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Avalanche rescue dogs pass the test

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The liftie had been buried for about 22 minutes when Keno, one of the two avalanche dogs at the resort, pulled his glove from the snow.

"It was a good boost for our program," said Latimer, who was patrolling at the resort the day it happened.

He added that it was a real lesson learned in avalanche awareness for many young skiers and boarders at that resort.

Professional snowboarder Brian Savard, who spoke at Whistler-Blackcomb’s Avalanche Awareness Day last week, has also learned first-hand about the dangers of avalanches after being caught up in one with fatal consequences.

"I know first hand how much power they have – just the destructive capabilities and the awesome power they can create," he said, adding that along with Peips, probes and shovels in your avalanche arsenal, you also need common sense.

"It’s when you let your guard down in the backcountry; that’s when you get caught."

There are currently 34 operational CARDA teams in Canada.

Last week the Canadian Avalanche Association also announced that they have achieved assured funding this season for the public avalanche bulletin.

The bulletin, which is posted three days a week on the CAA Web site, started in 1991 with less than 1,000 users that first year.

This year roughly half a million people are expected to log on and use the information posted there as a preventative tool when heading out in the backcountry.

Justin Trudeau, spokesperson for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation who was also on hand at the Avalanche Awareness Day, summed it up when he said: "As soon as you step out of bounds, as soon as you duck under the rope... the situation changes radically. You are on your own.

"We’re saying, ‘yes, take the risks, live fully... but know what you’re getting into.’"

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