By Sam Brown
Last week Val d’Isère was host to the inaugural avalanche dog training session for the Haute-Tarentaise region. Resorts dog units from Tignes, Val d’Isère, Les Arcs, Le Trois Valées and La Plagne all congregated in Val d’Isère at a specially prepared area underneath the Datcha chairlift for three days of training.
If you happened to ski past last week you would have been forgiven for mistaking the area for a glorified Alpine Crufts event, but no; the dogs and their handlers were here for some serious training! The dogs were a broad mixture of ages and breeds from Collies to Alsatians and Retrievers, all with varying levels of experience.
The dogs are all used in avalanche rescue emergencies throughout the Alps and are credited with saving countless lives each season. The purpose of this training exercise was to familiarise the younger dogs with the process of a rescue and to refresh the older dogs’ memory of the proce