Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The accident

Nice and warm all wrapped up for the ride down
Two weeks ago we had a run of some of best powder days of the season. Coming late in the season we just kept having storms sit over us and it just snowed and snowed and snowed. So I thought I would end the season with a bang! With perfect timing of the storm allowing me to ride everyday, with some evening shifts at work or complete days off, I was having the time of my life. We were riding hard, pushing our abilities and really throwing down. Videographic evidence to come, once we are done editing our seasons worth of GoPro filming. At this point in the season of 70 plus days riding we knew where the good spots were to make the most of this fresh snow. This being a good thing as at our resort, Beaver Creek with skier and rider numbers in the thousands. When there is fresh snow, about an hour later its gone.

That morning and the mornings prior we had been running the lines of our lives. A 20 foot cliff was intimidating, but after days of building up to it, all I had to do was point my board for it and it was done. I headed back that route on the day of the incident and after two runs, my friend claimed he was too hung over to drop cliffs today so suggested we head to the safety and serenity of the trees. So we headed to my newly discovered tree run accessed only by a backcounty gate, meaning we were leaving the boundaries of the ski field. But with the most tree-mendous rewards. This snow was bottomless, feet upon feet stacked up in tight to moderately spaced Spruce trees. These were the turns of the season. With a fantastic filming opportunity, I followed tight behind Phil who had the camera pointed back upon himself, hoping to get me trailing behind. I did follow close for about half the run, until I came to a dramatic halt. At decent speed a simple toe turn following in Phil's trail sent me tumbling, luckily hitting a tight gap between two trees a bit too tight for my board to fit causing a rather strenuous belt and tug to my leg and ankle. I rolled myself upright to some deep grunts and breaths, knowing immediately it didn't feel good.

Ski patroller did well to get me down the black diamonds in the sled
Now, unfortunately separated from my riding buddies I gathered myself and attempted to put weight on my right leg. It didn't really like me doing that, so the problem now was that I was halfway down a very steep and long run deep in the trees in the back country. So still strapped into my board I bum-slid for a while. I decided to call my friends and let them know whats up and take a second to try to warm myself up. I continued to bum slide but ended up falling into a tree well, a deep pocket of powder around the base of a tree. Unstrapped and climbed out and continued to crawl or where it was steep enough I bodyslid on my board. After about 25 minutes, I made it to the gully track which leads back to a main run. I sat on the board and bobsledded out of the gully. I crawled up to the side of the main run and sat there waiting for my friends to rendezvous and work out a plan. Luckily, after only a few minutes I spotted a ski patroller and called him over. He promptly radioed for a sled to come collect me. My friends finally caught me back up and promptly got out the GoPro camera to record my rescue.
Getting dropped of at the medical centre
I got some immediate treatment at the Beaver Creek Medical Centre and was given some cruches and a boot to stabilise my ankle. The prognosis was that I had a spiral fracture of my right fibula. I have seen an orthopedic doctor and the recovery should be reasonably speedy with no surgery needed. Two weeks on now I can put weight one the foot and move about without the cruthes, but I still use them most of the time. 

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