Ever been stuck in a tree well? I have. If I recall correctly, it was at Stevens Pass. I was snowboarding in an ungroomed area that happened to be directly under one of the lifts. I was stuck hanging upside down. The tree well was opened up quite large underneath. I was able to pull myself up the tree enough to get out of my snowboard. Then the fun began. I had to climb the tree to the surface, but I was initially unable to cross the gap to solid snowpack because the undercut snow ledge just kept breaking away. Luckily I still had possession my snowboard was eventually able to get free. The whole while people going by on the lift were laughing and cracking jokes. At the time, I didn't realize the severity of the situation, and never felt like I was in danger. I know better now.
Now check out these tree well rescue videos
Avalanche and rescue education, and general snow science used to determine avalanche risk.
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