As forcefully and suddenly as the season began for me, it ended the same way. I have the good fortune of being part of a reasonably tough and knowledgable group of friends. So when I tackled a spruce going 110 kilometers an hour and felt my tibia explode against that sturdy wood, my situation could have been worse. We were skiing Montana bowl; a popular slack-country spot just off RMR’s South Bowl. The sun has been shining for a few hours, and it’s a bluebird powder day. I am skiing strong, making high speed, wide radius turns through the trees. My friend goes down in front of me, and I try to dump speed by slashing a pillow next to a tree. I didn’t count on the sun making the snow especially thick in that spot. Instead of making a turn and slowing down I carve directly into the tree I was trying to avoid, first point of contact with the trunk is my right shin. Bam. I could feel my bone moving in ways it shouldn’t and knew I was not about to self evacuate this time, so I sent my friend off to get cell reception and lead rescue my way. Luckily, Revelstoke Mountain Resort Ski Patrol were fast on their feet and managed to get a team to me in under an hour; which is miraculous considering where I was: an un-named gully, off piste, with no cell reception and no phone anyway. The Patrol that showed up were friends of mine and they did an incredible job, I felt less pain in their hands than I had trying to self- rescue. A toboggan ride, snow-cat ride, ambulance ride, hospital, another ambulance, and another hospital, I am getting a metal plate and 2 screws drilled into my leg. My season is over, but I am grateful my situation is not much worse, as it easily could have been, to the Patrols, Paramedics, Doctors, Surgeons, and friends that had me on the road to recovery as fast as humanly possible. So though I am off the slopes for the year, you will still be able to find me in airports setting off the metal detectors, and blocking the coffee shop aisle ways with my crutches.
Ski Good or Eat Wood.