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Thread: Worst snow-related accident

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    North of Chicago and North Shore of Lake Tahoe
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    208

    Worst snow-related accident

    This past saturday at Tyrol Basin in Mt. Horeb, WI, I was competing in a boardercross race and riding with a few friends after the race. We were riding the lift when a skier took off of the big air (25-30 footer, broke my board on it last season) with WAY too much speed. About the moment he realized that his landing was going to be nowhere near the landing ramp he did the "mid air freak out", tweaking his body in all directions. When he hit, probbably a vert drop of 15-20 ft at full speed, he somehow landed on his feet, but then proceeded to roll like a rag doll 3 or 4 times. When I went past him on the lift, some one was standing over him yelling for ski patrol while he was convulsing face down in the snow, his gear scatered at least 15 ft away from itself in full yard sale fashion, including several parts of his broken ski bindings. Within minuets ski patroll had him on Oxygen and surrounded by 10 people and 4 snowmobiles. 15 min later an ambulance was rolling up, 10 min after that the life-flight helicopter landed. after 20 min of working on the individual on the ground, the helicopter finally took off. The individual was not wearing a helmit, and ski patrol was canvasing the lift lines for witnesses that saw him land.

    What is the worst snow-related accident you have ever seen?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003
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    Portland.ME.USA
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    6,437

    concrete block: 1, skier: 0

    I saw a guy come over a lip and onto a steep icy section of the trail that I assume he didn't realize was there. He freaked, bailed, and did about a 50 yard ice slide (read: not slowing down) straight into the cement foundation of the lift tower, which was exposed due to the low base of the early season. He hit it side-on, bounced off, went completely limp, and slid the rest of the way down the steep. I never found out what happened to him, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it. Actually I'd be surprised if he did make it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Portland
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    74

    Someone killed

    A friend of a friend, she was standing on the side of the slope, a snowboarder crashed into her and she fell backwards into the trees and got impailed on a branch and died. Her husband was standing a ways up the slope and saw the whole thing. Complete total dumb luck, could happen a million times without an injury

  4. #4
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Newtown, Connecticut, and Vermont, USA
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    552

    Tuckerman Ravine

    Everything was frozen on this particular day. I didn't have the ice climbing gear to safely climb above the headwall, nor had I sharp enough edges on my skis, so I stayed on Lunch Rocks watching for the afternoon.

    The whole time I was there, I saw few skiers, and a LOT of snowboarders attempting to ski/ride. Now, and this is a generalization for that day and time, but it occurred to me that every snowboarder climbing up and riding down was in WAY over his/her head. No climbing gear, no big mountain experience, and definitely no recon before committing to a line.

    Every snowboarder made it to the bottom after a long and out of control slide (some falling over the headwall). One poor fellow successfully rode out of a chute only to lose it on the 'flats'. He slid out of control for about 100-200 feet before his head bounced off a bump on the ice, knocking him out. He would have tumbled over the rocks and into the creek leading to the Sherbern ski trail if not for a few people jumping on him to stop the slide.

    The few skiers I saw had all the proper climbing gear, and proper technique for dealing with the conditions. Not one of the skiers lost control.

    It was a scary day, with scary conditions if you were caught unprepared. Discretion was definitely the better part of valor that day.
    -TD
    exsisto teres

  5. #5
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
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    765
    Several years back at Telluride I watched a skier do the same thing while competing in a skiercross/boardercross. The skier launched off the jump with way too much speed, rotating in mid air and landing on the back of his neck/head.

    I believe he was airlifted to Grand Junction where he spent at least a month in the hospital and the last thing I heard he was paralyzed from the neck down.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2004
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    jersey
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    488
    Me and a group of friends where hiking a kicker off the side of a trail up at Mountain Creek (it was called Vernon Valley back then). it was real nice one launching you up around 15 20 foot in the air and way out. Well this guy hits it and pulls off a 360. Coming down at the end of the rotation the chick skier who none of us saw cuts across the trail and he lands on her back taking them both out. I dont know how but she gets up curses him out and then takes off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Pinckney, MI
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    289
    I was riding up a lift and this guy that had been making pretty good turns all day, that i would call basically GS style, caught an edge right next to a lift pole and veered right into it. It was the pole on of the lift i was on right in front of me. The sound of bones cracking like that, and the ding that the lift pole made, is something i never want to hear again. He hit it probably doing about 40 is my guess, and i never heard what came of it, but he was air lifted.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Toronto, ON
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    2,287
    Years ago at Mt. Tremblant, a friend of mine lost an edge and hit a tree - kind of hugged it. When I caught up to him, he was lying on his back, with a bloody nose and sunglasses snapped in half. He was conscious and laughing at himself when I saw that a dark spot was growing on his chest. My heart jumped into my throat as I unzipped his coat. Then I realized - it was his wineskin. It exploded.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2003
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    Upstate New Yawk
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    216
    I was riding the lift up at night when I heard a sickening sound, that without even looking, I was able to identify as a human body hitting something very hard. Sure enough, at the base of a telephone pole, laid a crumpled up skier. It seems he went off a natural jump on the side of the run but failed to see the pole in the shadows. That was many years ago but I can still hear that sound as if it were yesterday...not a pleasant experience.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    NY/NJ border, near Mountain Creek
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    261

    Whiteface -- on a blue square trail

    Looking uphill at an out of control newby (adult) skier bombing a run with his yo-yo friend. These two try to veer out of the way of a snowboarder, who was in plain view, but just loses more control and strikes the boarder at some 30 mph from behind. All I saw was the boader's body fly up into the air and do end-over-end flips. I caught a glimpse of the base in mid flip and it was one of my own: my 12 year old daughter's.

    A cat-scan and 2 days in the lake placid medical center and we were finally able to go home.

    sic

  11. #11
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    268
    The worst one I saw was out in Big Sky. We're headed up the Challenger Lift... this is the one that has dire warnings all over the entrance to the lift because there is nothing but expert terrain.

    I had gone to the peak of Big Sky and handled it (this is after learning to snowboard only a few weeks before!), but there was one run off this Challenger Lift, on your the right as you're coming up that lift, which was just too steep for me to attempt, even with the soft snow we'd gotten.

    Anyway, we're headed up the lift and some guy goes STRAIGHT down the frickin' thing! He must have easily been doing 60+ MPH. Falls in a cloud of snow. The ski patrol was working on him for a LONG time... no idea what happenned to him.

    I happenned to have my video camera going at the time, so I got a shot of it! It's 2:20 into this (this is 35MB huge, so probably not worth downloading just for this!):

    http://johnstewart.com/video/BigSky_YardSales.avi

    This video is all the crashes I got on video of our group during the week there. I'm the only boarder... but keep in mind I'd JUST learned to ride. =)


    Now *MY* worst crash was two weeks ago. I was having a breakthrough day, finally railing my toesides like I'd never done before.

    I was hauling ass on this wide hill at my absolute top speed. I got to the left as there was a woman with her brood in the middle of the hill (still plenty of room - really wide hill).

    Anyway, I didn't realize the groomed stuff dropped off on the left side into ungroomed powder. I saw it when it was too late to avoid. I tried to keep my weight back and ride it out, but my nose dove under and I think I slapped my face off the snow, then got tumbled around. Took a rock in the kidney (which still hurts). Blood everywhere from my face; looked like a dog exploded or something.

    I now am riding scared and it's pissing me off.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
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    283

    Dead...

    I didn't see the crash but I was there with my kids when they took the body away last year. A college stuent skier on a big jump very similar to your event.

    ***
    Skier dies at Snoqualmie Pass ski area

    The Associated Press

    February 21, 2004

    SNOQUALMIE PASS -- A 19-year-old man was fatally injured Friday afternoon while skiing at Summit Central ski area at this Cascade Mountain pass, a ski area spokesman said.
    The accident "occurred around a tabletop feature within ... our freestyle park," said Guy Lawrence, marketing director for the Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area.

    Ski patrol members were nearby and reached the young man "in less than a minute," Lawrence said. They administered CPR en route down the slope, but paramedics declared him dead less than an hour after the fall.

    The victim reportedly was from east of the Cascades, possibly a student at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Lawrence said.
    -she ain't revved 'til them rods is thrown...

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