Aspiring Avalanche Dogs Inc is a non-proﬁt organization a registered charity. A New Zealand first, they are based near Wanaka at Treble Cone ski area. Aspiring Avalanche Dogs has the full support of the NZ Police, the Department of Conservation, the Mountain Safety Council and NZLandSAR with whom we are all volunteers for and whose training guidelines and standards we follow as an organisation.
They aim to provide the Alpine community of the Southern Lakes Region with a primary response avalanche search dog service, able to be rapidly deployed 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and 252 days of the year, well into the future.
Matt Gunn and Blizzid
Matt and Blizzid are the founding members of the TCSD team. Matt has over 13 years ski patrol experience, 7 of which have been earned at TC. Blizzid, an endearing and quintessentially New Zealand black and white Border Collie has earned her place as one of New Zealand’s most experienced avalanche dogs and a crowd favourite on TC.
Matt and his family live in Wanaka year round and run their own events lighting company.
Brendan Kearns and Millie
Brendan and Millie’s natural aptitude for the alpine environment (assisted by Millie’s incredible labrador nose) and
their intensive on mountain training at TC with Matt and Blizzid saw them skip the novice ranking altogether to pass their operational assessment in 2005. This progress is a testament to the value of on mountain training with an operational team.
Brendan spends the summer months on the West Coast where he is a builder and part time tutor for Outdoor Persuits.
Callum Grant and Zeppelin
Callum and Zeppelin began training in 2008 alongside the other operational handlers on TC. Callum and Zepp qualified as operational in 2009. Zepp is one of the largest avalanche dogs in New Zealand and has a personality to match.
Callum is also a qualified mountain guide, spending the summer months guiding i=mostly international clients up some of the highest peaks in New Zealand.
To find out more about the team visit Aspiring Avalanche Dogs