Smacked by tree loaded by snow

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johnspeth
Posts: 118
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Smacked by tree loaded by snow

Post by johnspeth » May 11th, 2019, 4:21 pm

Raise your hand if you've ever been smacked by a tree that suddenly releases from snow burial.

Yesterday I was hiking the Cool Creek trail up Devils Peak near Rhododendron. I was near the top climbing the steep spine before the Cool Creek trail meets the Hunchback Mtn trail. The snow was deep and many tree branches were still buried from the winter snow. I needed to crawl under a low branch and I was on all fours when my hand touched a buried branch. It released and nailed me right on the forehead leaving a small bloody bruise. An inch or two lower and I could have gotten a nice eye injury. There are so many things that can go wrong hiking.

This tree was a Douglas Fir, a first for me from that species. My nemesis is Pacific Silver Fir. I've been whacked several times in the legs from Silver Firs. Just try and bend a healthy Silver Fir to break it. It's nearly impossible.

Webfoot
Posts: 1087
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Smacked by tree loaded by snow

Post by Webfoot » May 11th, 2019, 6:23 pm

Ouch! No, not yet, and after your warning I'll try to make it never. I was envisioning the amusing alternative of a tree dropping its snow on you when I read the title.

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Chip Down
Posts: 1574
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Smacked by tree loaded by snow

Post by Chip Down » May 12th, 2019, 10:37 am

I've seen it (here) called "the mousetrap effect". :lol:

Similar story: On the notorious Wauna-to-Wauna scramble/bushwhack, I tucked a branch behind another so I could squeeze through, and in doing so I mused "I'll have to be careful; if that branch comes loose it might whack me right in the..."

WHACK!

Hit me so hard, it bent my glasses.

johnspeth
Posts: 118
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: Smacked by tree loaded by snow

Post by johnspeth » May 15th, 2019, 5:48 am

The mousetrap effect is so appropriate here.

For sport, when I see a Pacific Silver Fir hunched over under snow, I'll give it a few pokes with my ski pole to see what happens. Usually nothing happens but sometimes I get a nice show of flying snow.

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CyrusK.
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Joined: November 27th, 2018, 8:28 pm

Re: Smacked by tree loaded by snow

Post by CyrusK. » May 24th, 2019, 1:26 pm

Happened to me up at Cooper Spur when we had that one massive powder dump this year. Big old white pine dropped all of its snow on me and a branch knocked my arm pretty hard on the way up. Knocked the ski pole out of my hand. Then again, not as bad as a friend of mine who was hit with a flying broken tree branch while skiing at Meadows on a storm day.
Cyrus "Ice" K.

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