A pair of Colorado students are being hailed as heroes after rescuing a dog that was swept away by an avalanche and buried in snow.
Scott Shepherd said he was backcountry skiing the popular Berthoud Pass area with some friends and his dog, Apollo, when the 2-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever triggered an avalanche and was swept over a cliff.
Bobby White and Josh Trujillo, Colorado School of Mines students who were skiing nearby, approached the group to make sure no one had been caught up in the avalanche.
The two students, hearing that a dog had been taken by the snow, used probe poles to search through the debris field, which they estimated at about 300 yards long and 50 yards wide.
The men searched for about 20 minutes and were able to leave the area for their own safety when Trujillo spotted Apollo’s nose sticking out of the snow.
The students, and a bystander who rushed over to help, dug through the snow until Apollo was able to wriggle free. The rescue was caught on video by White’s helmet-mounted camera.
Shepherd said Apollo was initially limping after the rescue, but has since recovered fully.
“I feel like I got kind of got away with something that has such a huge lesson without huge consequences,” Shepherd told ABC News. “Like, he could have been lost forever. I thought the best case was that he was seriously injured, but nothing happened at all. It just still blows my mind.”