I initially bought a helmet because I was accompanying my young (at the time) daughter to her first summer race camp and the adult camp literature said I had to have one. Naturally, I discovered this info in late June and had to pay full retail for someone to go to their warehouse and find it behind the winter stuff. Also naturally, I got to the camp and was told that the literature only applied to the kids, not me. By that time, tho, I'd paid so much money for the thing I started wearing it the next winter. It was a full helmet and much warmer than the hat I'd been devoted to for years. That hat was kind of like a jacket for your head, not a knit thing. I always said I wore the helmet when it was cold because of the cold but that I would be tempted to take it off some nice spring day.
My accident occurred on a green trail. I had just stopped to scope out a small section of bumps that better skiers went through to kind of cut out a slow switchback in the trail. It was a fine spring afternoon, but the snow had just started to get grabby. Anyway, the next thing I knew I was being put on a back board. Two broken wrists (must have put my arms up to protect myself) and a coup-contrecoup injury to my head. Helmet has like a seam on the front with crazing in the finish where I hit something, possibly the tree with the string around it I see in my mind. (I'll have to go check for this tree sometime.) I could have been dead or (in my opinion) worse, a vegetable, for the rest of my life. THANK YOU BRIKO! I had sunglasses under goggles on as well. Sunglasses were smashed, goggles show gashes. Face was apparently a study in burgundy and navy for a while, no one would let me see.
Anyway, WEAR A HELMET NO MATTER WHAT TRAIL YOU ARE ON. I wasn't going fast, I think I just lost my balance, possibly due to grabby snow, at a critical point where the trail turned and couldn't recover in time. I don't remember anything, really, only that I had stopped about 15 feet above where it happened, so I couldn't have been going very fast.
Oh, yeah, that was my 73rd day out and I got in 1.8 million vertical feet last winter, so it wasn't like I was out of shape or something.