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Nick Hall: Crystal Mountain avalanche dog helped in recovery of ranger

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on July 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm with No Comments »
July 6, 2012 4:16 pm
Cirrus, Crystal Mountain's avalanche dog (

Cirrus,  a Crystal Mountain avalanche dog, assisted in Thursday recovery of climbing ranger Nick Hall’s body on Mount Rainier.

Kim Kircher, a member of the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol, said the dog helped the recovery team find Hall’s body in short time. Hall died on June 21 when he fell while rescuing four injured climbers. Weather and avalanche hazard kept rangers from recovery Hall’s body for two weeks. Hall’s body was covered by several feet of snow.

“Cirrus and handler Brent Okita arrived on scene in a military helicopter and were able to find Hall in a very short time,” Kircher said via email. “According to Okita, who is the Assistant Patrol Director and a Mt Rainier guide with RMI, Cirrus was a ‘Rock Star.’

“… Avalanche rescue dogs are trained to find victims buried on the snow. Picking up on human scent rising from the snow, the dogs use air scenting techniques to quickly find their quarries.”

Cirrus is owned by Andrew and Michelle Longstreth, Bonney Lake residents who serve on Crystal’s ski patrol.

Crystal Mountain paramedic Andrew Longstreth with Cirrus
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