I never really thought much of tree wells until the last couple years. I really didn’t even know what they were until I heard of skiers dying. It turns out they are one of the most dangerous things you can encounter when out on the ski hill. Tree wells are fairly easy to explain. The bows of a tree keep a good portion of the dense snow from collecting around the trunk of the tree. Leaving only light/unpacked snow. It can be kind of deceiving. But when you are on a mountain that is rocking a base of 100+ inches. You can quickly be sucked down into icy quicksand. I attempted an experiment on a tree well, while out snowshoeing. Let me just say, if there wasn’t someone there to quickly pull me back out, they wouldn’t have found me until spring.
See footage of a father and son enjoying a day out on the mountain, when things quickly turn for the worse.
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