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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
NARSID on 11/14/2011 12:50:36 MST Print View

As a ski patroller I'm reading about an increase in Non-Avalanche Snow Immersion Death, (NARSID) which is primarily the result of people skiing, boarding or showshoeing into tree wells and dying, often upside down, due to the inability to escape their over-snow gear.

Usually this happens near ski area groomed trails but is increasingly happening in the backcountry, especially to lone travellers.

When looking for lost out-of-area skiers we are now trained to look carefully both above and BELOW trees as this is the usual location of NARSID situations. Therefore when looking for friends who have trailed behind the group and haven't shown up don't forget to look below trees. In a heavy snowstorm a companion's tracks may be obliterted by the time you find them so don't necessarily count on finding their tracks.

Edited by Danepacker on 11/21/2011 14:09:17 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Thanks on 11/14/2011 13:33:56 MST Print View

Thanks for the heads up Eric, not a nice way to go. Any way to avoid this? I'm thinking easily available knife to cut out of snowshoes? I guess thats assuming you're not knocked out.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Avoiding NARSID on 11/14/2011 14:34:09 MST Print View

Luke,

The best thing you can do is to avoid trees that CAN have the "wells" around them that are filled with very light snow.

Also when you train do sit-ups and crunches and even Roman chair situps (like Rocky Balboa) to strengthen your abdominals so you CAN bend up and release/cut your bindings if you do end up upside down under a tree.

Also have a loud rescue whistle (very) handy and even a SPOT or other EPIRB beacon or an avalanche beacon IF your buddies have avy beacons. Several people have even been rescued by using their cell phones near ski areas.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
NARSID on 11/14/2011 16:20:27 MST Print View

Interesting. I've read of that for years, but never really thought it could happen.