How long does the average victim survive in a well before finally succumbing? I picture it being only a few (like 3-5) minutes, but does it sometimes drag out longer?
I was stuck semi-upside down in a tree well once. Luckily there was a big air cavity by my face so I was able to breathe but getting out was a whole different story. As long as you have room to breathe you have some time. There was a video on the internet and the news last year of a guy that fell into a tree well with a Go-Pro cam or something. He was able to reach into his pocket and use his cell phone to call for help. There are avalanche reports on CAIC's website of avalanche survivors that were buried for hours before being rescued or digging themselves out. So I don't know if you can quantify the average time a person has to survive in a tree well before succumbing. There is a lot of factors at work here, primarily weather or not you are able to breathe and for how long. If you fall into a tree well right next to groomed trail chances are some will see you and be able to help you out quickly. If you're venturing a little further off piste an Ava-Lung many not be a bad idea. People do die inbounds at resorts from tree well incidents.