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AIRider 11-12-2011 02:13 AM

Safety Topic: Tree Wells


I'm sure I'll adventure into some trees this season, but this scares me.

CMSbored 11-12-2011 02:38 AM

Yeah, scary shit. thats why you always need to ride with a partner and look out for each other. dont lose sight of one another.

Momento 11-12-2011 04:40 AM

Kinda ironic that he said "its pretty dramatic... enjoy" Kinda scary that the dude could slip father away. But then again it think its natural you want too move yourself free. Good thing the guy said stop moving etc.

wrathfuldeity 11-12-2011 08:22 AM

Having been in a couple of tree wells, one upside down and one right side up. It happens really fast and even if you have a split second to react, those holes suck you in; it can happen several days after a big dump and its really disorienting. When I was upside down, I did not know it at first, you can't tell by the light and you body is generally its natural to wiggle around to see if you can get yourself out, but as the snow is caving in around you, you are already breathing hard, choking on pow, you heat up instantly and easily panic...especially if you don't know if anyone knows you are there. When I was right side up, I was hiking out of a biff, waist deep and hit a bridged tree/hole...completely buried tree and fell through to my neck and luckily was able to get my board under my arms to prevent sinking deeper and eventually able to pack enough snow under me to wiggle out of the hole. When its those conditions you learn to keep a healthy distance from anything that might look like a tree well.

NWBoarder 11-12-2011 10:41 AM

Tree wells are no joke. As Snowolf pointed out, I learned the hard way, but was lucky cause I fell in feet first. There really was no way to tell that the snow was going to give out. It happened in a split second. I truly believe that had he not heard me, I would have spent a very cold night stuck in the snow. After being in one feet first, I would hate to find out what head first feels like. Wrath, you're lucky to be here and would guess that riding with a partner is what kept you around. I still ride in the trees, but I do it a little more cautiously now.

wrathfuldeity 11-12-2011 11:55 AM

I was riding by myself, 50 ft in the trees off the groomer, half upside down, managed to grab some branches to prevent going under further, had a hell of a time getting the first foot then sideways in the hole. It is exhausting crawling out of a hole.

NWBoarder 11-12-2011 12:39 PM

Damn, you're quite a bit of lucky on that one Wrath. And yes, crawling out of a hole is quite the task. I had a hell of a time getting out, and that was with Snowolf's help.

wvbms 11-12-2011 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by Snowolf (Post 437307)
I ride trees solo a lot, but stay away from anything that looks like a small tree sticking up out of the snow. I try to ride in glades of old growth where all of the branches are way above the snow level and avoid areas that have a lot of second generation and new growth trees.

Good tip, I never knew that. I ride trees solo a lot also and hope to never find this out the hard way. Was this true for you other guys? Was it smaller trees with branches close to the ground?

ShredLife 11-12-2011 12:55 PM

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.

also worth mentioning vents. out here all the mountains are volcanoes and i have come over a roller or berm and been swallowed up by a venting hole that went straight down to rock - sharp volcanic rock - not fun! luckily it was only about 5-6 feet deep. core shot for sure tho :D

ShredLife 11-12-2011 01:08 PM


Originally Posted by wvbms (Post 437383)
Good tip, I never knew that. I ride trees solo a lot also and hope to never find this out the hard way. Was this true for you other guys? Was it smaller trees with branches close to the ground?

definitely with branches close to the ground. seems to me like trees that are bigger than your average home xmas tree - not as big as the mall tree but maybe as big as the tree at your office or maybe a hospital or something if that makes any sense :laugh:

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