GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A dog is back home in Denver after being rescued on Berthoud Pass.
Grand County crews found Yoshi on Saturday night, but couldn’t get to him because of dangerous avalanche conditions.
So, Yoshi had to spend the weekend in the snow and cold.
“They risked their lives to save a stranger’s dog,” said Brandon Fox, Yoshi’s owner.
Yoshi was tagging along with Fox on Saturday when the dog became separated from the skier.
“The worst part is the whole time he’s above the bottom of the cliff section about 120 feet just staring at us. We’re looking at him like ‘We can’t get you man. I’m sorry,'” said Fox.
On Sunday morning, Grand County personnel met Fox at Berthoud Pass where crews discussed all the options to saving the dog. The animal was trapped in an area where snowmobiling wasn’t possible because of rocky cliffs.
“Avalanche prone – after about three hours the leader of the search and rescue team decide it’s too dangerous to get him,” said Fox. “So, at that point in time it was almost like a death sentence.”
“We were trying everything and everyone said it was too dangerous,” said Richard Jones with Grand County Search & Rescue.
The crews ran into a pair of experienced technical climbers who had all their gear and they offered to ascend the cliff bands. They climbed from the bottom, got to the dog and brought him down.
“They came out of nowhere. They barely even took a minute. They looked at the face. They calculated a few routes in their mind, and they said ‘Okay, we’re going to get our stuff.’ They didn’t even think twice,” Fox said.
After several tense hours, they reached Yoshi and reunited him with a very grateful owner.
“It was amazing. Without them, he would still be there,” Fox said.
This was the same location where a snowboarder and a dog were killed in an avalanche eight years ago.