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Found a girl in a tree well front side at Vail yesterday - Page 3

post #61 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post

What is the safe way to approach a skier in a treewell so you don't end up stuck?  Is it safe to just make your way over with your skis off?

 

Never take your skis off in deep snow if you can avoid it, you would come in from the side or below (don't dig down ontop of them) and would want to use your skis to stomp out the area before taking them off if required.

post #62 of 76

Usually if you find someone upended in a tree well, you can release their skis or snowboard, and they will be able to get right-side-up and protect their airway.  The risk of you getting trapped is minimal...as long as you don't go in head-first.  Most rescues are done from the side in order not to collapse snow into the victim's airway.

post #63 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastvillage View Post

The ski areas where tree wells are common need to post big signs alerting to this extremely dangerous condition.
Especially if recent snows exacerbate the risk.

Nobody reads signs. Ski schools would be doing people a big favor if safety training was part of classes--telling people about inbounds avys, and treewells, and whiteouts, and not walking on steep icy slopes in your snowboards boots, and not doing hits off the side of a one person wide cattrack, and on and on and on . . . . Not good for marketing the sport though, is it?

post #64 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Nobody reads signs. Ski schools would be doing people a big favor if safety training was part of classes--telling people about inbounds avys, and treewells, and whiteouts, and not walking on steep icy slopes in your snowboards boots, and not doing hits off the side of a one person wide cattrack, and on and on and on . . . . Not good for marketing the sport though, is it?

To be honest I find safety lectures to be even less effective. Start talking safety and people just tune that out, they don't care they just want to start skiing. Now if you were taking a class to trees and pointed it out that would probably be pretty effective again though can't be a lecture. "Tree wells, dangerous" is about all people get out of it anyways.

post #65 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

To be honest I find safety lectures to be even less effective. Start talking safety and people just tune that out, they don't care they just want to start skiing. Now if you were taking a class to trees and pointed it out that would probably be pretty effective again though can't be a lecture. "Tree wells, dangerous" is about all people get out of it anyways.

I hear you. Maybe we need the skiing equivalent of "Red Asphalt"--"White Death" I suppose.  

post #66 of 76

If you are a passholder and get busted by ski patrol for being unsafe, at least at some resorts, then yes, you go to detention and have to attend a class for about an hour one of the mornings before they give you your pass back.  I believe it does involve a safety video.

post #67 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

1st off- great job

 

another reason to ski with beacons, probes an shovels in that kind of terrain.  Yes, with a beacon you could be located in a well.  

ive been  down those runs a thousand times and would never think to wear a beacon on those green runs .Well im glad this guy saw her .

Wow. Scary .

 

I was going down Revolution in Blue Sky Basin on my birthday a few years ago, with my son in law and daughter , took a spill and found myself in a tree

well . For those who havent been in one it feels like quicksand. Fortunately for me I was ahead of them and fell into the tree well FEET first. I was paddling myself out

when they came up to me. They helped me get out by digging with their hands

 

Scary .Even feet first

post #68 of 76

IMG_0029.JPG

 

Here is me stuck at the bottom of Gengis Khan,Vail Co. the first day they opened the run that season.

 

I  was stuck for 20 minutes, my son in law helped dig me out .Ski Patrol got there and I was already dug out.

 

I thought the snow was gonna collapse over me  about 5 yards behind this photo. LOl I can laugh at this now

post #69 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

Nobody reads signs. Ski schools would be doing people a big favor if safety training was part of classes--telling people about inbounds avys, and treewells, and whiteouts, and not walking on steep icy slopes in your snowboards boots, and not doing hits off the side of a one person wide cattrack, and on and on and on . . . . Not good for marketing the sport though, is it?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

To be honest I find safety lectures to be even less effective. Start talking safety and people just tune that out, they don't care they just want to start skiing. Now if you were taking a class to trees and pointed it out that would probably be pretty effective again though can't be a lecture. "Tree wells, dangerous" is about all people get out of it anyways.

At Vail, we are given a fair bit of latitude on how we handle our classes, but are encouraged to take about safety as it comes up- mainly focusing on the skier responsibility code and how to handle more crowded runs and merging situations.  Lonewolf is correct that if you talk for too long, people start to tune you out, so it is really more effective if you point out hazards as they come up (i.e. look up hill when this cat walk merges into that run coming up or explaining why they should make shorter, more predictable turns when we get into a crowded area).

 

I think one issue is that many people will take a few lessons when they first start, but may not have taken a lesson in years when they first start skiing the trees (likely with friends, not an instructor).  99% of the instructors I know are not going to discuss tree well danger unless they are skiing in the trees with their students.

post #70 of 76

Ah . . . .  the brother/sister thing was bound to come up . . .  good reminder of what it means to ski with a buddy though.  Just be careful who you pick to be your buddy.  I'm picking the guy who went to the Avy - 1 course . . . or better yet, one of my patroller friends who ALSO went (or taught) an avy course.

post #71 of 76

Hah, I read this earlier last week and thought .. ok I should be wary of tree wells. Last Sunday at Vail I was looking for freshies just above Mid Vail, My cousin skied some trees and bumps on Expresso and I was in the trees on the other side of the run. I caught an edge and bam.. into a tree well. Luckily it wasn't that deep (couple ft deep), but I was head first down slope, skis above me. It took ~5 minutes to struggle free, kick out of my skis and "swim/crawl" out. I had a phone in my jacket, and a whistle in my pack.. but when your arms are shoulder deep in soft fluffy snow they are of no use. I felt pretty stupid .. this was a few yards off the run.

post #72 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post

What is the safe way to approach a skier in a treewell so you don't end up stuck?  Is it safe to just make your way over with your skis off?

 

Not unless your able to climb the tree to get up. :)

post #73 of 76

God bless you Finnicky7!

 

I have two young daughters who are avid skiers and can be pretty adventurous skiing in trees.  As a parent I cannot imagine the gratitude I would have to you for saving my daughter's life. 

 

May you live a wonderful rest of your life.

post #74 of 76

Finnicky7, thanks for being there and saving her life.  She was truly fortunate that you were seeking powder in the trees in that shallow area of Vail.

post #75 of 76

You rescued a ski girl and just let her go without a hookup? I am disappoint.

post #76 of 76

@ all those with experience.  In POWDER I have very little and can only say the knowledge that I have learned re the risks are from what you write in this regard.  Should I have the opportunity to ski these conditions, I would be remiss in asking for guidance from experienced skiers to ensure my education.

 

Keep sharing and you ever get a PM from asking for a ski companion in these conditions please consider it.

 

:beercheer:

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