By Hilary Cholhan, AvR Co-founder
Crystal clear sky on a crisp February morning. Another great day of skiing in Utah ahead of us. Or, so we thought…
Skiing with my three boys, in tandems of two. Criss-crossing, weaving. Turns in sync. Stop. Wait for a wave to go by. Coast is clear. Like birds swooping down, we take off in twos. The first pair careens toward the bottom of the run. My turn to take off - short tight turns just inside the left tree line. Just as I get into a nice rhythm, out of nowhere, I spot a gray shadow with speed heading directly toward my path of descent. What to do?
Trees to my left. Skier to my right. Little choice.
We collided - helmets first. I was sent spiraling down the slope. I slammed my right shoulder into the packed powder, my left ski catching an edge and twisting my leg outward. All quiet.
Laying motionless for a few seconds with eyes still closed, I tried to get my bearings. Searing pain in my right shoulder – torn bicep; searing pain in my left knee – torn ACL. But, I was alive and conscious. Before I could even open my eyes, a calming voice asked me, “ski patrol?” It was my ski instructor son, Christian, who knows the resort well, knew exactly which run we were on, knew how to get a hold of ski patrol, and had a cell phone that worked. Finally, I opened my eyes. The first thing I see – the trunk of an evergreen tree a mere 2 feet away. That was a tremendously close call.
I was lucky that day. If it weren’t for my son’s know-how and immediate action, who knows how things would’ve ended with me laying in severe pain in the frigid snow. A most fortunate outcome to a close brush…