A snowboarder who was trapped upside down in a tree well at the Mt. Baker Ski Area in northwestern Washington state has been rescued by a quick-thinking skier, Francis Zuber. The rescue was captured on video and shared on Instagram by Zuber.
The video shows Zuber skiing through some deep powder before stopping suddenly after noticing a snowboard barely sticking up out of the snow. He approached the scene and asked the snowboarder if he was alright, but received no response. Zuber then started packing snow with his skis to make a path over to the tree well. Once closer, he removed his skis and started digging with his hands.
The video shows Zuber reassuring the snowboarder until the man’s reflective visor pokes out of the snow and then his mouth, at which point he takes a big gulp of air. Zuber then pulls out an emergency shovel and digs the snowboarder out completely.
Zuber shared the video on Instagram with the caption, “Tree wells are real.” He added, “All I’ll say for now is the mountains don’t care how much skill or experience you have.” The rescue highlights the importance of being aware of the dangers of tree wells and the need for quick thinking and action in emergency situations.
Here they are on Good Morning America being interviewed.