My buddy and I pulled a guy out of one at Whistler.  We were maybe 10' into
the woods skiing parallel to a trail with a fresh 18" on the ground.  I
skied right past the guy and didn't see or hear him.  My buddy caught
something out of the corner of his eye and yelled to me to stop.  The guy
was in his forties (I thought a little old at the time but now I see he was
just a pup) and at the brink of exhaustion.  I thought a good heart attack
possibility.  He had righted himself but was too low to grab a branch.  The
tree itself was either too fat or too skinny or too smooth to shimmy up in
ski boots and he spent all his energy trying. And as Duff wrote it was like
quicksand, the more he floundered the worse it got, the more fatigued and
the more panicked.  It took the two of us and our equipment (poles etc.) to
pull him out.  He said he was in there for a while and was horse from
yelling.  I think the snow surrounding him just sucked up any sound he made.
Although he was just off a busy trail no one could see or hear him.  He was
very relieved to be out and I learned to be very careful to avoid tree
wells.  I didn't really understand the hazard till that experience.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Duffy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Tree Well Burying

> Non-releasable bindings make it more of a problem to get out.  If a person
> happens to fall right next to a tree, it can very easily get ugly. The
> canopy of an evergreen keeps the snow a bit shallower and less
> consolodated around the trunk. I imagine that falling in would be a bit
> like stepping into quicksand.
> On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 14:09:58 -0700, Peter Salts <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > I am having a hard time conceptualizing
> >this.  Exactly how does one get caught in a tree well? Assuming deep
> >snow, one might be caught upside down with skis caught in branches and
> >unable to click out of the bindings.  Any other circumstances?
> >
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