Tree Well & Deep Snow Safety
Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS hazards)
Skiing and snowboarding off the groomed runs and in deep powder
is one of the most exciting and appealing parts of our sport.
However, if you decide to leave the groomed trails you are
voluntarily accepting the risk of a deep snow immersion accident. A
deep snow, or tree well immersion accident occurs when a skier or
rider falls into an area of deep unconsolidated snow and becomes
immobilized and suffocates. Deaths resulting from these kinds of
accidents are referred to as a SIS harzards or Snow Immersion
NSAA has made available for distribution Tree Well and Deep Snow
caution signs and brochures for resorts to use in their efforts to
educate skiers and snowboarders about the hazards of tree wells
during deep snow conditions. Ski areas are able to download the
artwork and have signs made to fit the conditions at their resorts,
either for on-mountain signage, printed in trail maps, posted on
websites, or utilized in other mountain media.
Become educated on how to reduce the risk of SIS hazards through
your own action and awareness. ALWAYS ski or ride with a partner
within viewing distance. The website www.deepsnowsafety.org is an
excellent resource designed to assist all skiers and riders in
educating themselves about the risks and prevention of deep snow
and tree well immersion accidents.