“You can have a partner, but they’ve got to keep you in sight. That’s the big takeaway. They have to keep you in sight. And that’s hard to do.”
This excellent cautionary report is brought to you by the good people at Western Washington’s King5. With all of the snow out west right now the subject of tree well related SIS is ultra important to be aware of. K5 spoke with the head of the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol and Director of the Northwest Avalanche Institute, Paul Baugher, and he had this to say:
“The biggest example of SIS is falling into what’s called a “tree well,” because under coniferous trees like firs and cedars, the branches are pulled down by the weight of the snow, and that prevents the snow from building around the trunk, forming a pit. And if a skier falls into the pit, snow falls in around him. The skier, unable to release ski or snowboard bindings, is trapped.”
“It’s like a one way street. You go through, you don’t come out. And the lethal position is inverted. Head down,” says Baugher, and the victim often goes unnoticed by other skiers after the branches close in around them.
Please watch this video and share it around with your friends. Remember to always ski with a friend and to keep that friend in sight.