I hope the thread title got everyone's attention.
We all know that falling or crashing is in integral part of the skiing experience. For some, its a regular occurrence, with falls happening many times during a run. For others, it is a rare thing, only happening a few times in an entire season. I have a theory about falling while skiing though. Every skier has what I like to call a "carnage quota" every season. For those lower level skiers who fall often, they make tiny steps toward their carnage quota with every fall. It's just a little stumble or a little tumble. Sit down on your hip, maybe slide a foot or two, and repeat. Bit by bit, little fall by little fall, they make their carnage quota for the season.
More proficient skiers, however, don't fall often. But we still have our carnage quota to meet. That means that when we DO fall, the fall is massive. It's spectacular. It is something that belongs in a Warren Miller film. Skis are flying, arms and legs are flailing, there's tomahawking and clouds of snow. So my question to everyone is, what's the biggest crash YOU have had? Do you remember it, or did someone have to tell you about it?
I've got two. First one, I'm taking a warm up run on my way to work one morning, and I decide to duck into a short patch of woods to scout it for my class. I know, don't go alone... my first mistake. I come to the top of an icefall, which is about 12-15 feet high, and has a couple turns you make on your way down it. Done it tons of times, no problem. So I make the first 3ish foot drop, and hit the landing. I go to turn my skis, and they catch on a little nub of a branch that's poking an inch or so out of the snow. My skis stop, my body keeps going. I pitch over, high side, and go head first down the rest of the icefall. The bottom of the fall, I know there's a cluster of trees, and this is going to be a serious ouch moment. So i curl my body up, protect the head, and get myself going butt first. And then.. BAM. My butt runs squarely into a 2 inch wide stump, and all my energy gets absorbed. I stop, and lay there like a turtle for about 30 seconds, and then pull myself up. Dear lord, my butt is sore. I manage to work the day, but when I get home, I check the mirror, and my entire butt cheek is black and blue. Ouch.
Second, one of my students' moms had been talking about taking a certain woods run that she had never done, but I take the kids on all the time (Kitchen Wall at Stowe). So she sees us at the top of the gondi, and I say we're going to do the Wall if she wants to tag along. She says sure. So now I have to show this parent I really know my stuff (because tips). We go out on the traverse, and drop into our customary run. I decide to take the entry hotter than I usually do, but nothing crazy. I come around a big rock, and think "woah, this is a little fast, speed check time!" I go to do a little speed check... on the one patch of ice there is. My skis go out, and I'm suddenly on my hip going downhill. I go ski bases first into a very nice, very big birch, and just feel my left lower leg saying to me "oh no you don't!" So now I'm laying there thinking I'm in trouble... and my students start to zip past me! I still don't have my breath back to be like "Hey stop!" And of course, the mom comes around the corner and finds me in the fetal position... i guess sympathy gets tips too, right? I managed to crawl my way back to my feet, and skied out the rest of the afternoon, but my left shin/calf was sore for the next month. And I had to live with the embarrassment of this mom asking me every time I saw her if my leg was okay. Oops.