Potter and her 4-year-old Border Collie NZ Sheepdog cross, Red, have become the first New Zealand team to be certified in Canada. Red and Mel ride the chairlifts together and can get down just about any terrain on the mountain.

A CARDA Certificate allows this highly specialized team to move safely through avalanche terrain in search of human scented articles. Avalanche dogs are trained to find the strongest source of human scent coming from the snow. Once detected, they mark the source by digging or barking. Using dogs for avalanche rescue is the fastest way to find buried individuals who are not wearing a beacon. In addition, Rescue Dogs are trained to find people on the surface who are unconscious or who have fallen in tree wells.

"Red is a very important member of our Snow Safety Team. We are very proud of our team and their commitment to safety in the mountains, says Matt Mosteller, Senior Director of Business Development for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. "Make sure to stop by Snow Safety or at the top of Summit Platter to say hello and meet Red! added Mosteller.

Search and Rescue dogs can work in the dark and in weather conditions that limit helicopters. This type of rescue has been proven to be very effective in search and recovery time. Mel and Red train two to three times a week throughout the year and are very excited to be apart of the Snow Safety Team at Lake Louise.

Situated in Canada's oldest National Park, Lake Louise Mountain Resort continues to receive numerous awards and accolades, including #1 for Scenery and #2 for Value in the 2003 SKI Magazine annual reader survey. With over 4200 acres of varied terrain, four mountain faces, challenging steeps and a green run access from every chairlift, Lake Louise is truly The Mountain with the Most. In addition to the Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies' proud family of resorts includes Fernie and its Legendary Powder; Calgary's Closest Mountain, Nakiska; Fortress Mountain and its Adventure Skiing and Kimberley, A Place to Reconnect with Family and Friends.