Steamboat has earned a world-wide reputation for its tree skiing/riding and signature Champagne Powderâ„¢ snow. Skiing or riding in tree areas and deep snow is an individual choice and carries with it inherent risks. A fall into deep snow or a tree well can be suffocating and fatal.

  • Be aware of deep snow conditions, tree wells and other natural and man-made obstacles. Do not ski/ride too close to trees in deep or windblown snow conditions.
  • If skiing/riding in deep snow or near trees, stay with a partner and remain in visual contact.
  • Stay close enough to either pull or dig out your partner.
  • If your partner becomes immersed, first try to clear an airway, then call Ski Patrol, 970-871-5911.

For further information visit avalanche.state.co.us or www.treewelldeepsnowsafety.com.
Tree Well FAQ

WHAT IS A TREE WELL?
First of all, trees are an important and integral part of the natural mountain environment and exist across ski areas, predominantly in the ungroomed areas of the resort. A tree well is an unstable hole or depression that forms around the base of a tree when low branches prevent snow from filling in and creating snow pack around the trunk.

HOW DO I KNOW IF A TREE WELL EXISTS?
Usually there is no easy way to identify if a particular tree has a tree well by sight, because the branches often block visibility of what hole may exist. Individuals should assume a tree well accompanies every tree.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASPEN AND EVERGREENS?
The biggest difference is Aspen typically don't have low-lying branches, which can hide tree wells and help them form like what you see with Evergreen trees.

How Do I Prevent From Falling Into Tree Well?
Fortunately, the risk of falling into a tree well is completely avoidable and preventable. Precautions include but are not limited to:

  • Avoid skiing/riding too close to trees, particularly evergreens, in deep snow or after heavy snowstorms
  • Assume all trees have a potentially hazardous tree well
  • Do not ski/ride alone
  • Keep one's partner in sight
  • Be aware of your surroundings

ARE TREE WELL ACCIDENTS MORE LIKELY TO OCCUR IN MORNINGSIDE PARK?
Absolutely not, no matter where you ski/ride on the mountain, individuals should understand tree skiing is not groomed and hazards may exist at any time during the season.

ARE TREE WELLS THE ONLY SNOW ELEMENT I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT?
No, individuals should be aware of encountering deep, ungroomed snow at any time on the mountain. Skier/riders should pay particular attention after heavy snowfalls.

WHAT DO I DO IF SOMEONE FALLS INTO DEEP SNOW/TREE WELL AND CAN'T GET OUT?
If your partner becomes immersed, first try to clear an airway, then call Ski Patrol for help 970-871-5911.

I HEARD THERE ARE NO FRIENDS ON A POWDER DAY?
The old adage 'there are no friends on a powder day', couldn't be further from the truth. Always ski/ride with others and remember deep snow conditions, tree wells and other natural and man-made obstacles may be encountered at any time, anywhere on the mountain.

Safety Hint:
Never Ski or Ride alone, always go with a buddy.


HOW DO I REACH PATROL?
Steamboat Patrol Dispatch may be reached via phone at 970-871-5911 or by most resort employees via mountain radio.

COLORADO AVALANCHE INFORMATION CENTER
Current Avalanche Conditions can be found at avalanche.state.co.us/Forecasts/Steamboat