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 Suffocation.
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.