Tree well rescue video

how to rescue skier from tree well video

You might have heard about how dangerous tree wells can be when skiing or boarding out of bounds or in the backcountry. This video is a real eye opener of how scary it actually is for both the person who fell in and for the rescuers.

This skier is extremely lucky to be alive thanks to his companions who located him and dug him out. It’s a bit surprising that he had no injuries from the way he was extracted from the tree well.

Watch this scary video and tell us what you think in comments below.

These novice backcountry skiers, instead of going through their avalanche safety training, had to rescue one of their team member who fell into a tree well head first.

Tree wells generally form when large amounts of snow fall accumulate around evergreen trees whose low hanging branches prevent the snow from collecting around their base, creating a hollow space filled with unconsolidated snow.

“90 per cent of people who fall into tree wells are unable to get themselves out”

Often these unfortunate skiers are suck head first underneath the snow. Every movement they make gets them deeper and deeper into trouble.

Each year many people die from tree well accident. Many more who fall into a tree well are luckily rescued by their peers or guides.

If you’re heading into the backcountry this winter, here are some tips on how to stay out of tree wells and how to rescue someone who has fallen into one.

1. Stay way clear of larger trees with overhanding canopy when you are going through deep snow.

2. Ski or ride with a buddy and maintain visual contact at all times. Most of those who die in tree wells were not found on time.

3. If you find yourself in a tree well, try to grab onto branches or trunk of the tree to stop yourself from going deeper. Most importantly don’t struggle as this will push you deeper and deeper into a well. Call for help if you are able to.

4. If you are one of the rescuers, don’t dig straight down as you saw in this video. Instead create a platform by digging downhill and away from the buried person. This will help you create a platform, from which you can check up on your friend to make sure they don’t have any injuries and that they are breathing. Pulling some one out by their legs could do severe damage in case of a spinal injury for example.

Be safe out there!


Follow me


Mike is an all around outdoors guy who spends his free time in the backcountry, skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, biking, canoeing, camping, hiking. To pay for all the hobbies he develops and runs websites.
Follow me

Latest posts by Mike (see all)