Originally Posted by Sitzmark
As a ski instructor, I used to love to take fast skiing "hot shots" down the narrow steeps and ask them stay behind me and follow in my tracks. It's amazing how many of these "experts" were unable to control their speed and actually "ski" the runs rather than just surviving them.
In my 20's, I was one of those "hot shots". I loved the andrenaline rush I got from bombing the mountain. Then, one day, I hit a tree at about 40 mph. I left my spleen in Steamboat Springs - along with the ulna of my left elbow. I almost died, and it took years to partially recover.
Nowdays, I still ski fast on occasion, but only to the extent I have control.
At Mt. Baker, our local hill, the population is about 80% snowboarders; possibly the highest percentage in the US due to the deep, heavy snow and 3 local colleges - yielding many novices.
The biggest issue at Baker is that waaaay too many of these young boarders shred at speeds beyond their capability. In doing so, they threaten themselves and everyone around them (including other boarders). Getting down a run sometimes feels like dodging mortor shells.
Skiers can be just as reckless, as I've demonstrated.
To avoid loss of body parts, it helps to recognize that bodies break and trees are harder. Getting badly hurt reeeeeally sucks!
I'll never stop paying for that moment of speed-induced bravado!