TRUCKEE – A 43 year-old snowboarder from Connecticut is dead, after falling head first into a tree well in advanced terrain at Northstar. 

According to Northstar’s written statement about the incident, ski patrol responded to the incident and further care was provided by Northstar Fire Department, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. 

“Northstar Ski Patrol and the entire Vail Resorts family extend our deepest sympathy and support to our guest’s family and friends,” said Nadia Guerriero, vice president and general manager of Northstar California, in a written statement.

What is a tree well?

A tree well is a void or area of loose snow around the trunk of a tree enveloped in deep snow. Also known as “spruce traps”, these voids present danger to hikers, snowshoers, skiers, and snowboarders who fall into them.

When skiing or riding in trees, especially with a deep snowpack, it’s best to be with a friend and maintain a line of sight. If you get buried, your cries for help may be muffled and unable to reach nearby people. 

WikiHow: What to do if you become stuck in a tree well