Posted by: Double-Dee | March 7, 2009

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated…..

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I have been experiencing a bit of the bummer life as of late.  Many of you know I try my best to avoid the bummer life, but  sometimes it just comes up and sucker punches your ass.   Last week Mount Hood was getting blanketed in a bit of  the white.  They received upwards of 50″ in the matter of a few days.  Being a voracious pinhead, I could not resist the allure of deep pow and turns on the big hill-  I made a point to ski as many days as possible before heading back to Cali.  The first few days were good- and then Sean, Colleen and I made the mistake of going over to Flatline to ski for free at the Vitamin water day-  Don’t get me wrong-  the snow was great, there was plenty of fun to be had-  but it was flat.  The 3 of us longed for the deep AND steep so we made plans to head up to Meadows the next day.  Those plans were foiled and we agreed upon a Sunday assault.  We awoke to weather that was less than ideal rain in the lowlands with mixed precipe at 4k feet and snow above that 4k foot mark.  We got to the hill and I was filled with hesitation.  I went out and checked the snow in the parking lot and it was wet-  really wet.  I believe my exact words were  “this shit’s an ankle breaker”

Undetered Colleen starting suiting up.  She was going to take a run and come back and report.  It looked like it was snowing further up the hill – the trees were holding snow and wisps of snow were coming off the peaks to the left  on the drive in , a good sign for good snow at higher elevations.  I was in.  We hopped the lift and were off.  It was shit at lower levels but the higher we climbed the better the skiing and the snow.  After a few runs we decided to hop into Heather’s Canyon-  a Double Black , experts only playground that is super fun to ski.  The snow was fantastic.  On our Fourth approach into twilight bowl the clouds were moving in and the top of the bowl was obscured-  they were starting to close Heather’s at the upper gates-  We decided to go for it and head left at the base of the bowl into the lowlands-  a decision that would prove to be a very, very bad idea.

I dropped in first and ripped the 1K foot bowl to the basin and headed for the tree line.  As I came up on the gut it looked really, really nasty through the center so I shot off toward the tree line on skier’s left.  As I came over the top of the knoll the snow turned to paste.  I was already deep in a turn heading to the right when my left ski tip caught in the mank –  unsettled by the twitch-  my weight shifted just enough to allow the left ski to arc-  sending me into a cartwheel.  It was at this moment that everything went into slow motion-  as I tumble I watch in horror as my left ski tip makes contact with a mogul and my leg keeps turning until …”SNAP!!” followed by a my own screams of  “oh, FUCK!” 

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(note this photo was NOT taken on the day of the crash)

Laying in a heep I know I am hurt bad.  Colleen ski’s over the top of the point to see me lying on the ground swearing my brains out- “dude, are you alright?”  

“NO!  I just broke my leg”  I try to yell convincingly.

“dude? for real” she asks, my pain probably sounding more smart ass than ungodly. 

 “shit, dude”  I assure that it is best for her to go get help and leave me.  We are way out in Heather’s canyon and they were closing the upper bowls behind us as we went in.  I am not in an easy place for an extraction- by any  means.  Collen takes off down the hill to get patrol.  Shortly after she leaves another guy named Dave comes across me with his daughter.   He asks if I am OK and I explain my siutation.  He sends his daughter to the top of the knoll to watch for ski patrol as I try to stand- and fail- with screams of  bloody murder.  He waits with me until the first patroller arrives.  He is 30 meters away and we can see him but he cannot hear my cries for help.  It is the most painful few minutes I have ever had.  Knowing that help is there but he cannot see or hear me.  It sends a strange sensation through me.   The other Dave lets out an amazing whistle that causes the patroller to look in our direction and he skis toward us.  Help has arrived but I must wait for more help. 

A few minutes later 2 more patrollers and Colleen arrive.  One of the patrollers crashes in the same spot as me and makes a coment on the shittiness of the snow.  The 3 patrollers load me into a sled and start the extraction.  It is not easy.  The Gut is completely skiied out.  It is a near vertical shoot through the trees. It is narrow and hela steep.  I watch as they lower me over each of the 3 foot drop offs-  greg the patroller controlling the rope behind me-  biting his lip and using every ounce of stregth and every millimeter of ski edge to keep me from sliding mach 9 down the hill taking out the other patrollers.  It is impressive to watch.  It is a slow process,  I am in pain and freezing, but  within a short time we make it to the canyon runout.  

Heather’s canyon runout is basically a XC Ski trail that is several Kilometers long, luckily another patroller with a Ski Doo is there waiting for us.  They hook my sled and a patroller to the back of the snowmobile and we take off to the HRM parking lot.  When we reach the parking lot they load me, still in the sled, into a GMC SUV and drive me another 3 miles (or so) to the Mount Hood Meadows base lodge ER (yup, a full functioning ER on the Mountain)

I am xrayed and told that I have broken my Fibula and more than likely torn all of the ligaments in my ankle.  Awesome!  They splint me and stuff me into the car.  I will need a surgical consult and- more probable than not-  surgery!  SO…. the rest of the story is pretty boring.  I went for a follow up,  I have had email consults with Max Testa and Eric Heiden thanks to Katheryn- like to break collar bones- Mattis.  I have gotten rockstar treatment from Colleen for which I must take her to Chuck E. Cheese.  I have a bunch of shiny new hardwear in my leg and the boys over at Bicycle Outfitter (Dave, Ryan and Billy) are helping out with my team duties while I am still looped out on drugs. 

I hope to get back to work soon.  Here are a few pics from the last few days of surgical hilarity

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Colleen showing me the correct way to play a spine….

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Fibulas spiral fuckin brokenus and ankle ligamentus  totalley fuckticus 

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Insurance that the correct ankle is fixed- they even trimmed my toe nails for me after-  that’s service!

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Insurance that my glasses are not lost- they even taped in my ear tackle!  they are good!

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Drugged and Ready to get screwed!! and plated!! and… more drugs!!!

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Thanks to everyone who has helped me this past week

  • Colleen
  • Mount Hood Meadows Ski Patrol
  • Burns
  • Chelsie and Tim
  • Max Testa
  • Eric Heiden
  • Dr. Freiss
  • OHSU
  • MHM ER
  • Dave Prion
  • Ryan Bontrager
  • Billy Innes
  • Celeste and BCBS
  • The Girls

Thanks.

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Responses

  1. Dude, as usual, you went foolishly over the top. All I had to do to get a script for Percased was to get strep throat. You probably got more and better drugs, but I think that my pill for pain ratio certainly tops yours by a good bit.

  2. dude…

  3. What’s up with the titanium hardware? Should have dropped the bucks and gone with carbon fiber.

  4. You and Guzzy should compare xrays- almost identical- 8 weeks on leash?

  5. Dude, Dave, you got yourself good and proper fucked sir. Take it easy and get better.


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