August 02, 2006

There but for the grace of god...

Another excellent day, until the accident.

We awoke to a little rain at hotel level; it had stopped by the time that some of us went for a quick run before stretching but started again once we were on the way to the mountain. Higher up we had snow, quite wet snow, but snow nevertheless. Visibility was variable, mostly non existent but sometimes clearing to allow you to see a whole run. The lack of visibility meant that we started the day quite cautiously, nobody knew the run we were warming up on so we took it reasonably slowly and followed the lift pylons down. Ivan suggested that we use the lack of visibility to feel our way and to allow our legs to just do it. I've tried this before, I actually quite like whiteouts for this reason, my problem from yesterday wasn't actually failing to adjust quickly enough to different conditions, it was thinking that I should be thinking about adjusting rather than just relexively doing it...

As the morning went on we started skiing on a slightly bumpy black run and surrounding off piste. The new snow made quite a difference, there wasn't a great amount but it refreshed the off piste nicely. We worked on absorbing with the legs so that our upper bodies stayed stable and level, pulling the legs up and pressing them down again to take into account the changing features... After several runs like this we went off piste for most of the rest of the day.

The day was hard work and excellent right up to the end of the last run of the day. We were skiing fast through trees following Ivan. I was second in line, behind Joe and Ivan. Not knowing the area I wanted to make sure that I kept Joe in sight so I could follow the route that Ivan was taking. We came out of the trees and I stopped quickly as I saw that there was a four foot drop down onto a flat narrow piste which cut through the trees. Joe had skied down the drop and was in the way, so I waited for him to move. Behind me and to my right other members of the group emerged from the trees; the drop further right was bigger, around ten foot... Then Ryan came out of the trees having not noticed the drop. He was quite far to my right and so took about a ten foot fall and landed badly...

After being carried down to the lift on Ivan's back and taken to the hospital we discovered that he'd broken his heel and that he needs an operation to pin it back together...

Dinner was subdued. Ryan was probably the best skier in our group; an ex Canadian regional racer, he's technically very good, skis very fast and has no fear, he would probably have breezed through the qualifications.


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Posted by Len at August 2, 2006 10:57 PM | Categories: Argentina 06 , Argentina 06 - Ski Days
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