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I always think of Telenaut when this subject comes up for some 
reason...anyhow, this year's low snow totals on the off piste shots can 
have clusters of small spruces that get semi covered. These clusters 
present more danger than single trees that may have a well around them. An 
unsuspecting skier will fumble into an acre of these things (as I have) and 
then flounder about trying to get out of it without getting sucked in, but 
once you have entered the minefield, it is hard to extracate yourself. In 
bigger years, they get filled in more than this year. "Falldice" is an 
example at MRG...

I have also had problems in bigger years when blowdowns get covered and 
look like hummocks of solid snow...which can fall away, exposing a 6 foot 
drop that your skis are perched above. When this happened to me, I had to 
side step along on the trunk and hope for the best...


On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 20:10:15 -0500, Scott Braaten <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 19:13:13 -0500, Evan Osler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>>The only tree well I've ever been caught in was in-bounds at $teaux. It
>>took
>>me a half hour to extricate myself.
>>
>
>Some of those tree wells above 3,000ft on Mansfield are sketchy.  The
>higher trees/glades surrounding Hellbrook and out around the Adams Apple
>have some huge holes around them.  What looks like deep snow can translate
>into walking on top of buried krumholtz (sp?) that are undermining the
>snowpack.  6-7 feet of snowpack on top of a 4 foot tall cluster of trees
>means you can fall a long way in.  I'm glad Tom got out pretty much "ok"
>but even some of Stowe's inbounds and backcountry has made me pause a few
>times this winter...especially when you stand on snow and feel it give way
>a little more than it should, then be able to push your pole down, wiggle
>it around, ect. and feel nothing but air and no ground in reach; go into
>those things head first....
>
>-Scott
>
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