Big White warns that lots of new snow brings with it old dangers

New year, old reminder from Big White: Stay clear of tree wells

Big White Ski Resort is warning its visitors to stay clear of tree wells.

With over 60 centimetres of snow falling in the past week, and more in the forecast these snow traps are becoming increasingly deceptive and dangerous, according to a notice sent out by the resort.

Tree wells are formed when low branches at the base of coniferous trees stop the snow from compacting and settling around the trunk. To make things worse, it is nearly impossible to tell how deep the depression is, as the low lying branches of the tree block the sight.

“Tree wells are one of the most dangerous potential hazards out there,” said Kris Hawryluik, head of Ski Patrol at Big White Ski Resort. “Always ski or ride with a buddy, and remain in visual contact with each other. If that fails, stop and call out.”

The simplest way to prevent a tree well catastrophe is to stick to marked, groomed runs. If you do go into treed, ungroomed areas, give the tree wells a wide berth. Always carry safety equipment with you, including a cell phone with the Big White’s ski patrol number (250-491-6160) and a whistle.

If you do fall into a tree well, do whatever you can to keep your head above the surface of the snow, and if possible, keep your feet below the level of your head. Yell or use your whistle to get your partner’s or nearby riders’ attention. Stay calm and resist the urge to struggle – this will conserve energy. Finally, trust that someone is looking for you.

If your partner falls into a tree well, don’t leave to get help. Stay with him or her, and use your cell phone to call for help. If you don’t have a cell phone, use your whistle to alert others. Evaluate the scene for your own safety, then immediately begin clearing snow from the airway. Do not pull the victim out the way they fell in – instead, begin tunnelling in the direction of their head. Be careful not to knock more snow into the hole.

For more tips and tricks on how to deal with tree wells, head to www.deepsnowsafety.org

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

Police watchdog investigating Lake Country incident

A man was taken to hospital after the June 3 incident

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Crews building structure at former Summerland train station site

West Summerland Station will pay tribute to railway history, serve as trail marker

Most Read