Meet Powder – Steamboat’s Safety Dog
The Steamboat safety dog is all about the smiles. (And the bacon.)
When you see Powder on the mountain, you can’t help but grin ear to ear. The 150-pound Saint Bernard loves her job. She’s the official ski hill mascot and helps her owner and longtime Steamboat Ski Patrol Supervisor Duncan Draper spread the word about safe skiing and riding.
When Duncan pulls her red cape out in the morning, Powder gets really excited and knows it’s time to hit the gondola. She likes to start her mornings at the top of the gondola with an early walk down to visit the birds by the birdfeeder.
Powder’s main job is to wiggle and look cute and draw guests over, opening the door for Duncan to talk skier safety with guests. His main points: look before you go and stop where you can be seen.
“A lot of our folks are coming out for a first-time ski vacation,” Duncan says. “We need to turn that experience into a positive one. We’re going to make sure you know the rules, that you can stop, that you can go and that you have the turn signals. It’s like driving a car. We wouldn’t just toss you the keys without teaching you the rules of the road.”
Powder was one of six Saint Bernard puppies born in Lakewood and was just 12 weeks old when Duncan adopted her. She turned five years old on January 10, 2022 and, after taking some time off during Covid (she tends to draw crowds), she’s happy to be back on the job this season. Powder is a huge hit with the youngest skiers who love snapping selfies and collecting her famous stickers — ask Duncan for one when you see him on the hill.
The official safety dog doesn’t have any formal rescue or avalanche training. Instead she plays a positive role in the Steamboat Ski Patrol’s safety approach and has been integral in getting the skier responsibility code out to guests. Powder is a marketing video rock star and a YouTube sensation (search for “Powder the Steamboat Springs safety dog” to see her in action).
When she’s not at work, Powder can be found playing with her roommates, a wirehair named Johnny Poet who likes to snuggle on the couch and Koda the border collie who she runs the backyard with.
Find Powder on the Mountain
Look for Powder and Duncan on Saturdays and Sundays. They usually head up the gondola around 6:30 a.m. and hang out until 11 a.m. or noon.
All About Powder
Nicknames: Powpow, Chowder Head, Snuffaluffagus
Favorite Foods: Duncan cooks a pack of bacon every week for her and mixes it with her dog food. She also loves natural cheesy puffs.
Favorite Season: Winter. She’s happiest laying outside in the snow and rolling around.
Career Highlights: Powder has appeared on CNN, Channel 9, Channel 7 and Fox News in Denver.
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