New avalanche dog team at FAR

Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) has a new rescue dog team after they qualified at the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dogs Association (CARDA) winter course last week.

Jennifer Coulter and her dog Farley.

Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) has a new rescue dog team after they qualified at the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dogs Association (CARDA) winter course last week.

Ski patroller Forest Latimer and Tarn, a two-year-old border collie, were certified last week after participating in the training course.

They will now join veteran dog teams Steve Morrison and Mojo, and Jennifer Coulter and Farley, to be available for call outs by FAR, the RCMP or Fernie Search and Rescue.

CARDA instructor Jennifer Coulter said about 30 dog teams visited FAR last week from all over B.C. to take part in the course.

There were three groups for different experience levels. Not all puppies are suitable for training to be CARDA dogs so the puppies must have all passed an assessment in Kelowna before they can take part in the puppy training.

“They have to have the drive,” said Jennifer. “If they were considered suitable for training they came here and learned how to find people buried in snow and how to dig through the walls of snow caves to find people. They also got accustomed to being around snowmobiles and helicopters.”

The intermediate group was for teams like Forest and Tarn trying to get certified for the first time.

There was also an advanced group for experienced teams that wanted to be re-certified. Jennifer and Farley and Steve and Mojo were in this group.

“They have to be re-certified every year,” said Jennifer. “They spent time practising different aspects of rescues, like multi-dog searching and backcountry rescues with helicopters.”

The CARDA winter course is held at a different location every year.

“It’s been really successful,” said Jennifer. “It was nice for the public to see the dogs up on the hill all week too. And it was great of Fernie Alpine Resort to host the course.”

Farley and Mojo will be retiring in the next couple of years but Jennifer and Steve have become the owners of new puppies for training.

FAR ski patroller Kirk Gutzman is also planning to get a new puppy to train after retiring his old dog, Lily.

Lily had to have her front leg amputated after being diagnosed with cancer. She made an incredible recovery but Kirk decided it was time for her to retire.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fernie SAR responds to two calls this weekend

The calls reported an injured mountain biker and an abandoned kayak

The Fernie Academy hosts virtual art show

The school’s annual Mother’s Day Art Show went online through The Arts Station

Funding available for Elk Valley charities coping with COVID-19

Almost $110,000 is set aside to be distributed by the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies

Elk Valley businesses reopen after months of closures

Opening with restrictions, local services keep health and safety a priority

Mental health and COVID-19: going forward

Dr. Tyla Charbonneau offers some mental health advice for moving into our new normal

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read