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Best Place to ski for Green trails While Knee still healing??

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Would appreciate any suggestions. I am pretty new to sking but love it. I tore my ACL and meniscus in March of this year at Snowshoe, WV I have continued with physical therapy and come along way. I also have a brace and would like to go again this year and would like to know opinions where I could take it easy but have smooth easy sking. Also have two teens who like snowboarding. So far I have only done Eastern sking at Gatlinberg, and Sugar Mountain in NC and Snowshoe Thanks in advance
post #2 of 19
Vail. Long, consistent cruisers. Also, Deer Valley.

Sugarbush, Mt. Snow, VT, or Elk MT, PA if you want to stay east.

Be careful.
post #3 of 19
How bad was the tear and how strong was your leg?

If you are not back to at least 75-80% leg strength I would not ski on it.

I skied last year on a bad knee with less then a year post-op but my leg was strong before the injury, before surgery, and after surgery.
post #4 of 19
Sounds like you're in the Mid Atlantic area, so 7 Springs would work. Lots of long, easy green trails and tons of terrain to keep the boarding teens happy.
post #5 of 19
Originally Posted by Taylormatt
Sounds like you're in the Mid Atlantic area, so 7 Springs would work. Lots of long, easy green trails and tons of terrain to keep the boarding teens happy.
I'll second Matt's suggestion of SS for plenty of open, easy terrain.

The danger there is not the terrain, it's avoiding all the happy teen boarders.:
post #6 of 19
gotta disagree with xdog. as a beginner, vail's greens were mostly cat-tracks that i found.

i'd put breckenridge for easy greens and blues from 10 mile station and longer from the beaver creek superchair.
loveland is also easy with greens, but is just a ski area.

also, our ski club skied beaver creek last year; and i skied with a girl coming back from knee problems and there was a lot of trails she felt ok skiing.
post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by skicougar
gotta disagree with xdog. as a beginner, vail's greens were mostly cat-tracks that i found.
I agree that there are alot of green cat tracks at Vail, but there are plenty of green slopes as well. Beaver Creek also has some nice beginner terrain.
post #8 of 19
I found lots of nice greens at Vail, I had my green goblin wife with me.

Tin Pants
Born Free

But perhaps Breck would fit the bill better.
post #9 of 19
Breck has some nice long greens on Peak 9. There are also some very gentle blues that would probably work.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Many thanks to all who posted suggestions ... Scalce ...I tore the ACL completely into and tore some of the meniscus. I decided to try the physical therapy without surgery and I am physically as strong as I was when I had the accident. However I still have discomfort in the knee. It aches especially after a good long walk. I live in Fl and most of my exercise lately has involved putting up hurricane shutters and taking them down. I believe my knee felt better when I was doing the leg exercises three times a week. I have heard of people sking with no ACL and even heard that some ski team even made it a point to ski without the ACL. I do not know if this is fact or fiction. I am in TN and NC usually over the Dec. holidays so the mid atlantic area is easier to get to but will investgate all the suggestions. I am new to this forum and want to say thanks again for all the suggestions!
post #11 of 19
you can ski with a damaged acl, you need the proper brace and you should be skiing with the correct technique. I will look, but there is a brace built specifically for this. Beaver creek and Deer do have some very nice greens and wide blues that would be lot of fun for the whole family. Just keep in mind that Deer prohibits snowboarding.
post #12 of 19
This recuperative thing is a real hard issue to deal with. Additional damage might be an ugly situation, so I am going to reccomend that you choose your ski area with some consideration for how crowded it might be. ..My biggest problem with green slopes, is they are covered with potential hazards that are all wearing skis and snowboards!

Think hard about skiing midweek if you choose a popular ski area. Weekends are almost always more crowded, and groups bring out a lot of 'beginner' skiers just to be with the group, that are far more dangerous than the terrain at the resorts.

Another thought might revolve around the snow quality. I have two bad knees from injuries sustained many years ago, and find that heavier and wetter snow makes them ache much faster. ...Same thing with deep powder.

There are many places with good beginner slopes and moderate light snowfall you might choose from. Any of the higher small ski areas in Colorado should fit the bill; like Loveland or Monarch. Since you are a low lander like myself, I am going to also reccomend the skiing around Banff. Being much farther north, the skiing you do around 7500 ft. is in the same alpine zones you would find around 11000 ft in Colorado or Utah. ..ie, the light consistent snow is found in abundance in areas where there is plenty of beginner terrain. ...I have also noticed that the average Canadian skier is a better skier than the average American skier you might find on green runs in the US.

Good Luck!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. Of the suggestions does anyone know which places may have lodging where my wife can look out a window, balcony or such and watch the boys go down ther slope. ( for at least part of the time ) As she does not ski this certainly makes the trip more enjoyable for her. 7springs during the week is closer but I have also been wanting to take the boys to Eastern Canada for a little cultural experience. Not sure if anyone knows how St Anne or Tremblant stack up for smooth easy greens and lodging with a view to a green slope? Ski mag rates Bretton Woods very good for snow and grooming. Guess I am all over the map in this post but thanks for any information. Also from reading the post I was not sure if cat tracks?are good or bad in terms of what I am looking for? I am guessing this is good as this is what you get in a well groomed area? right? thanks!! Also I would like more lessons so I am not working myself ( and knees) needlessly. During my last lesson it was a real eye opener to experience the turning control with just a little pressure the the big toe.
post #14 of 19
I agree with SkiCougar on this one.Breck has an over abundance of green/blue trails that are easily accessable.

I really think that skiing on greens and blues, flat terrain, is harder on sore knees than steeper slopes. I would stick to blues at least.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lars I will try a blue trail and compare the feel to a green. I will also investigate Breckenridge and see how the lodging is set up near the trails mentioned. We had a nice room with balcony at snowshoe WV overlooking a green area with fireplace that was a end of the season deal last March. We even had great snow after my injury but it was very icy before.
post #16 of 19
Ah, those knees…

Sam, I also tore my right ACL (partial tear on the MRI pics but it feels a little more than that) and maybe a little bit of my meniscus in Feb. 2003. I love skiing as everyone here and found it very difficult to let it go. I too optioned to a non-surgical alternative but I must tell you that you knee will never feel the same and let me tell you why…

The ACL is a very important ligament especially if you like playing sports; its main job is of course knee stabilization, keeping the femur from sliding forward over the tibia. With diligent therapy and tons of isometric exercises you can come back but not 100% no matter what people are telling you. Your hamstrings if strong enough, will make up for the lack of your ACL, but not 100%. Each time you force your knee to do something more than just a simple walk, there’s going to be an aberrant inner knee movement which many times translates into ‘knee giving out”. Over time, your body will compensate this but over time the damage can be really extensive and difficult to fix thus ultimately, the only way reamains… the knife. Be true to yourself and don’t push yourself, skiing if you’re not ready.

I, too, stuck for a while with green runs at the beginning more out of fear than anything else. I felt as if I was learning how to ski all over again. Gradually, I tackled more interesting terrain but I no longer do certain things such as jumping, cliffs, stuff like that. Maybe a bump or two once in a while on a good day but nothing crazy. I always stay in control and never speed up beyond the point where a fall can really hurt me. I fell quite a few times but I was in control the whole time. Also, I set my DIN settings down a notch just to make sure the skis come off in the event of a yard sale. And, this is important, I don’t favor one leg over the other; it’s a bad habit and can lead to poor technique especially if you just started skiing a season or two ago.

Now, about the brace… Many were against it but I’ve always skied after my accident wearing one. It keeps warm and I think there’s a psychological element involved which give you a little bit more confidence. It’ll hurt like hell at times so some anti-inflammatory pain killers will do the trick. But the most important benefit of all is that you, my friend, are going to be a walking barometer; an asset if you ask me, especially since you live down in Florida You will be amazed how well you’ll able to tell the 10 day weather forecast.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Euclide Much appreciation for your thoughts and insights and I will say you have cut right through to where I am at. I am a middle age newbie who lives in Florida and just loves to be on the slope, or even on the ski lift watching the snow come down, through the trees and even through the lights at night. For me standing up and managing to get down a gentle slope has been an acomplishment. I have had two indoor lessons at Bill Jackson in Clearwater, private lessons in Gatlenberg, TN and last year when it came a snow storm in NC I made an immediate beeline to Sugar Mountain and had a great time. Guess I am rambling a little. In short I am not as experienced or profecient as you are and you hit the nail on the head.. I am afraid... and I am talking greens, slopes, where, when, (is a cat track good or bad) all this stuff cause I am afraid of hurting the knee further, losing what I have come to like, and fearful of surgery as well. I do not need to tear this knee up any further. I want to learn more how to ski with minimal effort and I am going to read your post over and over a few times cause I believe there is a message in there that may wind up sinking in my head called : surgery. Thanks again.
post #18 of 19
Sam, surgery is not a bad thing, it's just that it will take a little time to heal and you'll have to postpone a ski season until the graft heals up.

There’re a couple of nice folks around here (i.e. Scalce) who actually have had surgery done, some of them on both knees, and they’re feeling fine. They can add in their experiences before and after surgery. We’ve had some very interesting posts here regarding knee injuries which as you probably see are very much a reality among skiers.

I understand the fear for surgery; I work in the field of medicine and I’m still a little standoffish in regards to going under the knife but your body will let you know nevertheless when it’s time for it. The reason why I postponed mine was more because I could not find the time off necessary for the post-op recoup but I know without a doubt that very soon I will have to do it.

There’s also an age factor; the older you are the slower the convalescence time. I would check with a good Orthopedic Surgeon before making any decisions and remember to consult more than one. There’re different surgical approaches; if you need more info on this PM me. If the ACL is totally gone then surgery is the only thing that’s going to fix that knee. In my case, even for a partial tear, they still advised that surgery was necessary. (I had three medical opinions and two opted for surgery).

Just be careful that when you feel tired, and you knee is telling you “to call it the day” to not push it any further regardless how much skiing you’ve done for the day. I would definitely continue to take lessons! You’ll find people who have been skiing for years and years and who still take lesson to further brush up on their technique. Good instructors are the angels of this sport; they channel your enthusiasm by using the right technique and in the end, when you make that turn safe and perfect, the feeling is too great to put in words.

If you have any q’s please PM me. As far as which slope has more gentle greens; I guess each resort has a specific area (at least most do) where beginners like to hang around. If you don’t ski using a proper technique from the beginning even a green run can hurt you.

Good luck!
post #19 of 19
Samm: I don't know what other sports you do but if you are middle age as you say and your ACL is totally gone, have it fixed! I had ACL reconstruction 3 years ago and wished I would have done it sooner. It was uncomfortable for awhile but I was back skiing the year following the surgery with no problems. The unfortunate thing is that because I waited so long and skied without the ACL, I ended up tearing the menisci which was not able to be repaired. The lack of menisci may lead to arthritis which may lead to further problems down the road. Surgery is not for everyone but if you love to ski, I would certainly look into it.
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