I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Jan and Jaz from the Whistler CARDA team. Jan has been involved with CARDA since the early 90’s both as a member and a board member. She is a long time ski patroller on Whistler and through other handlers on the patrol became interested in training a dog for avalanche search and rescue. Jaz is her second dog.
Avalanche-related handler skills are a big part of the requirements for CARDA, and those skills must be in place before people are accepted into the program to begin the actual dog training process. CARDA puts on courses annually for all levels of teams and the dogs are required to re-certify annually. The training starts with very basic searches where the pup looks for the handler and progresses to more complex scenarios. Check out the CARDA web site for more info; CARDA. These skilled k-9’s save lives and we are so grateful for people like Jan and dogs like Jaz for patrolling Whistler Blackcomb and keeping us safe!