After 20 minutes trapped in the snow, all hope is usually lost. But persistent skiers saved this dog in an avalanche just when they are about to give up.
Backcountry skiing is a popular winter sport, especially with winter storms dropping fresh snow. Many skiers take their pups along with them. However, avalanches are common and can be deadly. While skier Scott Shepherd was skiing in the Berthoud Pass area in Colorado, he and his group left the ski area, went off course, and his 2-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever Apollo ran toward a rocky slope triggering an avalanche. The poor pup found himself being pushed over the edge of a cliff.
In a heart-pounding YouTube video, you can watch backcountry skiers rescue the pup who was feared to be lost.
Skiers Rescue Dog After Avalanche
The two college students, Bobby White and Josh Trujillo, were both skiing close by when Apollo went over the edge with the snow -- White captured the whole thing on his GoPro. They both assisted Shepherd in searching for his pup, using 8-foot probe poles to poke around in the snow. Unfortunately, after 20 minutes, they still had not found the dog. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says that most people can be found alive if they are found within 15 minutes.
However, more than 20 minutes had gone by, and their search and rescue effort had not produced the dog. The area was also high-risk, meaning another avalanche could occur. White said, "I think we need to get out of here. That dog's dead. This is why I don't like dogs in avalanche terrain to begin with."
When his buddy, Trujillo, went to get his poles, he saw the pup's nose pop out of the snow. Trujillo yelled, "He's still alive!" The pair called another skier over to help them dig the dog out from the multiple feet of snow. In the video, you can hear White talking to the pup, encouraging him and telling him they would get him out soon.
They shoveled away the snow, and Apollo was freed and ran back to his owner. The pup was not injured, thankfully. Shepherd spoke with ABC News about the ordeal.
"I feel like I kind of got away with something that has such a huge lesson without huge consequences. Like, he could have been lost forever. I thought the best case was that he was seriously injured, but nothing happened at all. It just still blows my mind."
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