Dog lovers: Get ready to feast your eyes on the best-of-the-best pups and dogs of the mountains. Recently the Ski Utah Yeti interviewed several avalanche dogs at Utah resorts. . .
These four-legged partners are some of the most important employees on-mountain because they help ski patrollers keep the mountain safe! They are the professionals that help patrol teams respond to situations with greater speed and accuracy. Plus, they are great companions to have around for their patrol partners. From the little ones in training to the pros who have seen it all, this article has everything it takes to make any dog fanatic howl with joy.
Meet Sugar Bear, Brighton's newest avalanche dog, who turned two on March 15, 2017. She's been training hard since she was eight weeks old!
Fun facts: Almost full grown, Sugar Bear is turning out to be a tiny dog (30 lbs). Her handler and best friend, Malia Bowman, refers to her as her pocket lab. She likes to say they are made for each other because Malia is only 4' 10.
What's your favorite trick or treat? "One time Malia had a harvest moon gathering and prepared a cheese platter with an array of crackers and nice cheeses like brie, havarti, and smoked gouda. When they went outside to watch the moon rise, I ate all the cheese. I left the crackers because I realized cheese is where it's at. Malia was pretty disappointed in me because it was 3 lbs of cheese that had cost her $50. That's definitely the tastiest treat I've ever had."
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "Malia and I don't listen to music while we are skiing on the mountain because we are on the clock, and safety is our top priority."
This three-year-old Border Collie Mix doesn't just have one name, she has two: Utah or Miss Utah. She's bright and spunky making it physically impossible to not love her, and she's the right hand lady of Brain Head Resort
owner, John Grissinger. Miss Utah lives at Brain Head
year around where you can find her going on long walks in the winter and summer. Sometimes she loves to wander on her own and doesn't need humans to entertain her but sometimes that gets her in trouble or lost - luckily she's an established Brian Head local that everyone adores making it easy to get her home safely.
Fun facts: While Miss Utah is quite the active dog, she also enjoys watching TV. She's a fan of side-by-side rides in the summer and spring time especially when the leaves are changing color. Miss Utah has some doggie freckles on her nose and two black patches on her eyes - every girl has her makeup!
What's your favorite trick or treat?
"While I enjoy fetching and chewing on stickers, I love anything pork like John's BQQ pork or left over rib bones. Purina Shredded Blend adult dog food is my dog food of choice. It's quite tasty."What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes?
"'Bad To The Bone' by George Thorogood, 'Who Let The Dogs Out' by Baha Men, and 'Where My Dog At' by DMX."What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift?
"A good dog never tells her secrets. What happens on the slopes of Brain Head Resort
stays on the slopes. Come meet me in person, and I'll tell you some juicy stories!"
Deer Valley adopted Rooster from Nuzzles and Co. after he was rescued as a stray in Summit County -- how cool to have a rescue dog that is training to rescue people. He's working on becoming certified to work as an avalanche search and rescue dog around the Wasatch. He can find people buried in the snow and is working on finding articles. Rooster is really good at riding on snowmobiles, chairlifts and helicopters. Most importantly, he loves to work on the mountain every day. Rooster even has his own video!
Fun facts: Rooster has a toy rooster that he absolutely loves to play with. Rooster comes when his handler, Mark Chytka, crows like a rooster!
What's your favorite trick or treat? "My favorite trick is to find people buried in the snow there is nothing better in life then that."
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "'Move It On Over' by George Thorogood."
What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "Piper told me that after 10 years on staff, I get Turkey Chili for dinner?"
Rogue was awarded as Puppy Weekly’s cutest dog of the month December, 2016. She isn't just the cutest dog at the largest resort in the United States, she is the cutest dog in all of the United States. That’s right, all fifty of them. She plays well with people of all ages and skiers of all ability levels, making her the perfect ambassador for Park City Mountain.
Rogue shares her birthday, October 7th, with Simon Cowell
of American Idol fame. Rogue doesn’t care for Simon’s attitude but she respects his honesty.
What's your favorite trick or treat? "Definitely beef jerky over yellow snow. I also enjoy rubbing against the feet of couch-dwellers."
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "Basically everything and anything by the Ruff Ryders."
What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "The other day an older gentleman told me it used to snow 2 feet in Utah at 3:00 P.M. every single day like clockwork from November 15th to March 15th. When I called the man out, informing him that there would be over 200’ of snow in a year, the man stuck to his guns. I pulled out my almanac, which I always carry with me, and the man told me that it must be a misprint. Myself, being the class act that I am, didn’t push the point any further but secretly remained skeptical."
This golden goes by the name of Gunny. He's a senior dog that's been working Pow Mow
for a few years and has plenty of experience and knowledge in both avalanche rescue, and search and rescue. He will be retiring after this season leaving a legacy of three beautiful doggy ladies to take charge of the avi team. Fun facts: Pow Mow
chose to feature Gunny because will be leaving a legacy of three beautiful doggy ladies taking charge of the avalanche team.
What's your favorite trick or treat? "Dog Yummies are my favorite, and I get 'em when I do a great job!"
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "'Doggy World' by Snoop Dog...DUH!"
What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "The funniest story I've heard on the lift was when one of my colleagues, cough cough "Taylor!", pooped on the Ski Patroller Michelle's skis! Bark Bark Bark Ha Ha Ha!"
Frankie is a Level A WBR Avalanche Rescue dog who takes pride in working at Snowbird. Frankie is one of the younger dogs on Snowbird's staff and is full of all sorts of energy.
Fun facts: Frankie loves to interact with people of all ages -- especially kids!
What's your favorite trick or treat? "I love all treats but my favorite thing is to shred stuffed animals."
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "Definitely 'I feel good' by James Brown."
What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "Did you hear the one about the dog at snowbird? It's paws-itivly unbelievable!"
Lumen recently celebrated her second birthday. During the winter you can find her working on her search and rescue skills near the new Ski Patrol shack at the top of the Summit Express chairlift or relaxing after a hard day at Solitude's Village bar, The Thirsty Squirrel.
Fun facts: Lumen loves being outdoors, riding chairlifts, playing in the snow, and taking river trips in the summer.
What's your favorite trick or treat? "I love bacon and finding people under the snow!"
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "The only song I listen to on the slopes is 'Yarmouth Road' by Mike Gordon because it sings about birds in the Honeycomb."
What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "I have heard a lot of gossip when the lifts stop spinning at The Thirsty Squirrel. My favorite gossip is when other patrollers talk about how my handler Trevor is the best skier on the mountain. I once heard that Trevor skied a Black Diamond."
Lēif Rowëyn (Norse for Descendent of the Little Red One, his mom was a little red shepherd) is an English Shepherd - often known as a farmers shadow because they can handle a variety of jobs on the farm. He and his handler, Shannon Finch, have reached the highest level of certification from Wasatch Backcountry Rescue
. They are a level A team which means they are able to respond to an avalanche rescue outside the resort boundaries. As a team Shannon & Lēif continue their training as often as possible burying live "victim" volunteers in the snow and finding them.
Lēif has a fun personality, and he loves to play work. He prefers when things are orderly and doesn't care much for chaos. He sometimes forgets that he is an avalanche dog, not a watch dog. He also told the Yeti, "I love getting to run down the lift line on a powder day and hear all the locals yell my name! Sundance
has the best locals!"
What's your favorite trick or treat? "Teamwork" if Shannon says "teamwork" and puts her hand on the ground I put my paw on top of hers, she then puts her other hand on my paw and I get to put my paw on her hand! She then says, "Break!" And I kiss her on the nose. I also really love bananas and bacon."
What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes? "Lukas Nelson's, 'All the Pretty Horses.' Shannon thinks he's attractive, I just like the song's melody."
Have you met Robert Redford? "Yes, just once, he mistook me for a Bernese Mountain Dog. Shannon told him I was an English Shepherd, kind of like a Border Collie."
Fitzroy is a yellow lab, three years old, and resides at Alta
. He started riding the chairlift and began search training with the Alta
Ski Patrol when he was seven weeks old. Fitzroy takes his job seriously and was recently certified as a Level A Avalanche Search Dog through Wasatch Backcountry Rescue
. He loves to find people under the snow!
Fun facts: Fitzroy spins doughnuts when he gets excited - like on those good old Alta powder skiing days. He also loves to snuggle, play hide and seek and tug'o war, and eat vegetables, and snore in his sleep.
What's your favorite trick or treat?
"I like to roll over, and I love vegetables. My go to veggie's are carrots and kale stems."What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes?
"Who let the Dogs Out"What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift?
"I just found out Alta
will be getting a new avalanche puppy next season!"
Kicker may not be an avalanche dog, but he is Ski Utah's favorite adventure dog. Only a few months old, Kicker has already been splitboarding, snowmobiling, winter-camping, skiing, ice climbing, rappelling and more. Kicker's papa is Ski Utah's blogger, Andrew Muse. Andrew is training Kicker to be the most adventure-bound dog of all time. To view more cute pictures/videos of Kicker and witness the thrilling escapades he and Andrew go on, check out Andrew's instagram!
He absolutely loves playing in the snow and hanging out with Andrew.
What's your favorite trick or treat?
"Pooping, I'm really good at pooping. It's what I was born to do. My favorite treat is eating Andrew'
s breakfast when he gets up to do something."What's your favorite song to jam to on the slopes?
"'Space Jam' for sure!"What's the funniest or most interesting story/gossip you’ve heard on the lift? "
I found out where they put the moguls in the winter!"
Check out the video below of Kicker snowboarding with Andrew
. This puppy is already a pro and killing it at life.