EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Tree Wells and other dangers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Tree Wells and other dangers - Page 2

post #31 of 43
The key is not to ski in unfamiliar terrain. There are many places at Steamboat between marked trails where the snow is always fresh and deep but skiing those places can get you in situations that you don't want to be in. Hidden stumps, logs, rocks, creeks and in some places some nice dropoffs. Last year there was a fatality where a guy was skiing in Christmas Bowl and he skied over a 25 foot cliff head first into 10 feet of snow. Suffocated before his friends could get back to him.

Here's a good tip. Know where you are going. Don't ski alone and always let the inexperienced skiers go first. That way if they fall, lose skis in powder or just need help getting up or their skis back on, you will be able to ski down to help them. If you go first, sometimes there's no way to get back up hill to help them.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
If you go first, sometimes there's no way to get back up hill to help them.
oopsie, did this over the weekend. Wasn't good.
post #33 of 43
Or just don't fall.
post #34 of 43
If the snowpack is deep...those little Charlie Brown x-mas trees can be deadly... land head first on top of the little tree and down the elevator shaft you go...saw one just like that in B.C.....
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heliskier59 View Post
If the snowpack is deep...those little Charlie Brown x-mas trees can be deadly... land head first on top of the little tree and down the elevator shaft you go...saw one just like that in B.C.....
Yup. And many of those little Charlie Brown Christmas trees have 15 feet of branches below the snow surface.

Steamboat has had 24 feet of snow already.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
The key is not to ski in unfamiliar terrain. There are many places at Steamboat between marked trails where the snow is always fresh and deep but skiing those places can get you in situations that you don't want to be in.
Thanks for all the insight provided in this thread...this honestly is a hazard (tree wells) I've never heard of.

I've only started skiing glades in the past couple of years. My home mountain has only a couple, and neither is very good. The skiable area is very narrow so they become more like skiing in a deep track with banked turns than like having a nice wide snowy area of trees to ski. They could make some great glades by clearing out the saplings and underbrush, but they don't seem to want to.

With regard to Lars' comment above...when going to a new place like Steamboat for the first time, what' the best way the areas to avoid? I mean...we don't wnat to stick on the groomed...definitely want to ski some trees...so what are the suggestions for quickly getting to know the mountain -- Steamboat, or any new mountain you go to?
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
definitely want to ski some trees...so what are the suggestions for quickly getting to know the mountain -- Steamboat, or any new mountain you go to?
Look for some dude-brah on his lunch break and follow.
post #38 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
so what are the suggestions for quickly getting to know the mountain
The first suggestion is not to be in a hurry to know the mountain. Resorts the size of Steamboat do not give up their secrets quickly.

Many resorts offer complimentary tours of the mountain. Steamboat's tour departs at 10:30. That's one way to start. Studying the trail map is another. If one is the cautious type, scoping off piste zones from groomed runs above and below the area of interest can often yield useful safety information. Following others into off piste zones and keeping them in sight is another common tactic. Those who aren't shy can simply ask other skiers who look like locals until they find someone more familiar with the territory to lead them around. Staying near the edges of groomed runs is another tactic for limiting risk in unfamiliar terrain. Most of the time I am simply more conservative when entering an unfamiliar area. For me, exploring is part of the fun.
post #39 of 43
solution ski utah were tree well deaths are way down to other states...



still trying to figure out why though
post #40 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
solution ski utah were tree well deaths are way down to other states...

Well, we're already booked for Steamboat. Is there a shuttle to Utah?

Is the graph above normalized by number of skier visits per year?
post #41 of 43
For a little more than the price of an adult single day lift ticket you could buy an Avalung. If these devices can work within the concrete of a slide they would probably work very well in the less condensed snow of a tree well collapse, maybe also make you less likely to panic and worsen the situation...Having said all of that, Steamboat should be great skiing and unless there is a huge dump WHILE YOU'RE THERE, you stay inbounds and stay out on the generally beaten path you're not likey to encounter any wells...
post #42 of 43
Yeah, I think the Avalung is way better suited to a tree well situation than an avalanche. I was happy to have one treeskiing in BC last winter. Never fell into a well, but one of our guides demonstrated the depth by jumping into one (feet-first). Scary.
post #43 of 43
I was at Steamboat the day it happened, and rode up the gondola with one of the patrol who apparently was involved. At that time they weren;t sure if it was asphixiation or heart attack.

OK, the summary:
- you won't have any danger in the Aspens, and it's been dumping so enjoy.
-have a whistle available
-don't put your hands through your pole straps, so you'd have to have them involed in trying to dig out
- don't get too close to the big pines
- look at the openings between the tree, not the trees
-don't ski alone in the woods
-wear a helmet
-check the board at the top of the gondola to see if Billy Kidd's coming out at 1pm.

Steamboat's slalom glades are so much fun, you'll be in there all day, guaranteed. Enjoy
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Tree Wells and other dangers