Our Northwest

Ski slopes harbor hidden, perilous tree wells

Friday, January 25, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

Snowboarding downhill, the man cuts through trees between groomed runs at White Pass. Suddenly the ground gives way and he tumbles head first into a hole.
   He lands upside down alongside a tree. Fresh powder snow caves in, encasing him up to his feet and choking him. He thinks he might die.
   Happily, in this real-life emergency the man’s snowboard buddies soon saw he was missing, hiked uphill, found him, and frantically dug him out. It was a close call.
   Four Americans per year die from snow immersion in “tree wells.” Read the Yakima Herald-Republic article to learn how it happens and how the White Pass snowboarders saved their friend’s life.

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