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It still works...(or how to correctly finish a left turn!)

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I have been curious how it would feel to ski again after the break I incurred back on Nov 11th. I’m happy to announce it feels GREAT!

Well, I didn’t realize it would happen so soon, but it has. At just barely a week short of 8 months since I began an ill-fated left turn at Copper Mtn with Weems, Cgeib, Mike M, Fastman, Bong, et al…. I finally finished that turn!

The opportunity came a couple weeks ago when I was asked to join some friends for a week skiing in Argentina. As the same trip last summer had been scuttled by the arrival of hurricane Katrina in Miami the very day we were supposed to connect through there, I was keen to go. After asking my doctor what his opinion might be, he gave me the all clear to ski, with the caveat of using common sense about what snow and terrain I would choose to challenge myself with. (not like I have ever been accused of using common sense before)

I am currently in Las Lenas, enjoying a fantastic week of unbelievable snow and weather. Though yesterday started out with 75mph winds, fog, and wet snow, it has changed to blue skies, 14” of new snow last night, and no wind! The entire mtn is open, and the skiing is out of this world!!! (Pics to follow!!!)

Because the limited terrain open yesterday, it forced me to remain on gentle terrain for the entire day, riding POMA’s. That gave me the chance to really test the leg in a controlled environment. But today I really gave it a workout! 14” of pow all over the mtn, a guide to cut us through the liftlines, and we were set. But I must admit- we started skiing at shortly after 9am, did not stop for lunch, and at about 3pm, my leg had had enough…. No pain, just fatigue. After a substantial period in the hot tub, some great wine with dinner ( I highly recommend the Argentinian wines!) it’s about time to hit the sack.

Tomorrow morning, I’m supposed to meet the director of skiing, the guide supervisor, and a couple of Argentinian instrs who work at Beaver Creek at 8am, to get out for some first tracks before the public is allowed out on the hill. I’ll try to remember to use that common sense thing I was told about……

Please don’t be jealous about me skiing…remember- I lost all of last season!

More trip reports to follow, along with pics….

Regards, Ric
post #2 of 30

Enjoy!!! Glad to hear all is well. Have fun!!

post #3 of 30
That's great news, Ric!

Whadya say, Nov. 11th, 2007, Copper Mtn; we all get together for a do-over!
post #4 of 30

Good to see ya last week!

Glad the trip went off this time and you are catching up on some turns
post #5 of 30
Congratulations VSP! The snow missed you.
post #6 of 30
Great news, Rick!
Braunholtz, Fuxi and Gunnar had better watch out next season...
Have a great time in Las Lenas!
post #7 of 30
Good on ya! Great to see you last week. Have a great time out there. Three more months and we can try Ptarmigan again!
post #8 of 30
I can almost hear the snow rejoice from the return of your caress!
Welcome "home" Ric!
post #9 of 30
Awesome news to hear!
post #10 of 30
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
I can almost hear the snow rejoice from the return of your caress!
Welcome "home" Ric!
Why would the snow rejoice from the return of his carcass. I mean Vail ski instructors are next to God in the pecking order, but they slay snow. I'm sure, the Argentine powder is busy giving Ric face shots in retaliation for this abuse.
post #11 of 30
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Why would the snow rejoice from the return of his carcass. I mean Vail ski instructors are next to God in the pecking order, but they slay snow. I'm sure, the Argentine powder is busy giving Ric face shots in retaliation for this abuse.
I'm trying to remember a joke I heard about this......
What is the difference between a Vail Ski Instructor and God?
post #12 of 30

Glad to see that you are back on your skis and making up some of that lost time.
post #13 of 30
Great news, Ric. Now watch out for those left turns and do use some common sense, as hard as that might be.

(Springhill Crazie)
post #14 of 30
Congratulations on a triumphant return.
post #15 of 30
Man, Ric! What a way to come back. Have the time of your life.
post #16 of 30
Originally Posted by Rick
That's great news, Ric!

Whadya say, Nov. 11th, 2007, Copper Mtn; we all get together for a do-over!
Now, there's a great idea!

...in the meantime, VSP, enjoy. And post those pics!
post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 

The latest news.....

Well, it has been snowing so hard here, the local ISP has been on and off line more than a detachable quad!

The snowcat ride was uneventful, but skiing the Eduardo Chutes with Pedro was outstanding! Mid-thigh deep powder, pitches approaching 45-50 degrees, and narrow... Guess that was as good a test of the leg as I could imagine! And yes... it DOES still remember how to work!

Yesterday was stormy, windy, snowy, and mostly zero vis. So only the very lowest lfts were open. Vis came and went, mostly went... Skiing by Braille, at it's finest!

Last night, we had about 60cm of fresh powder fall here at the hotel, with well over a Metre being reported at the top... I just hope we will be able to get a chance to ski it again before we leave on Friday afternoon. Right now it is SO windy, that only a few lower POMA's are open. The avie guns have been firing non-stop since about 5am... It sounds like downtown Beirut!

I'm heading out in about 15 minutes to just fool around, get a little exercise, and some fresh air. Got to clear my head from all the wine we've been drinking every night! It is still snowing rather heavily, but it's tough to tell whetther it's blowing or falling.

If the ISP is still up when I get in, I'll attempt to write more details of all that this place has to offer.... Check out the "Las Lenas is going OFF" thread in the trip report forum....

Talk to you in awhile!

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 


By the way- Pics will have to wait until I get home to the states... I forgot the cables I need to transfer the pics from camera to computer. But I do have some shots which will blow some minds!!!!

post #19 of 30
Louie and I are roasting to death in the Outer Banks and REALLY glad to hear you're having a blast!
post #20 of 30

Good News!

Hi Ric.
Good to hear that the leg is responsding so well and that the snow in Aregentina is so great. Wish you could send some to Oz where we are having a very lean year. Look forward to seeing the pics when you get back to the States.
Best from Helen and I.
post #21 of 30
Great news, Ric! After a frustrating year, you can reap the rewards in Style. Rip em up!
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
The wind has continued to be the greatest issue around here. But it has subsided significantly this morning, and they are opening a few of the lower chairs and pomas. It started snowing again at about 5am, and is dumping fairly heavily right now.

Yesterday, I spent almost 5 hrs going round and round on a poma which was about 200 yds long, servicing about 100 feet of vertical.... Probably the hardest vertical I have ever gotten! All of it, 20 turns at a time! lol!

Vis has increased to about 300-400 yds, and it is averaging about 25 degrees F.

Will be heading out in about 5 minutes, to see what the wind either brought, or tookk away in the past 36 hrs. We might be skiing on 12" of Chile, judging by the direction of the wind yesterday.

I have really been testing the leg, doing drills and anything else I can think of to stress it, to determine what it's limitations are. So far, I'm happy to say that only the heavy impacts seem to give it any distress. But since the snow has been so soft, I haven't endured many of those.
Quitting the slopes at about 5pm each day and heading to the hot tub for a soak and a couple of beers seems to be exactly what it needs! For each morning, it feels just fine! I can sure tell that it's not quite 100%, but I'm alot further along than I thought I was. Endurance is still a concern, so I'm going to have to step up the bike program when I get home!

Flexibility doesn't seem to be affected much, and overall strength seems to be getting back to where it was. Just this week, since I realize the coming season holds promise, I have really begun to trust it more and more.

But just like any rehab, the last 10-15% is the hardest to regain. Guess I'm going to have to get really serious about September and October!

I hope everybody is having an active and healthy summer, and as much fun as I'm having- I'm looking forward to getting back into shorts again!
post #23 of 30
We'll have to share a toast to healing next time we meet!
post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 

Well, the trip is over....

I returned home to Denver about noon yesterday, and since have been sleeping, doing huge amounts of laundry, and paying bills. The leg did well with some fatigue, but no real aching. It is rather stiff this morning, but I attribute that more to sitting on planes for 17 hrs during a 24 hr period, not the skiing. But most importantly is the confidence it has given me that I will have a decent level of performance and comfort this coming season, until they remove the hardware in the spring.

The last couple of days we were there were windy, foggy, snowy, with limited lifts operating. Plan on skiing everyday, regardless of the weather, or you might find yourself skiing very little during your visit. And certainly take advantage of any day the sun is out, or the wind is not blowing. They are gifts!

As we drove away from Las Lenas, it was still snowing and the wind was picking up. Deja Vu! Overall, during our visit (7 days), we got about 3-4 feet at the base, and a reported 10 feet plus at the top. So anybody who is lucky enough to be there when Marte's reopens is going to be in for some incredibly SICK skiing! The snow pack seemed to be fairly stable, as the blasting (both howitzer and hand charges) seemed to encourage little movement.

I hear that mid-Sept is when the winds subside, and the snow begins turning to corn. So if anyone is planning a trip, consider that.

There are several different options for accom in Las Lenas, but almost all of it is hotels. The only difference is what standard of hotel you want.

The Piscis is arguably the upper tier (just over $300 per night, including all meals (very GOOD food, excellent service) and lift tix), with what the locals believe also has the best restaurant in the village. It also has a small casino on the ground floor, a secondary restaurant specializing in Italian food, a small workout area, (treadmill, a few dumbells, etc), and a small ski shop. But I caution you- take what you need! Ski gear, goggles, etc are quite expensive there, and should you damage your skis, they are very limited in the nature of what repairs can be effected. And as I stated earlier- bring fat skis! I would suggest you bring 2 pair--- an all-mtn ski (70+), and a full fat (95+).

The other hotels all are of a reasonable standard, and are priced accordingly. I believe they also include meals and lift tix.

Probably the most difficult part of the whole deal is getting from BA to Las Lenas (about 600 miles). There are very limited flights from BA to Malague, followed by a +/- 1 hr van ride to the ski area. The primary flight is called a "charter", but it seems to run on a regular schedule, albeit once a week. If you miss it, you might be stuck catching a bus for a 12 hr ride. Another option, if you are traveling with a fair number of people, or can gather a group together, is to charter your own aircraft to Malague. It runs about $6000 each way, but can carry 16-18 passengers plus all the gear. It is a little more expensive than the charter, but it keeps you from missing a couple of days of an expensive vacation. One note- bring really good earplugs or noise cancelling headsets! Once you are in Malague, engaging a van to get you up the hill is pretty easy!

I would also suggest making an allowance for staying in BA either a couple of days when you arrive, or when departing. It has excellent restaurants, phenomenal shopping, and some very cool cultural sites. To go all that way and not spend a little time in BA is to short change your trip!

I will attempt to put up a few pics later today, or ASAP. I promise, this place is unbelievable!
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 

And thanks go to.....

I would like to offer belated thanks to some of the people who really helped me during the initial and long term recovery from my accident.

Cgieb, who was right with me when it happened, and had to listen to me swear like a sailor when they pulled my boot off (I'm glad I don't remember that!).

KLKaye, who helped me communicate with the drs when my mind wasn't very clear... (is it ever?)

Tsavo (Katie), Tom Burch, Bong, and the others who came to offer their support while in the Copper Clinic and the VVMC.

And of course, all of you who offered your best wishes during this process!

I made turns for all of you this past week!

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

Finally... what you've all been waiting for....

Here are a few of the pics from last week in Las Lenas....

Living proof that my left leg works!!!

The snow was just .......UNBELIEVABLE!

More pics in the Las Lenas is going OFF thread in trip reports.....
post #27 of 30
Hi Ric- great to hear you are back on skis! It sounds like your runs at Las Lenas were a bit better than mine today at St Mary's Glacier- you certainly deserved it after this past season behind the desk. I look forward to some injury-free turns with you soon!
post #28 of 30
Good for you!! looking forward to turns with you this season!!

God doesn't think he's a Vail Ski Instructor!

post #29 of 30
Ric--Glad to see you're feeling good and back on the slopes!!
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Sorry- my cipherin' was all wrong... It was just short of 9 (nine) months..... This new math still confuses me!
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