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tree wells

Tree wells

Whoever heard of tree wells? Everyone knows about avalanches, but isolated ski fatalities from tree wells don’t attract the same hysterical coverage. Some figures claim tree wells are responsible for a whopping 20% of ski deaths, and in recent experiments carried out in N. America where volunteers were placed in tree wells, 90% were unable to free themselves. Yet they can be avoided. First, check out this very illustrative video below then read on... A tree well is where snow fails to compact around the bottom of the tree trunk, prevented by the lower branches. Extremely common after heavy snowfall, coniferous trees with big lower branches weighed down by snow leave a bowl shaped mini-crater around the trunk. Loose powder,