Vail’s original avalanche dog, Henry, dies at age 15


The most recognizable dog in Vail, Henry Reeder, was laid to rest Sunday, his family has announced.

Like many larger-than-life personalities, Henry was known by many names and titles — Vail’s first avalanche dog, the Dogfather, the Henry’s Hut and Henry’s Legacy Bourbon namesake — but at home, with the Reeders, he was called Hank.

The dog became a living legend on Vail Mountain for his poise on the job with the Vail Ski Patrol, where he quickly gained a reputation for being able to sniff out anyone who was brave enough to bury themselves underneath a thick layer of snow in an attempt to hide from the dog near his domain at ski patrol headquarters.

If you were there, hiding in the snow, motionless and cold and wondering if you were going to be the one who finally stumped Henry, then that means you were only moments away from having a warm lick on the nose.


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