Originally Posted by habacomike
I don't fall very often, but when I do, I tend to crash spectacularly. Two weeks ago, I scrapped a ski off at the top of Lulu at Breck, and slid the entire 45 degree bowl. I rag dolled the first bit and stabilized sliding on my back with one ski on above me. As I was clear of the big rocks on both sides of me, I chose not to attempt to self arrest as I was concerned about digging the tip or tail of the ski that was on and wrenching my knee. Once I came to a stop, I was fine, although it did shake my confidence a bit.
James, the log was off-piste. I was skiing a foot and a half of fresh down George's Slide at Breck. We came to the trees, and my buddy thought we should continue into the trees and my coach concurred. I will admit that I was not so sure about it as the slope tends to get a bit of sun, and given the low amount of snow this year, I was concerned that there might be stumps, logs, etc.
So, perhaps this was a case of poor judgement. I followed two others into the trees, picking a slightly different line to get untracked snow. As I rounded a tree, I saw the signs of a log, but it was too quick to avoid it. So, I guess I was skiing too fast for the conditions I had already anticipated.
When I hit the tree at Aspen, I was skiing slalom around the big trees on the Burn. I thought it was stupid, and decided to bail out between two of the trees
. The groomer had left a difference in the snow height, and when I hit it, I lost the left ski and the torsion torqued me into it at a high rate of speed.
The shoulder separation at Aspen was in hard snow -- I lost balance in a drill on a green run under the chair. The second separation was in transition snow -- it became kinda manky at the bottom where the snow was that crunchy/slush stuff. I have no idea what happened -- I was having a good run in steep terrain and next thing I knew I was rag dolling down the slope.
One common theme in these falls is that I'm falling downhill. I don't think I have too much of a problem anymore of hugging the hill (well, most times) or skiing in the back seat. I do think I am an advanced skier.
Perhaps I should chalk it up to bad luck. Perhaps I should consider resetting my goals. Perhaps I should decide to ski more cautiously.
Naw, I guess I should quit moping. Time to go to the gym.
Well, skiing with you at Big Sky I did not notice you going for unnecessary risks. I know your skiing has advanced significantly from '07. That was usually soft snow though.
I don't see this as a gym strengthening issue. The highlighted sections indicate your statements that you thought something might be wrong. Cultivating listening to that feeling would be a good thing.
I certainly know what you mean about the Big Burn skiing between the trees. (For those who haven't skied there it's an enormously wide trail with some trees in places, sometimes alone or in clusters.) At first that area and other wide trails, even though I'd skied there years before, totally freaked me out just from the scale of the place. I actually had to ski near trees to feel more comfortable and gauge speed. I did do some slaloming, but decided a similar thing, it wasn't a good idea. By the last day I was slaloming in and out of them but it's definitely a risk. If you haven't scoped things out first, you can encounter surprises as happened.
In general, there may be a perception issue. Only you can make that call really. Improving on that area? Forcing yourself to look way downhill, and look at what's coming. Racing gates would certainly help. Now, there again you could certainly get hurt! Things happen.
Examine what you think about before starting a run. (btw, Johnny Mosely spent time with a Sports Psychologist on this before Nagano) If you're noticing that all you're thinking about is something's wrong, then maybe attempt something else. There again is a line between actually having a perception that something's wrong and getting caught in a spiral of creating something's wrong. How to tell the difference?
Sports which have reaction time in them might help with perception. Tennis, raquetball, squash, volleyball, mt. biking (injury city there), martial arts. I'm pretty sure that weights and treadmills and stationary bikes won't help with the issue.
Some is just bad luck. I got real lucky this year at Aspen Highlands when I got launched into the woods at pretty high speed. It was an instantaneous launching and I'm skiing the "third edge" - the bottom, in the air. Not much I could do about it. I'm heading to the woods fast and there are no soft branches facing out, just trunks. Somehow my tails I think dug into the soft snow pushed down by groomers. One ski hit the tree, came off and left a mark. I fully expected in the air that it was going to be real bad. Nothing happened at all. Then there was the unintended air at Big Sky last year. I don't know how I got out of that one either.
The sliding thing at Breck - hey you pulled out of it. Your skiing in steep terrain and fall, that happens. I had a double eject too on Hanging Valley at Snowmass. (It was really dumb, then I had no skis on) Only way to be sure it doesn't happen is not to ski there. If you lump that example in with the injuries then everything will start to get seen in a negative light. Lack of commitment can cause things to happen too.
The thing is you have to have confidence when you go out there and not think "I'm unlucky". Having that thought will push things were you don't want to go. If you don't have the confidence at the time, scale back and build it up again.Edited by Tog - 2/16/10 at 7:45pm