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Bad trip to ATTACRASH

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So here we are sitting at home after what was to be a super 10 days of slopeside skiing at Attitash /Bear Peak and several other NH venues with our extended family .

We were given an all expense paid slopeside deal by our adult children as a 40th Anniversary present .I have been skiing for yrs and ski it all except moguls no problemo but my wife is a relative newby. But she has great XC experience and we both are physically active and in super athletic shape .

WE skied for 2.5 hrs ,she on the gentler stuff but within her ability and i'm playing in the steeps . She's doing just fine . We stop for lunch and she decides to take a "perfect turn lesson "there b cuz its part of the deal ,

Well they start them skiing "really" slow doing observations etc and u guessed it-- she ends up it crossing tips while doing some drill . I mean the woman was skiing fine on her own for 2.5 hrs doing turns that were fine .

She Breaks her ankle in 2 places requires immediate surgery in North Conway. All the time the Attitash instructors are like gee i dont know what happened , we never saw anyone with a break that didnt have any pain yada yada yada . She was telling them her pain was a 3out of 10

Then they stall the ski doo and can't get her off the hill for a while . Don't get me wrong they were NICE people BUT frankly the mgt of the situation and the matching of student's need to the instructor's drill/practice was less than optimal in my opinion. I'm concerned about professionalism here :

Maybe i'm just on a rant . I know accidents happen and luckily she came thru surgery just fine. It was not a great experience . I just hope it didnt' destroy her desire to ski in the future !

I feel very guilty because i suggested the skiing adventure -i'm sure she would have preferred a beach in the islands somewhere --I'm bummed out about causing her pain
post #2 of 15
I hope your wife is feeling better.

You can't really criticize a ski school without stating specifics like what drill she was doing? Lessons involve drills and for good reasons.

If you say they took her down a double black bump run then you have a case.

It definately sucks to have a loved one get hurt but people do break stuff while skiing.
post #3 of 15
Freak accidents do happen. I've saw an instructor with 20 yrs experience break an ankle taking lessuirely run down trail the instructor was down 1000 times before.

Don't beat yourself up, $hit happens.
post #4 of 15
Well, to give a good lesson some evaluation needs to be done and let's face it...... most people, even those that consider themselves intermediate to advanced, need to backtrack and do some drills to reinforce some good technique.

The bigger question to me is, how did your wife manage to break her ankle so badly at slow speed? I've torqued my ankle plenty of times in my ski boot, but never seriously. Without my boot it felt like my ankle would have just exploded. I've rarely heard of someone actually breaking their ankle, especilly in a presumably low speed, low impact situation. I guess my point is that if your boot is properly fit and secured, the chances of breaking your ankle, or even spraining it, should be greatly reduced.

Always feel free to rant, but as you will later realize this had nothing to do with the lesson, that snowmobiles sometimes just won't start when you want them to, and that sometimes stuff just happens. Hope your wife has a speedy recovery, and you get in some turns anyway and then spoil her with kindness.
post #5 of 15
Definitly agree, I learned to ski at attitash, Its my favorite. in fact, I was there yesterday (thursday) and watched patrol taking a sled off the mountain, they seemed to be ok, got the person down and off on the snowmobile, but I was surprised they werent taking off right away... I wonder if that was your wife.

I had skied pretty hard all morning and was taking a gatorade break, and sitting on the deck in the sun...when I saw them and they had someone all bundled up and lying there in the sled, I was thinking "poor thing, man. that sucks..." but then I thought it must not have been too serious, they didn't seem to be going anywhere fast....

It was absolutely beautiful, my favorite trails were in fantastic condition (ptarmagains, spillway...) and despite being close to fifty degrees, everything seemed to be holding up, (except for the Flying yankee loading area, that got bare fast. they kept shoveling but it just kept melting.)

But anyway, attitash is my favorite. I haven't taken a lesson in years (as my SO is the Greatest Teacher Ever.) but I did learn there. I remember Doug and Merve mostly, I usually requested them when I was learning. I have a coupon that came with my season pass for a lesson, I should take one....

First time I have heard "AttiCrash" thouhg. its usually "Attitrash" but I cant ssee why. I like it. alot. Its steeper than alot of hills around here. Give it another chance.
post #6 of 15
First off I hope she makes a speedy recovery and gets back on the hill.

But, what drill was she doing and why do you believe it was inappropriate?
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input > obviously i am upset by the experience.

I too am baffled about the break especially at relatively slow speed and given the fact that she has power strapped 4 buckle boots . It just doesn't make sense . Maybe the boot was too loose .But thats baffling too becuz they are somewhat diifficult to put on and i have adjusted all the micro adjustments on the buckes to better fit her need

But hey its possible the boot was a problem ??

She skis our local mtn 1300 ft vert , on green and lower level blue trails with linked turns top to bottom non stop --- i've skied with her .

She needed help in learning how to let them run just a bit faster by learning how to relax, yet smoothly stop (read this hockey stop) rather than employing the snowplow or stem to stop.

Her XC experience was getting in the way . Sometimes i had to prompt her not to throw her shoulder into the turn and we often practiced proper balance , stance , hand positions , turning technique etc at our local hill .

But she would sometimes revert to XC technique. .But i can assure you she has come down from the top on trails within her ability admittedly the area she normally skis is aa EGO builder

They had this" follow me down drill ". at relatively slow speed , "ski 100 yds I'll show you how to carve " get them on edge drill according to what she tells me . She by the way is not aware of this post and is not blaming the instructor and frankly i'm not saying he is to blame just not matching instruction to student need .

Linda this happened on the 15th and the ATTACRASH name came from the North Conway hospital staff . That day afternoon alone 4 others were brought in from there or Wildcat , three were experts

I actually liked the summit triple trails as well as those off the Flying Yankee quad but i seriously doubt she'll ever want to go there again . I just hope that SHE decides to continue skiing but only time will tell.

Thanks for listening to my guilt
post #8 of 15
"Attacrash" term is old news....lotsa crossing trails, many crossing midway point of steep terrain which is often groomed and buffed inviting those to ski trails rated double blacks who shouldn't even think about it.....Ptarmigan and Tightrope come to mind....

Sorry about your wife....what a nightmare....my wife hates Attitash, scares the heck out of her and she is a pretty solid intermediate....we stay across the street at the Villager and drive 1/2 hour to Bretton Woods or King Pine or Cranmore...I can't get her near the place....or Wildcat....unfortunately.

I like Wildcat a lot and I like Attitash too....oh well, I can get my turns in anywhere and be happy as long as my girls are smiling too.....

LindaA is merv still there?...that kiwi is my former ski school director...he is a classic!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
hrstrat57 : You are right on target ! Wish to hell i'd have taken her to BW or Cranmore . The trails at Attitash while fine for me are a nitemare for newby's or those who like to cruise the greens and blues at moderate pace without having to worry about getting T-boned.

She's coming along nicely on her crutches getting up and down stairs betrween floors with no problem . her conditioning will help bu tman she's gonna get ANTSY being cooped up

I just hope i can get out again this season -it jusyt too damned early for golf and I NEED more days in the White sandbox
post #10 of 15

Don't get me wrong Attitash is no way steep...those trails are way over rated as double blacks....however they invite intermediates to tackle em with the buffed conditions plus as folks are tip toeing on the crossing trail they look and say "hey that's not so bad, I can tell my buddies back at the shop in RI I ski'd Ptarmigan"...then those folks hit the lower crossing trail and are skidding to survive in the back seat often at 40 MPH plus.....as I recall Ptarmigan is crossed three times by easy blues.

If you know how to and where to be cautious it is a really nice hill....and I love Tightrope. You just gotta be ready to hit the brakes effectively 3/4 of the way down....no big deal. It just is a bad set up for the unaware. Haven't been there in a couple of years...maybe they put up some more signage....I dunno...

My mrs had one close call...and she doesn't wanna hear it....so I go smile somewhere else.

I played golf twice last week....and ski'd today at wa wa....

what a wacky winter.....:

You'll get out there, just do it.
post #11 of 15
LindaA is merv still there?...that kiwi is my former ski school director...he is a classic!
Yea, he is. I saw him last week, went to say hello but he was with a student, and I didn't want to interrupt. He was my very first instructor, he basically taught me how to ski. I kept requesting him afterwards. I always think of him after making a stupid move or skiing badly, saying (with his kiwi accent..) "Disaaaahhstrous." Like,
"How was that, Merve?"

Yea, I love ptarmagans and tightrope, but you are right about the trail crossings. That trail that crosses it goes over to the learning area and it can be pretty hairy. but I get on it, instead of doing lower ptarmagains and head over to spillway...I love the big wide Competition Slope, I feel good on it and confident, its my "go fast" trail.

Except for this weekend, for whatever reason there were many groups of kids on it. I think the learning area must have been full or maybe really thin cover.

Bear peak is a little better but they don't seem to like to groom it as much as attitash. every time I go over there Its all messy. I like illusion there, and the "wandering skis" trail is a nice blue....
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by LindaA
Yea, he is. I saw him last week, went to say hello but he was with a student, and I didn't want to interrupt. He was my very first instructor, he basically taught me how to ski. I kept requesting him afterwards. I always think of him after making a stupid move or skiing badly, saying (with his kiwi accent..) "Disaaaahhstrous." Like,
"How was that, Merve?"
that's very cool...

My memories of Merv are many, mostly I recall him skiing down Obsession at Sunday River during our annual ski school trip on K2 TNc 207's(he's not a big guy) with teal lange x9's and no hat and the patented leather bomber jacket with the pin on the front....going about 50MPH almost all the time....

This guy's story would make a great ski movie script no lie, if you could get him to tell it...

Might be the best pure "ski instructor" I ever knew....including full certs and examiners....he really connects with people...from the smallest tyke to the oldest folks. Quite amazing really....can't think of a more perfect place for him than North Conway. All the best Merv!
post #13 of 15
I remember standing on one impossibly steep run (or so I thought at the time) and him saying "I wouldn't take yew up heea if I didn't think yew could do it"

that is another saying that stuck...I am always saying that to myself (In a kiwi accent no less) when I face some hairy terrain.

back then (this has to be eight or so years ago. I learned to ski at 28 and I am now...well, never mind.) his name tag read "Swerv." Never did get the story behind that one, though....
post #14 of 15
Ankle breaks are actually quite common in skiing. Especially if a boot does not fit right. My Brother in law just broke his ankle a couple of weeks ago from landing awkward after hitting a jump. Landing into powder. His foot stayed right in place, but from his ankle up twisted in his boot from the way he crashed. That awkward twist snapped his ankle and put some minor tears in a couple tendons as well. He is a very good skier too.
Good "expert" aggressive skiers are usually the ones getting the injuries. It comes with the sport. You have to be pretty damn lucky to never get a injury in the sport of skiing. The better you get the harder you fall!
post #15 of 15
ooouuucch. That sounded especially painful...im cringing. something about ankle breaks....(shudder.)

Warp Daddy how is the wife doing?
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