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Tree-Well Video and Safety

We just received this link to a video of a skier trapped in a tree well that was captured by one of the rescuers wearing a helmet cam. It's sobering stuff -- this skier would have been toast without others to dig him out. Most winters we lose a skier or two in Washington State through this kind of incident -- hence the importance of buddying-up and staying in constant contact (hmmm, are we sounding like an ad for an email-newsletter service??).

Frankly, many of us are lousy about staying close enough to our buddies to be of quick help should one of us dive, head-long, into a tree well. We tend to give avalanches lots of thought and scrutiny, and then give this issue short shrift. But this is a safety issue meriting more thought and better practices. 

There's not always the danger of suffocation, but most of us who ski have gotten tangled in a tree well or two where we needed the help of others to get extracted. 

More information about these kinds of incidents: 


Previous post about preparing for these incidents.

Stats about tree-well incidents.

Skiing tips for better safety (from the Stevens Pass website).