After some skiing that I was super proud of earlier in the season came a blue run I’m not so proud of…
Georgie and I had another day off together as did a few friends. We all fancied a easy day, nothing adventurous, just a fun day out. The snow was naff, the wind was being windy but the sun was shining! Jumping in the car we set off for Contamine, a ski resort down the valley and up past St Gervais. Fabled for great pistes and easy access beautiful ski tours it was the perfect place for a relaxed day out. The off piste was crusty and cruddy so we decided to blast around the rather empty and lovely pistes. It was getting on for lunch time, the legs were telling us this as well. We were on the way up on a lift and noticed that someone had constructed a very very silly shaped snowman! So being childish boys we quested out to find it….I’m not sure why…. probably to kick it over or what ever childish boys do. We were the only people on the piste, the girls had taken a parallel, probably more direct, adjacent piste to lunch so could still see us in our quest.
The next thing I really remember was hitting the floor back first. Somehow in all the vastness of a quiet piste we had ended up having a high speed cuddle and were now sliding ski less down the piste. Coming to a stop I knew I had hit the floor hard. The girls said they had looked over, firstly giggling that the silly boys had managed to crash with no one else about but then were a little more concerned that neither of us had gotten up! After sliding head first backwards down the piste I was very unsure what had happened or how many pieces I was in…. I ran a quick systems check: wobble the fingers, they work, arms, toes, ankles and knees….they work, no pain….thats good I thought. I was a little dizzy from hitting my head, thankfully I always wear a helmet. I balled up and rolled over onto my knees…wow, THAT took my breath away…..shouldn’t have balled up….well, I’m here now I thought to myself. I was keen to check that Roeland was in one piece, I shouted up and although he was still down he said he was OK. Relieved, I stayed in my kneeling balled up stance clutching my lower back on the right side. The girls made their way over to us. I slowly got myself up. It hurt but I thought I would be able to ski it off. I was pretty annoyed too, I’d managed to rip a hole in the elbow of my lovely new Arc’teryx jacket! Clicking boots back in to skis brought sharp stabbing pains, very gingerly I skied down to the lift and got on. Getting more and more uncomfortable on the way up I realised that I couldn’t actually lift my leg up from the pegs….manually lifting it with my hands I flopped off the lift at the top letting out the manliest of yelps….it was home time… The wind had gotten up and the middle bubble lift had closed…it was going to be a slow painful ski down…The car journey home and the rest that evening were the two single most painful experiences of my life. The power of Codeine helped me through to the morning. We never found the snowman.
An X-ray and CT scan later revealed two broken Transverse Process bones, one on L3 and one on L4 vertebrae on the right side, a herniated disk and break of L5 and another little bit of damage to S1… apparently the herniated disk and L5 break were from having too much fun on some other adventure at some other time… its amazing what you find when you have pictures of your insides!
The following months were dull and painful. The gang at the Clinique du Sport in Chamonix have been working their magic hands fixing me up.
The forced down time allowed me to go outside on little, lift and car assisted adventures with my Camera so it hasn’t all been wasted time!