Season over :(


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  1. #1

    Season over :(

    Went to Whistler on Friday December 27. Was cloudy on the way up from Vancouver so most of the spectacular scenery on the Sea-to-Sky highway was obscured. Took first run down a Upper Dave Murray which was used for the Men’s downhill in the 2010 Olympics. Was mostly ungroomed with big bumps which was a pleasant surprise and kept the crowds away. Next tried another black, Raven, which was groomed and not too challenging, something like Quantum Leap at Okemo. Then decided to check out the Harmony area. To get there from the Roundhouse, I had wanted to try blue square G.S. which is supposed to get relatively steep and bumpy at the bottom, but made the mistake of following the enormous ‘To Harmony’ signs which funneled you into crowded green cat track Marmot.

    Big lineup at the Harmony Chair but it moved pretty quickly. The lame Vail trail report listed only two runs open, both blue, Harmony Ridge along the ridgeline and Harmony Piste in the valley below. But on the way up, I was surprised and excited to see swarms of people heading down the numerous black diamond chutes between the two trails. Started down Harmony Ridge trail, and in the flat light I didn’t see a rut in the trail caused by numerous beginners cutting left to take green circle Pika’s Traverse back to the Roundhouse.

    Came to an immediate dead stop, ejected out of my skis, went flying through the air, and took the full force of the landing on my right shoulder. When I sat up my shoulder was killing me and I couldn’t raise my right arm. Uh-oh. Some kindly skiers stayed with me as we waited for the ski patrol. Medic eventually arrived and was convinced I had dislocated my shoulder. (I had not - turns out I broke off a chunk of the bulb on the top of my upper arm bone a.k.a. the humerus). So the medic spent several painful minutes trying to yank my “dislocated” shoulder back into place while I sucked down laughing gas from his large tank. Eventually he gave up and they strapped me into a sled for the “ride of shame” — had hoped to be able to ski down on my own, nobody wants to get carted off the field! It was a weird experience getting pulled behind a snowmobile that was going pretty fast and not being able to see where we were going, I could only look straight up at the sky. Was a pretty bumpy ride too. Eventually made it back to the Roundhouse, where they took me to the front of the line to download back down to the village. As I staggered into the gondola car, I managed to slam my broken arm into the door as it was closing - ouch.

    Once back in the village, the ski patrol put me in a shuttle van to the local clinic. They took some xrays and confirmed the fracture, and the doctor shook his head when I told him how the on-hill medic had tried to force the arm back into place. They also charged me 1500 bucks, I thought health care in Canada was free? Only for Canucks I guess. Doc also gave me a note asking the airline to upgrade my seats on my flights back East the next day. But being the holiday season, both flights were sold out, no upgrades available, so I was wedged in an economy seat all the way home with much bumping and jostling of the broken arm.

    Back in the states, they did a CT scan of the arm and the broken chunk is displaced to the point where they want to surgically repair it. So I am undergoing the knife tomorrow, wish me luck. My arm is feeling very slightly better and I adked the Doc on Friday if the surgery would send me back to square 1 and he said “more like square negative three” He also said recovery will take 4-6 months, so I am hoping to make my triumphant return at Killington on Memorial Day. At the very least, it’ll give me something to work towards during the physical therapy. But realistically my season is shot

    In conclusion,
    1) Have some fun on my behalf.
    2) Be careful out there, I usually have my worst wipe outs on easier runs where I am not respecting the mountain as I should.
    3) Any recommendations for goggles / lenses that are good in flat light ?
    4) Any advice on recovering from broken arm ? Everyone says to keep up with the physical therapy, but I don’t want to overdo it and set myself back.
    Last edited by urungus; Jan 13, 2020 at 9:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Hope your guardian angel watches over you tomorrow and you heal well and quickly.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Bethesda, MD; Rangeley, ME.
    So sorry to hear about his, and it sounds like you were put through an real ordeal of pain. I haven't done the arm, but thought I would chime in with sympathy and broken ankle rehab experience. Be very methodical with your rehab. You may after a long while get to a point where it feels much better and you can almost casually add substantially more "normal" activity. That's where I got set back a bit. Try to resist pushing things even if it feels like you are able to, and stick with an incremental program. Best of luck with the surgery and keep us posted.

  4. #4
    Sorry to hear this.

    I suffered the same kind of fall - hit a snow covered rock n the trees, double eject, landed squarely on my shoulder - in the trees last year. But I separated my shoulder. No fracture.

    My only advise is, do your PT...

    Best of luck.

  5. #5
    OY..just happened to a friend of mine in California..same exact thing. I've damaged both shoulders, dislocations. Sticking with the rehab is the key. Good luck..
    Frozen granular?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Lower Hudson Valley
    Sorry to hear that.

    For recovery, find a good PT and follow it religiously.

    As for flat light google, Iíve long ago gave up on seeing the snow. Itís not always possible. And now with cataract coming, I have no hope. Now I only want to make sure I see the trees. Iíve ski off lots of stuff , slowly though.

  7. #7
    I know what you are going through, I broke mine four years ago, luckily I didn't need surgery.
    Sorry to say but it's a long painful recovery.
    Best wishes.

  8. #8
    Hoping for a good recovery and you're back on the slopes in good shape.

    For low light lenses, you'll want something in the 55+% VLT (Visible Light Transmission) with spectrum filtration to enhance contrast. Here's a link to PRO-LENS, a replacement lens seller that does a good job of defining the VLT for most manufacturer's lenses.

    I've got GIRO goggles and have picked up (3) lenses to use in a range of conditions. The VIVID INFRARED (made by ZEISS) is great for flat light conditions. See if you can find something similar for your brand of goggles.

  9. #9
    Sorry to hear this. Hope things go well with the surgery and recovery!

    For flat light suggestions it is tricky. I've yet to find something I'm completely happy with and there's only so much you can do with that light situation. The best thing I've found for me so far has been a yellow lens (I use the Dragon Alliance goggles as I found I like their "Lumalens" lenses). Their "Flash Blue" lens is another that I use on lower light days. I usually have both with me and switch between them to see which works better that day. Everyone's eyes are a little different, so ultimately you need to try different ones until you find what works best for you.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by urungus View Post

    Medic eventually arrived and was convinced I had dislocated my shoulder. (I had not - turns out I broke off a chunk of the bulb on the top of my upper arm bone a.k.a. the humerus). So the medic spent several painful minutes trying to yank my “dislocated” shoulder back into place while I sucked down laughing gas from his large tank.
    Sorry to hear that. I did the same exact thing to my left humerus playing pickup hockey some years ago; I thought I had only separated it, so besides screaming in pain, I spent the first moments looking around for someone to help me pop it back in. Luckily I didn't really know anyone in that game and people just stared at me. Getting that injury prodded and yanked around would be no fun at all!

    Not-a-doctor-but-I-did-this-too experiences:
    If they cut through the muscle to set it and put a metal plate in, then it's going to be weird (and suck) not being able to lift your arm for a while. DO YOUR PT so you get strength and full range of motion back, or at least as much of it as you can. I have slightly less range now on my left, but I can do everything as I did before and no impingement issues.

    I did mine in the last week of January, and didn't have the surgery for a week and a half. I felt good enough about it to gingerly play soccer (and risk tumbling to the ground) by early summer, and was doing a few long triathlons (swimming!) by August. I'm careful with it but never worried when I ski. You'll be back.

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