Tree Well Claims The Life Of A 56-Year-Old Skier At Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT

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Tree well safety sign at Whitefish Mountain, MT. Image: Flathead Beacon

According to Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, a 56-year-old man died at Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT after falling into a tree well near the summit on Friday, March 2nd, 2018. Charles Douglas Herr  was skiing with a friend, when they became separated. The friend reported him missing after they failed to meet up. After a two hour search around the mountain, Charles’ body was located in a tree well near the summit at 3:15pm.

The red pin marks Whitefish Mountain Resort, MT. Image: Google

Press Release:

Greetings from the desk of Sheriff Chuck Curry,

The Flathead County Sheriff / Coroner’s Office has released the name of the skier who died on Whitefish Mountain Resort on Friday, March 2, 2018.

The victim is identified as Charles Douglas Herr, 56 years of age, from Calgary. Herr had been skiing with a friend who reported him missing, and after a 2 hour search by Whitefish Mountain Resort Ski Patrol his body was located at about 3:15 pm in a tree well inbounds not far from the summit.

Tree well fall. Image: Ski California

Tree Well Safety:

A tree well is a void or depression that forms around the base of a tree, and most likely under the branches that hang from those trees, disguising the void. This void may contain a mix of low hanging branches, loose snow, and air. While skiing or snowboarding, it is very difficult to determine if a tree well exists, so skiers and riders should treat every tree the same.

Skiers and snowboarders must understand the risks of deep snow, educate themselves, and strictly adhere to safety recommendations, including always skiing or riding within sight of a partner, especially when off a designated trail, within the trees, or a gladed area.

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