So I'm still recovering from my ill-advised hike over to North Bowl at Squaw on the 4th. My rib still hurts like hell but I'm getting the staples out on Monday. Woo hoo!
After some time to reflect on the incident, I've concluded I'd probably do it again, but next time I'm going to make that first turn. The GoPro video was pretty clear - that second turn was simply incompetent. I overthought where I was and, instead of just diving in and getting it on I traversed too much in an attempt to establish a good start. As I result I did just the opposite.
That was one of a few falls where I was actually relieved for the first couple of seconds after I stopped sliding. I hit those rocks so hard I heard a crunch (that must've been my rib). Since it was back-first, I was seriously worried I might have had a major injury.
I'll heal. Here's my Facebook post with all the details. Written on July 4, 2017:
So I had a vision for today that didn't quite pan out. A few laps on Shirley, where the lift line was sure to be long and the scene sure to be entertaining. Then we planned to hike into North Bowl to round the day (and the season) out. Pretty much the best way to send 2016/2017 into the record books.
The first part of the plan went off without a hitch. Dave K, Lynn Lucas, Larry Bonham and I enjoyed the Shirley Lake freak show that was just a couple of square inches of clothing from being, shall we say, not family friendly. Soft snow, big ego bumps, and long lift lines that gave us plenty of time to enjoy the people watching.
At about 1:30 we started our hike up to North Bowl, which is a steep expert run that demanded about 45 minutes of high-altitude hiking to reach. Dave, wisely, opted out and took a few hike-free runs more on the beaten path. The 3 of us got there, clipped in, and started our descent. I chose a narrower chute while Lynn and Larry opted for a more open pitch.
About 3 turns in, my skis hung up a bit in the soft snow. I ended up scooting too far right, lost my footing, and took a high speed slide. I tried to self arrest but ended up bouncing off the rocks, twice, before I stopped. I'll admit, I was scared shitless.
I stood up knowing I was racked up but not knowing how bad so I took a couple of minutes to assess. Head OK, hands and feet still moving, good news. Left calf hurt like hell, ribs hurt like hell, lots of blood on the snow. Not so good.
I skied down and, after getting assessed by patrol (God bless those guys), I went to the clinic at the base. 15 staples for the worst of the back lacerations, 5 more in my elbow, and an ambulance ride to Tahoe Forest for a CAT scan to see if I had damaged my kidneys or spleen. Negative on both counts. Amazingly, nothing broken. Had I taken that fall without a helmet it would have been a different outcome. I'll probably need a new helmet.
Back at the cabin now, trying to find the position that doesn't make me wince.