The Aspiring Avalanche Dog team (AAD) is a talented, courageous crew of dogs and their handlers working hard to provide vital Search & Rescue in the wake of avalanches. Located on the Treble Cone mountain, this cohesive group trains hard, plays hard, and works hard to educate the public on the importance of avalanche dogs and backcountry safety. We are a not-for-profit organisation, so the donations we receive from sponsors go a long way to helping the team provide their amazing services. The sponsors – The North Face, Volkl, Smith Optics, Skippers Mate, GoPro, and Tyreland Cooper – all deserve a huge thank you for their generous help. The winter 2018 snow season sees the AAD team in full swing working with new equipment, undergoing plenty of on-site training, and even introducing a new team member to the crew!
Callum is the safety guru being second in charge of the Treble Cone snow safety program during the winter and an alpine guide during the summer. Callum has already trained one exceptional avalanche dog and is now working with his second K-9 partner to continue to keep the slopes safe.
Zeffer is full of curiosity and love for all things in life. With an impressive drive, Zeffer has a purely natural ability to search and perform in the snow. He loves to take long swims in the lake and sing along to opera – a truly kindhearted soul.
Matt is the founder of Aspiring Avalanche Dogs and was apart of the very first AAD team with his dog Blizzid – the original avalanche dog. Matts selfless contributions to the AAD organisation, Treble Cone, and the education of backcountry safety is truly noble. Thank you, Matt.
Rocket, a mixture of border and rough collie, is a high performing energy-filled pup with an extremely loving nature. Rocket is Matt’s second avalanche dog and has truly proven himself as one of the greats, with Rocket stealing the show at the 2017 Southern Lakes SAREX by finding all his hidden targets!
Andy, a jack of all trades, is a Treble Cone ski patroller during winter and returns to his building career in the summer. Andy and his comrade have been as thick as thieves for over 6 years now, providing an incredible, unstoppable element to the AAD team.
Tuki is as easy-going at home as she is hardworking on the mountain. Her invaluable nose has proven to be an asset to the AAD pack, as has her chummy and loyal nature. There isn’t too much that will faze this girl, which is why she continues to shine as a rescue dog.
Brendon is second in charge of the Treble Cone Ski Patrol unit and a true mountain professional. Having previously trained Millie, a legend amongst all dogs, Brendon has the skills and know-how to create incredible avalanche dogs, making him an absolute asset to the AAD crew.
Tussock is working her way up the ranks and is currently proving to everyone that she has what it takes to be a part of the gang. Her love for the snow is unlike any other and the team is very excited to see what this talented pup is capable of next.
Wizzid, a full-blooded red Collie, is the newest addition to the Aspiring Avalanche Dogs. This magnificent pup is undergoing his fundamentals training while visiting schools with his handler Matt, educating kids on how to greet dogs and the important roles that the avalanche dogs provide. Wizzid recently had his first introduction to the snow on Treble Cone and displayed complete content for his new environment, demonstrating to the team that this is the role he was born for. As Wizzid continues to learn, his progress will be shared with the public so that everyone can cheer him to each new milestone and learn more about backcountry, dog training/care, and avalanche safety.
Wizzid has shown so much promise as an AAD crew member and we look forward to getting to know him better on his journey to joining the team.
Rocket, Zeffer, and Tuki have all worked extremely hard to obtain their well-deserved operational statuses, meaning they have passed the rigorous training assessment qualifying them to do their jobs. The process behind achieving an operational status is extremely strict and stressful, so a big well-done to the team for performing so well! Tussock had her own impressive showing as she advanced from trainee to novice after a truly epic performance, demonstrating that she has the chops for the role of avalanche dog. We look forward to seeing Tussock continuing with her and assessments in the future – no doubt she will pass everything thrown at her with flying colours!
The team has managed to collect together some new operational tools, including a container base on Treble Cone, a skidoo, and their first Alpine Survival Kit. These are all incredible achievements for a non-profit organisation. Because of these awesome accomplishments the AAD crew no longer have to focus on these goals and can instead concentrate their time on other things, such as maintaining their new equipment, training, and providing an invaluable service.
We look forward to seeing what the 2018 winter season has in store for the AAD group, as it is looks like it might be their best season yet. Another huge thank you to the sponsors who have been pivotal in providing much needed generosity for the team – your help is very much appreciated. Continue to keep an eye out, as the team will be updating their progress including the latest happenings with young Wizzid. If you see the team members in town, dog or human, then feel free to say hello.