Raising Awareness Fundraiser -Colorado

Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment dog and handler

This year, our Colorado summer fundraiser will benefit Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment (C-RAD). From June 1st thru July 31st you may donate to support C-RAD by rounding up your purchase or giving any donation amount at the register.

The mission of Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment is to cultivate, inspire, and produce dog teams for successful avalanche search and rescue.

A C-RAD team includes a dog handler, an avalanche technician, and an avalanche dog – the heart and soul of the program – who work daily to stay sharp and excel in the snow.

C-RAD’s avalanche dogs train every day and are essentially happy four-legged ski patrollers who, in addition to working in the snow, help educate visitors about safety both at the mountain and around the local area – perhaps at a coffee shop, a book store or at an elementary school.

Validated dogs are eligible to search inbounds, near-bounds and in support of the avalanche deployment program. The Summit County Rapid Avalanche Deployment Program is a joint effort with the local sheriff, Summit County Rescue Group, Flight for Life (the medical helicopter) and ski patrol. They all work together to save time, energy and precious minutes in the event of an avalanche or backcountry rescue.

Visit their website or Facebook page for more information

Did you know?

  • An avalanche dog is able to locate a victim quickly and efficiently, saving time and potentially lives.
  • An avalanche dog can search several acres in about 30 minutes, while it would take about 20 humans using avalanche probes up to four hours to cover a similar area.
  • Dogs learn to literally follow their nose … sniffing us stinky humans out of the snow easily.
  • Besides the fun of working the snow, the avy dogs love to support safety training both at the resort and around the community. Guests love to see the dogs riding chairlifts, and running down the mountain with their ski patrol handlers at sweep time.
  • The visibility of the dogs on the mountain – as they are fluffy ambassadors of the resorts’ safety program – helps to reinforce overall safety goals.

C-Rad members are from:

  • Alpine Rescue Group
  • Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol
  • Beaver Creek Ski Patrol
  • Breckenridge Ski Patrol
  • Copper Mountain Ski Patrol
  • Keystone Ski Patrol
  • Loveland Ski Patrol
  • Summit County Rescue Group
  • Vail Ski Patrol

Donations will help support C-RAD’s ongoing training efforts:

Fall Course – C-RAD Teams meet before the snow flies, late September or early October, to work on a wide variety of skills necessary for the winter avalanche season. A key part of this Course is the ability to get a few training drills in the helicopter – without skis and snow – focusing on the concepts of safely loading, unloading and going to work, or solving a search problem.

Winter Course – Held at a member ski area, C-RAD Teams work together to progress in managing avalanche rescue scenarios. Staged in and under the snow, mentors set up rescue problems challenging how the Team works together, and highlighting strengths as well as areas of improvement – always developing and progressing is a core belief at C-RAD.

Summer Training Days – Not letting the dogs forget the search game, they gather for a couple days of training in the heat of the summer. Practicing beacon drills, as well as reinforcing the “search game” with the dogs, staying current is a great way to hone their skills.

In Resort Training – Dogs and Avalanche Techs, or Snow Techs, train specific skills every week, sometimes several times a week, at their home resort, or where they are patrollers and search and rescue professionals.

Stores will receive snowflakes to hang in the stores with each donation.

Let’s make it snow in summer!

Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment dogs and handlers