I just got back from skiing Summit County and Vail/BC last week, I'll do a TR later, but this is about pounding my helmet and skull into the ground twice within 20 minutes.
The last day of my trip starts as the coolest temps of the week slipped into the Vail valley. We had heard that the cover at BC was the best around so we arrived at 11AM. I had a tune-up the night before, so I'm ready for firmer conditions. It had been in the 50s the day before and then down to 26.
So I head to the lift and notice the ice in the corral as in head in. So I pull up and stop on the right side. That's when it happened. My buddy blows by me and hooks the tail of my left ski (189 obSETHeds) and instantly cranks my leg and hip inward, so I quickly begin to fall backward when my heel releases (I'm set at 9.5) and finishes launching me towards the frozen tundra, lower-back first with my head in pursuit. BLAM!!!
That smartzed!!! The small of my back was my first concern. Then I realized my head bounced beautifully in the Variant Brim Helmet. The BC liftees saw the whole thing and rushed over to me. I spent about 30 seconds doing a damage accessment. The sting goes away, but I know the lower-back will probably stiffen in a couple of days.
My bud and I exchanged a few words, kissed and made up. HACK!
If that wasn't enough, when we got to the top we headed over to some blue cruiser, the name is unknown to me. Well about the 5th or 6th turn and maybe going 30 mph, my left ski pops off and I drop onto my face, hyperextend my uphill knee. Yep, the classic racer crash.
Several skiers and riders, they must have seen me go down, stop and lend a hand. The visor of the Brim is returned to me. My emergency whistle as well. Someone notices a couple of drops of blood and a scrape on my nose. After several minutes of acccessing my knee, I ski the rest of the morning wondering about my Markers.....and the true condition of my knee.
As it turns out the bindings and my knee appear to be okay. Still haven't needed the knife in almost 40 years of skiing. YEAH!
This really is about the Smith Variant though. I've had several concussions in competitive sports from HS through to my skiing days, and this helmet saved me from two concussions in 20 minutes. It has been 32 years since I've had a skiing concussion, though I don't think a helmet would have helped in that mogul field crash.
I have checked the helmet and this is what I've found. The first fall onto the back right lower skull left a dent on the exterior shell, but the foam seems intact. The front of the helmet from the second fall loosened the visor to the point where I will need a new one, though it can be worn without it. The front foam appears to be intact as well. I should check my Smith goggles more thoroughly, but they never even came off....I didn't notice if the lens had cracked. My guess is it isn't. Good seamless fit between the helmet and goggles had to help my chances.
Funny thing about me and helmets, I usually wear them only when it is sunny. This is probably about to change, though I did wear it 6 of 7 days. The only day being the first afternoon at Coppper.....my first turns of the season.
Have a great summer!