r/PublicFreakout Mar 31 '23

Situationally aware skier saves the life of snowboarder stuck upside down in the snow



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u/TempusFuginaut Mar 31 '23

Well that’s terrifying.. fuck


u/DeeEyeEyeEye Apr 01 '23

I had a friend die due to a tree well. This was extremely unsettling


u/ONegUniversalDonor Apr 01 '23

Sorry about that. Unfortunately it has happened to very capable and experienced skiers. They make up around 20% of all skiing related deaths. There are some steps to attempt self rescue, but there are situations where it's impossible without assistance. Even with assistance you see the effort the skier put in to save this snowboarder. That looked like a steep climb to get up to the tree. I also wonder how they ended up on the backside of the tree in that position.


u/emdubl Apr 01 '23

when it's super deep like it has been this year, I'll avoid skiing too close to trees. I've partially fallen into a tree well on skis, luckily not head first. it's a scary situation. even laying on your side, it's tough to get up.


u/DeeEyeEyeEye Apr 01 '23

It's scary how the tree can suck you down. He was a great guy, and yes a very good skier.


u/younggun1234 Mar 31 '23

Worked at a ski resort. Had to go through some training for being on the mountain. Out of all the scary things that can happen getting stuck in a tree well and suffocating was the scariest to me.


u/ArkAngelHFB Apr 01 '23

The fuck is a tree well?

Like do the branches hold up the snow and then you go by and it shifts and sucks you in or some shit?


u/x777x777x Apr 01 '23

The branches mean snow can't pile up densely under trees, so it creates empty voids in the snowpack around trees. If you slide into one of these headfirst you can get buried and die. Very difficult to get yourself out of one when you're upside down and your equipment is attached to your feet.

Riding among trees is recommended as an activity best done with multiple people in a group. Keep track of each other and know what to do to get someone out of a well


u/younggun1234 Apr 01 '23

Snow doesn't pack Hard around the base of the tree due to the branches so it's like falling into a really fucked up ball pit. If you board you are strapped into your gear so maneuvering is extremely hard depending on how you fall into it. I got stuck in one once and thankfully I was able to reach my bindings and get out of it.


u/Dumbbitch2 Apr 01 '23

basically the branches and leaves catch the snow so there is an empty space left under the foliage, between the trunk and the snow that piles up on the ground. if you get too close to a tree or bush, you can just fall right in


u/ONegUniversalDonor Apr 01 '23

Think of it as falling face down into a deep, narrow funnel.


u/DeadBoiWalkin Apr 01 '23

Think of it like an old fashioned pit-fall hunting trap. There’s a void space underneath a thin cover of leaves (or in the case of a tree well snow) and once any pressure is placed on the covered hole, the “ceiling” gives out and down you go.


u/buzz3001 Mar 31 '23

How long can you survive in the snow like that? I'm sure suffocation would creep in?


u/NecramoniumZero Apr 01 '23

Its very likely like lying under a few thick layers of blankets, like mattress thick where no air can get in, slowly you run out of air because all you will be breathing in is carbon dioxide you breath out and you suffocate.


u/markoskis Apr 01 '23

Interestingly enough snow itself has a lot of entrained air in it. The problem is when you breathe out warm air it ices the snow around you over which causes more CO2 buildup.


u/thatgeekinit Apr 02 '23

If your face gets buried the warmth from your breath will cause the snow to melt and refreeze in a sort of dome trapping the air and the CO2 will build up to toxic levels in about 15m.


u/Mindless_Head666 Apr 02 '23

Depending on the situation I believe some people live over a day, some people who get stuck I tree wells die from being upside down for too long and not from suffocating


u/[deleted] Mar 31 '23

Worst part is panic attack than suffocation. Prepare for worst than freaked out to death.


u/crobb707 Apr 01 '23

My first time snowboarding on the second day some friends took me through the trees. I was behind and going to fast for my skill at the time and wiped out head first in a tree well. I was hanging upside by my board and luckily only under like 6” -12” of snow. I remember just panicky yelling for help but they were too far to hear.

I also felt a massive poop coming on, I barely was able to unstrap myself in time and took a huge poop in the well after. I don’t think my 13 year old brain could comprehend just how lucky I got on multiple fronts that day.


u/rickramalot Apr 01 '23

Wait u just poop when u feel it comin? I always just clench n hold until I want to let it loose (usually an hour after break)


u/crowdedcar Apr 02 '23

Sounds more like a vasovagal reaction than a normal poop. Hanging upside down probably stressed the vagal nerve, dropping his blood pressure and heart rate, and ultimately leading to one of the gnarliest shits you’ll have in your life.


u/homeboy321321321 Mar 31 '23

That guy is a real hero. Suppose he hadn’t been there? Damn.


u/fullclip840 Apr 01 '23

Well then the snowboard dude went offpist alone with a few meters of natural snow. Aka recipe for death.


u/Heil_pizza Mar 31 '23

At least repost the full clip…👎🏽


u/[deleted] Mar 31 '23



u/CKuemper Total Arbitrary Collectible Object Mar 31 '23

Thanks for linking.


u/Trendelthegreat Mar 31 '23

The time between reposts is getting shorter and shorter.


u/Vandesco Apr 01 '23

Wish we could have heard him take that first breath


u/PsychotropicTraveler Mar 31 '23

Obviously fake, anybody that's seen Johnny Tsunami knows snowboarders and skiers hate each other..


u/[deleted] Mar 31 '23



u/TobuscusMarkipliedx2 Mar 31 '23

Tagging something as ironic or sarcastic defeats the effect. Only softies on reddit require such coddling.


u/[deleted] Mar 31 '23



u/TobuscusMarkipliedx2 Apr 01 '23

Welcome to the internet, noob.


u/BooRaccoon Apr 01 '23

It would be Sarcasm, not Irony. And if you need to be told that comment is sarcastic, I don't know how to help you.


u/kmckay2487 Apr 01 '23

Yeah I thought it was pretty obvious and I don’t even know whom Johnny is...


u/Disastrous-Title-911 Mar 31 '23

I mean if you dont know about the legend jhonny stunami thats on you


u/richard_golbes Mar 31 '23

How...does that happen?


u/griffon80 Mar 31 '23

Snow under fir trees is often much softer than snow around the tree. If you get too close, you can fall in. It is especially dangerous in real deep snow pack like that.


u/hunturtle Mar 31 '23

the snow has been especially deep this year. They're called tree wells, near the trees the snow slopes in towards the trunk since much of the snow is caught by the branches up top. I think 4 people have died at Eldora this year, and 6 people at Steamboat. Lots more in other resorts as well.

Tahoe had to shut down 2-3 of their resorts for 2 days recently because the snow was dumping on them and it was getting dangerous.


u/_AskMyMom_ Mar 31 '23

Remember your ABCs.





u/FreneticFlan Apr 01 '23

Holy crap is that some deep powder.


u/Pez-Girl Apr 01 '23

The most frightening thing is if you see the whole clip, the guy just happened to see him bc he was slowed down by his own wipeout just above this and happened to cut back around this group of trees.

If he hadn't been slowed down, he would have gone right by this guy without seeing him at all.


u/_Shooter-McGavin Apr 01 '23

Did he fall into a tree well? That's terrifying.


u/Gettinjiggywithit509 Apr 01 '23

How terrible is it that this has probably happened so many times where someone doesn’t notice the person upside down like that and they end up dying. So glad this dude was able to notice and act fast.


u/Demfunkypens420 Apr 01 '23

New fear unlocked.


u/xXSGTSTEDANKOXx Apr 01 '23

Been there buddy…


u/whitedsepdivine Apr 01 '23

Thank god his snowboard design wasnt white.


u/sky_witness____ Apr 01 '23

did the audio cut out after 27 seconds for anyone else? couldn't hear anything after that...


u/crowdedcar Apr 02 '23

Same. There’s another thread here with a link to the YT video with the full sound.


u/AdmiralBofa Mar 31 '23

Wait, a repost from "ilovekarma?" SHOCKING! It wasn't a freakout yesterday either.


u/Gorgosen Apr 01 '23

cool save but losing sound near the start made it a way less interesting video.


u/Dang1014 Apr 01 '23

This wasn't literally posted yesterday... You karma whore's are annoying AF. At least wait a week to post something that you literally found on the front page of this sub.


u/Baandera Apr 01 '23

You okay?

Imagine being to triggered over a repost.

Also good, I just saw this video the very first time.

Calm your tits big boy


u/Dang1014 Apr 01 '23

I can tell by your comment that got hidden I hit a nerve lol

You okay?

Imagine being this triggered over someone calling you out for acting like an edge pre-teen


u/Dang1014 Apr 01 '23

Oooo wow so edgy, a German with the username "bandera." You're probably not the biggest loser on reddit lol


u/FightTheFuture3 Apr 01 '23

Damn super scary! I wish the guy digging him out didn’t re-bury him like 2 or 3 more times cause of his poor digging technique though…..but I get that he was trying to get to the guys head fast, but it looked like it just made his job ultimately longer. If he went at it property from the get go there most likely wouldn’t have been the additional collapses of the snow onto the snowboarder. Still an amazing dude for rescuing him! The sound wasn’t working most of the video and it also ended waaaay to soon!


u/crypto_crab Apr 01 '23

Wait, he has a shovel? That is some serious EDC.


u/x777x777x Apr 01 '23

very common item to carry when backcountry riding


u/BadF1nanc1alAdv1ce Apr 01 '23

He’s lucky there was someone to save him. Even more lucky that he didn’t land four feet higher. My friends dad was a wonderful man, but two months ago, he had gained too much speed, he hit a small snow drift, when he landed he hit a clump of roots near the edge of a drop-off. He landed with a tree branch impaling his torso. Nobody found him until three days later. He was a wonderful man, nobody deserves to die such a horrible death, and no child should lose their father like that. This man was very fortunate to have been saved.


u/LovinOlvin Apr 01 '23

That just scared the shit out of me


u/SuperDuperSith Apr 01 '23

You've got a friend for life after something like this.


u/casterofdreams Apr 01 '23

Always a good idea to carry an avalanche shovel: one of those collapsible ones that should be made out of metal. Very useful if you’re on a slope with hazards like this. Also very useful to keep one in your car. Saved my ass a few years ago when I was stuck in snow.


u/chomingollo18 Apr 01 '23

It's really dangerous when the snow is too thick because there are tendency to get stuck in it. Good thing the man notice him and help him.


u/Maleficent_Mountain2 Apr 02 '23

That was the right guy at the right place…how often does that happen…impressive