Jared Workman wrote:I agree about traveling solo in winter avy terrain. My point was more along the vein of - if you are going to be doing something like skiing avy terrain, where an avalanche is quite probable (as compared to the rather meager number of occurences triggered by snow shoers) then bringing a dog is highly irresponsible, especially if you already know that it's life is quite secondary to everyone around you.
Why take the animal into hazardous terrain when you aren't willing to give it the same chance of rescue as everyone around you. It seems to me that it makes the dog a disposable commodity and that was what I was referring to as irresponsible. If you are soloing you generally don't have to worry about other people so you can, to some degree, look after your pet's safety to a higher level.
Personally I think it's nuts to take a dog back country skiing in steep avy prone terrain no matter what the circumstances. It makes it more dangerous for the dog and the people around the dog.
As far as non-avy prone ski trip I think bringing a dog along on winter trips is fine. I'd personally still put a beacon on it though. To my thinking if you short the animals chance of survival because people come first you shouldn't bring it out, they are totally dependent on us for their protection and, to me at least.
I'm a bit nutty about my pets, I don't own a dog but if I did I'd put a beacon on it and consider it part of the greater rescue or I wouldn't bring it.
This only applies to avalanche terrain, I'm not looking for a dog flame war.
Thanks for the reply!
Yeah, I agree with most of that too... Which is also the reason why I don't bring the dog for the backcountry ski trips (as you mentioned, those trips almost necessarily involve traveling in the heart of Avy terrain, doing things that are much more likely to release avalanches).
Still, I do find myself grapelling with the issue of beacons on the dogs. My fiance and I are both dog lovers, and it is often just the two of us traveling in the backcountry. We'd both hate to put our pup in harm's way, though we also realize that given a grave choice between pulling each other out of the snow and losing the dog, or having it the other way around, we'd still choose each other! Nevertheless, at the same time, it is still possible to consider the dog a part of the larger rescue scene as you mentioned... And our pets are still a part of our family!
I guess ultimately I don't know what the "right" answer is to this dilema... But there are certainly things to consider on both sides
I do like the idea of a dual-frequency beacon that would provide a secondary search level for pets. I mean, if I hypothetically had the choice, I'm going for my spouse first and pet second!