Three Stars My "best" crash was after straightlinging Highlands bowl for the second time that day. I don't remember, but I was told that someone tried to traverse in front of me, and I had to turn to avoid them. Well I guess at that speed, thats easier said than done. I must have hit something, because I just couldn't keep it together. I was told I cartwheeled for several hundred yards. When I woke up, my helmet, jacket, long underwear top (one of them, I was wearing two, one was underneath a back protector, which is probably what kept it on) skis and poles were gone. Somehow my gloves stayed on though, figure that. Luckily, I didn't have any "realy" injuries, that is, anything that would cause permanat damage. Just a bad concusiion, and bruised a lot of the bones in one of my knees pretty badly. In about a month I was able to ski some groomers for the last couple weeks of the season, and in about two months I was back to normal. Mentally though, it screwed with me up until the end of the next season.
Five Stars My "worst" crash happened when I was skiing some trees at Snowmass. Even though I'm from Aspen, I don't know Snowmass all that well. Just the fact that its a bit farther away, the lift system is a pain, and the steeps are all short, makes it so that I haven't skied it enough to know every little nook and cranny.
Well I'm skiing these trees below hanging valley wall. I didn't duck a rope to get into them, just traversed a little bit, so I wasn't expecting to duck a rope to get out of them. Well the snow was great, nice smooth pow, and the trees weren't super tight, so I was opening it up a bit. When I could catch glimpes of the groomed run beyond, I figured I'd just be able to point it out through the trees, so I stopped trying to control my speed so much. I made one more gs turn around a few trees
, thinking the groomer would be right there. Well it was, but as soon as I came around the trees, I saw a rope strung up between them.
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! I tried to duck, but was just a little too slow. The rope caught me just under the very far left side of my jaw, and on my face, making a diagonal to my upper lip. Luckily, my helmet was not the kind with no protection over the ears. It wasn't a fullface (too bad) but that little piece over the ear, actually absorbed a lot of the impact. Anyways, it cracked my helmet, and knocked me out. When I woke up, I was completely in shock, and had no idea what was going on. Sine my snowboarder friend hadn't wanted to traverse into the trees, that was the one run that day that I was solo, too.
So I get up, and stumble around for a while. I remember a big red spot in the snow where my face had been lying. The force of the whiplash popped one of my skis off, and sent it about 50 yards away (across the hill, not down). So I stumble around for a while, not quite sure of where I was. There was a few little voices in my head. One was saying that I needed help, one was wondering where I should ski next, and one kept changing its mind, trying to figure out what kind of injury I had. One minute it was saying my cheek was cut all the way through, all the way back to the back of my mouth, then it was saying all my teeth were knocked out, then it was saying that my throat had been cut open. None of these voices really commanded my attention though. They all just seemed really far off.
Eventually, I found my other ski, and skied down to a nearby picnic table, and started cleaning my face off with snow. A family skied by, and gave me funny looks. No one asked if I was ok, but the idiot son did proclaim "HARDCORE BRAH!".
A little while later, a ski patroler skied by. I stood up, waving my arms wildly, and making strange sounds since I couldn't speak right. He made eye contact with me, made no effort to stop, and just kept skiing. I still wish I could punch that guy in the face. Its not like he was going fast and didn't get a good look at me either, he was doing about 5mph.
Somehow, that shocked me enough that I realized I needed to get help. I skied down to a restaurant, and headed for the bathrooms to clean myself up. Someone saw me and asked if I wanted the ski patrol to help me. I said that would be swell.
They should up and asked my what day of the week it was. I looked at my watch, and then gave them the wrong answer. They asked me what happened, and I wasn't able to give them a clear answer, just said I hurt myself. Well they got a call on their radio, so they told me I was fine and just to ski down. Sure.
I skied down, took the bus back home, and promptly went to sleep. Thankfully I was ok, but no thanks to the Snowmass Ski Patrol.
Most of the damage was actually inside my mouth. My gums were hamburger meat, as was the inside of my cheek. I couldn't eat for a few days, and only french fries for about a week after that. (couldn't even wrap my lips around a straw, so the blender diet was out). Ended up having to get two root canals, but the scar on my face is barely noticeable.