Colorado College Students Rescue a Trapped Dog in an Avalanche

Josh Trujillo and Bobby White were backcountry skiing at the Berthoud Pass area in Colorado when they spotted a cloud of snow erupt which was a sign that there was an avalanche some thousand feet away.

White rushed off to put his split board together and Trujillo skied over to the avalanche debris where she spotted another group of two students from the Colorado School of Mines. 

White and Trujillo heard that every person was accounted for; however, a dog was buried in debris some 300 yards long and 50 yards wide. 

The report written by Scott Shepherd said that he and his group and his dog veered off-course and stopped above a terrain prone to avalanches. His dog, the two-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever named Apollo ran, away from him and triggered the avalanche.

The avalanche swept him over the cliff and through some trees before he disappeared into the snow.

They Tried to Locate the Dog, but He Was Nowhere to Be Found

Shepherd skied to the ridge’s edge where Apollo was carried but he couldn’t find him. He then climbed down the chute and went into the slide’s path to start the search and this is when he spotted Trujillo. 

When Trujillo and White were told that Shepherd’s dog was missing, they scanned the area and once they realized there were no humans buried, they started searching for the dog. They used their probe poles to poke into the snow in hopes of finding the dog.

The rescue attempt was caught on White’s helmet camera video. The search continued for 20 minutes. The Utah Avalanche Center notes that 93 percent of human victims of avalanches can be recovered alive if they’re dug out within 15 minutes. 

But, the time dropped and it was already 45 minutes past the accident. Trujillo was already giving up, thinking the dog is probably dead and that dogs shouldn’t be in avalanche terrains in the first place. 

Apollo Is Rescued in the Last Moment

However, two minutes after this, as Trujillo was packing up, he saw a nose sticking out of the snow and yelling out.  He shouted that the dog is found and alive. 

Trujillo and Shepherd started to dig and another passerby helped them out. White said to Apollo that they’re almost there. He was free after a minute and jumped out of the snow, without any sign of trauma, only a mild lump.

Shepherd said that White and Trujillo saved Apollo’s life and he’s very grateful for it because he was still way up in the slope. 

Apollo was checked out by a veterinarian and he had no injuries. He received plenty of love and hugs during the next couple of days because everyone was happy he made it.