You never think it'll actually happen but yesterday at Hemlock my buddy went head first down a tree well.
We rode most of the day lapping, getting some awesome pow turns, face shots, the works. So good, and deeeeep
Bout 3 we decided to head up and try get a couple photos so we were sticking a bit closer than normal. So fucking lucky.
Was waiting a little below my friends line watching him drop, he got a couple big turns in... going FAST. Anyway, he lost it flying forward, head first and whoooomp, straight into a tree well under a small Douglas Fir. All I could see was the bottom of his board. Text book shit.
I was probably 10ft from him, and it took a sickeningly long time to unstrap and climb through thigh deep snow to get to him. He was totally inverted and lucky not struggling, but he could not do a thing. I dug on the lower/shallowest side and it took quite a while to reach one of his arms. When I got there I could figure out where his head was and he was using his free arm to point to where his mouth was... kinda frantically because he'd just run out of air.
Once I got an air channel to him, I got my girlfriend who'd just got down to us to help excavate the remaining snow without collapsing it more and finally got him free.
Anyway, we got him out and he's fine but be we are all a little rattled. I guess we will process what we learned and try be more careful in future. We were LUCKY, and that's about it.
I gotta say, it's probably mainly down to this place that I even know what a tree well is. Read those posts if you haven't already