Deep Snow, Deep Safety!

PRESS RELEASE, Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association
Contact: Jordan Elliott, President, 877-533-5520
Release Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bend, OR – With massive back to back winter storms blanketing the region in as much as 2-4+ feet of snow, skiers and riders are enjoying some of the best powder turns in recent memory. With more snow predicted for later this week, the snow suffocation hazard is high. Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS) is not typically on the forefront of our recreational mindset when we head up to the regions many winter sports facilities or back country, but the danger is very real.

• Snow Immersion happens when a skier or boarder falls head–first into a tree well or deep loose snow.

• A tree well is the void around the base of a fir tree containing a mix of low hanging branches, loose snow, and air — treat all tree wells as dangerous.

• In an inverted position you can become trapped under the snow. It is extremely difficult to get out without the help of others.

• Breathing becomes difficult as the loose snow packs in around you. Without immediate help from your partner, you may suffocate.

All winter sports enthusiasts are advised to be educated on the risks involved with these snow conditions. is a recommended resource that all skiers and riders should utilize. Skiing and snowboarding with a friend is a best practice, always keeping your partner in sight.

For a printable brochure, click HERE.

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The Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association is a non-profit trade association, which represents the interests of 36 ski and snowboard facilities located in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and California. The Association’s member ski areas – most of which operate on public land – collectively host an estimated 6 million visits annually. For additional information on Pacific Northwest skiing and snowboarding, contact the PNSAA office at (877) 533-5520, or visit to link to the website of your favorite mountain.