Sprag: I laughed, I cried, I almost spilled beer reading this account. ( well, at the very least I had a good chuckle at your skull's expense)
And now for a confession:
Last season, at my (very small) local hill at which I happen to be on staff, some fellow instructors and I got bored with our steepest hill's normal assortment of unskiable buried Volkswagens. So to liven things up, we found a nice little mound at the edge of the mogul field and formed a good clear approach to it. Things were going well for a couple of days with some of the more daring skiers popping out into the air for a nice fifty foot drop with plenty of hang time for tricks, then skiing away cleanly. The whole thing from approach to end of the ski out was about 150 feet vertical, the middle third in the air.
Then the weather changed. A warm spell really softened things up and thinned the crowds down a bit for a couple of days during the week, so management closed the run - partly to preserve snowpack on this south facing trail, but mostly to not have to pay lift-ops to come in and work with nearly no one on this run.
Then I, the great snow sculptor that I am,
: decided to "modify" the kicker just a bit. Easily done what with soft snow and all. Of course, how negligent it would be not to test it out, and since I knew I could get back to a running lift with minimal hiking, I did... several times.
I was growing more satisfied with the air time and comfortable with the approach so I decided one more go should be good, then I would leave it to freeze up again. when I returned to the top for my last test jump, a half a dozen kids around 12-14 yrs old were watching and asked where I was landing ( At the top the launch was visible but not the landing.) So I directed them to a spot on an adjacent trail where they could witness the master in his finest huck of the day
In that fateful takeoff, I skated hard at the start, checked not one bit of speed and stayed in a Les Arc speed record tuck til I hit the lip....Sailed a beautiful 70 foot drop onto.... Quadricep-deep slush
It seems I veered a few degrees left of and well below the normal landing zone, and now found myself in unsteerable slush at really high speed with skiis submarining below the surface and DIVERGING - Not good!!
Now I'm no olympic power lifter but with 60+ days on snow by that point in the season, I figured I had the legs to overcome this bad predicament, so I tuffed it out for a few more seconds ( probably a mere fraction, but who's counting -- Oh that's right: the audience of budding new-schoolers I sent around to observe and learn, along with two patrollers and several other baffled innocent bystanders)
Finally, I decided that without the Herminator's legs, there was just no graceful exit. And, with a snow fence and (closed) lifthouse sneaking up on me, I bailed. Now I figured that my whole self plowing into deep slush would grind me to a halt and end this embarrassing landing because physics were on my side....WRONG!
Just as I bailed, both skiis released while my body discovered a swath of very hardpacked snow (read: frictionless) made by groomers going to and fro most of the season.
I shot across and right square into a 5x5 post and snapped it off clean. (yes I keep it in my shed, as a powerful reminder)
when I finally unpacked my face, goggles, glove, coat, bootcuffs, waistline of pants, and turtleneck of all that snow and slush, I spit out the blood from biting my tongue and proceeded to locate stuff: hat was nearby, other glove about 15 feet away, one pole underneath me in two parts, the other about 30 feet downhill, one ski was found about 80 feet away while the other was actually lodged in a chairlift seat 10 feet up. I then realised how big the audience really was and the depth to which my pride had been injured
I also figured out that the patrollers were watching from an angle which hid the post from their view with a spruce tree, so they likely assumed that I had a normal yard sale and was "luckily" caught by the stretchy orange fence. They skiid on.
The kids higher up saw the whole thing though and were high-fiving each other and trading "Holy Sh%t's" and "Dude that was awesomes's" while i limped back to the lift.
Turns out that two weeks later a doctor confirmed that I had broken my arm on the end of the tibia, and fracturd the lower part of the humorous, and cracked a rib.
The moral of the story:
There is no moral other than Don't be as F***ing STUPID as I was!!!
----> Slush is not a snow condition, It's a hazard. (So is Pride). [img]smile.gif[/img]
Ski safe and Don't show off (unless you have good Medical insurance).