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Old 11-12-2011, 01:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have found that it seems to be the trees where only the tops are sticking up. In other words, if you see a tree that looks like it's only a few feet tall, but has no trunk exposed, stay away from it. It's most likely that the rest of the tree is under snow and waiting to swallow up an unsuspecting victim. IMO it's really about being able to see the trunk. Since most of the trees out here in the PNW do not have many low branches, if you can see some trunk bottom, then there is nothing to worry about since the branches are above ground. It's the ones with no trunk that have many branches buried under the snow that kill people, or at the very least, get them incredibly stuck.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i've been down in a hole by myself before... the most important thing for me was the ability to unstrap my board while upside down and/or covered in snow. that and not hitting my head and losing consciousness.
Hadn't thought about that, but this would be the biggest argument against using Flows or Cinches with this type of riding. Unsnapping the back of the highback would be hellish if you were head-down on your back.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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this could be a good investment.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've watched the video before and it seemed those people could have gotten the guy out sooner, pretty uncoordinated. This problem isn't common here in the Mid Atlantic since we mostly have artificial snow but tree wells are definitely hazard that needs to be taken seriously by everyone.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've watched the video before and it seemed those people could have gotten the guy out sooner, pretty uncoordinated. This problem isn't common here in the Mid Atlantic since we mostly have artificial snow but tree wells are definitely hazard that needs to be taken seriously by everyone.
true, and that's one of the reasons I posted this here, mainly to get some awareness.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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My sisters ex-boyfriends sister (got that?) died in a tree well @ Mammoth a couple years ago. I do not know particulars as I didn't speak to him directly about it at the time but she and her husband were riding together going down a run that they had both ridden countless times (Mammoth was home MTN) through a glade and when he got to the bottom she never followed. He spent hours waiting/looking for her after notifying ski patrol but they still did not find her later that day, even knowing the run she disappeared on. They were both advanced riders, in bounds, at their home resort. It was later found that she actually hit a buried branch with the nose of her board that made her "go over the handlebars" head first into a deep tree well. She completely disappeared and suffocated.

Super fkin scary and utterly tragic. She left two young kids behind. RIP

EDIT: found an article about it http://www.ocregister.com/news/snow-...-ski-deep.html

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Old 11-12-2011, 05:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There was rider out here in WA at Crystal Mountain last season that fell in a tree well and was not found until the summer thaw. They're dangerous. Even in-bounds, they're still there and just as dangerous. The avalung is not a bad idea, but most people would not be wearing that while riding in-bounds, and it's almost always in-bounds that someone falls into a tree well. It was for me, and it was for the poor person that lost his life at Crystal last year. The majority of people just assume that if they are in-bounds, then they are safe.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There was rider out here in WA at Crystal Mountain last season that fell in a tree well and was not found until the summer thaw. They're dangerous. Even in-bounds, they're still there and just as dangerous. The avalung is not a bad idea, but most people would not be wearing that while riding in-bounds, and it's almost always in-bounds that someone falls into a tree well. It was for me, and it was for the poor person that lost his life at Crystal last year. The majority of people just assume that if they are in-bounds, then they are safe.
Do you mean inbounds as in the resort or inbounds of a groomed trail?
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Holy shit, that's scary/ I'm going out west next year and this sheds a lot of light. I always knew about tree wells, but kind of wrote them off and eventually forgot about them because we can still see the grass where I ride. Will definitely pay attention when I'm on trips now.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Even when I've been in the trees with a friend, we lose sight of one another very easily and if one of us were to fall the other would be way the hell down the hill before long. In deep pow trying to hike back up even a short distance can take forever. Does it provide a false sense of security to think that having a buddy is really all that much safer than riding alone? It seems as if your buddy must be in the right place at the right time to know you fell in and are in need of help.
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