Avalanche Safety

Mountain weather and avalanche forecasting

Northwest Avalanche Center

The Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) is a collaborative effort between the US Forest Service Northwest Avalanche Center and the non-profit Northwest Avalanche Center. The mission of NWAC is to save lives and reduce the impacts of avalanches on recreation, industry and transportation in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington and northern Oregon through mountain weather and avalanche forecasting, data collection and education.
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Stevens Pass Avalanche Dogs


The idea of Avalanche rescue dogs digging around Stevens Pass first came up in 1991. At that time there were only about a dozen trained ‘avy dogs’ in the country. By ’93, our first pack of dogs, Denali, Bo and Chaser, were blazing a trail that many others would follow. Every winter since then, dedicated Ski Patrollers have committed to the challenge and reward of becoming a dog handler, adding to their regular ‘on hill’ chores the extra effort of training an avalanche rescue dog. Stevens Pass Ski Patrol has trained over 20 avalanche dogs since ’93, and today has a pack of 7 dogs in various stages of their career.


Avy dogs come to work every day with their handlers, and are ready to respond to an emergency inside or outside the ski area boundary. In the event of an avalanche, it is our priority to get a dog team to the site as quickly and safely as possible, along with other essential rescue equipment and personnel. Stevens Pass Avalanche Rescue Dogs is a member of the Back Country Avalanche Rescue K-9 (BARK) group, a statewide, non-profit, volunteer based mountain rescue organization of professional ski patrollers and avalanche rescue dogs. BARK teams from Stevens, Crystal, and Alpental train with local county SAR Sheriffs Deputies to respond via helicopter to remote avalanche accidents. These BARK teams are ready to respond 24/7 throughout the winter.

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Best Avalanche Dogs in the Business