All of you are clearly expert skiers and love trees. And yes crowded slopes are definitely really dangerous, just a matter of objects (i.e. humans) in motion, and many of them not really in control...frightening often especially for kids (the little ones).
But here is what I have gleaned from reading, hearsay and making unintended painfully slow impact with a tree(felt like a bomb went off on the knee which made the contact), and I knew an acquaintance who was killed, he was an expert and crossing over (http://blog.nj.com/skiing/2008/12/tragedy_at_whiteface.html
lets call it casual empiricism and the logic follows: the better skier you are, the odds are you are traveling at a higher speed, and regardless of how good you are, hooking an edge, or caroming off a ice block/chunk, or a root or simply mistiming a turn is going to happen, and if it happens in a tree glade, and you make contact with that fixed object, odds are that the injury will be severe - laws of physics, moving soft brittle object hitting a fixed and pretty much immovable object, results in greater damage to the object in motion. So it is the expert who risks life and limb, those slow speeds some of you mention above, i'll wager you hit a tree full bore at those "slow" speeds, you are unlikely to be walking away or skiing away for that matter. Tree skiing is fun but making light of its risks does not make them go away, they are pretty real as you must know better than I. Tree wells are the hidden threat, that adds to the risks naturally.
And yes, losing control on a regular trail and going off the side into a tree, I know a few who have related those experiences too, dicey and just plain lucky they survived with injuries, some serious etc.
the comments :
This was a video from a TR by one of the experts on this board, really incredible movie, quite spectacular, and fairy-tale scenic, and tremendous skiing but one thing for sure, those speeds are not "pub crawls"..
Just an observation from a patient and diligent beginner.
A postscript: tragedy at Sunday River, the second skiier who died was a survivor of a serious m-bike accident, lost a leg and then continued skiing, brave soul now lost, just sad. The other guy was a long-time skiier in the area. Edited by dustyfog - 2/15/10 at 7:02pm