-Several winters ago @tetoncountysar was called out to respond to a party of overdue skiers in Teton Pass. Conditions weren’t favorable. It was nighttime, the height of a severe winter storm, deep snow and elevated avalanche conditions. We did have enough information about the party to suggest their whereabouts and mistakes that brought them there. They weren’t the first group to find themselves lost at night in Teton Pass. Based on their profile and history we had a high likelihood of finding them. We also had a safe route in to access the area. –

-Once accessing the area, we quickly located the lost and overdue party around midnight. While fatigued and hungry they were still moving. They had recognized their mistake a couple hours previously and began working towards an exit. Despite the error correction the pace of their dog kept them at a snails pace. He was extremely fatigued from wallowing in the deep snow. He had also cut his foot on a ski edge and was bleeding pretty badly. –

-The dog came right to me. I suggested skiing him out on my shoulders and the owners said he’d never go for it. We finished wrapping his front paw with some 4×4’s and vet wrap (red wrap in photo). With the help of two other team members we put him between my shoulder and pack. He immediately was like, okay…get me out of here and settled in for the few mile ski out.-

-The moral of the story is, dogs can have a hard time in deep powder. Bringing them in avalanche terrain is never a good idea. If you’re going to bring your pet into the backcountry make sure they are up for the task. Start small and build them up. Every athlete needs a progression…right? –

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