Navigating Inevitability – What to do When Things Go Wrong – Part Deux

Posted by JD on April 2, 2013

Navigating Inevitability – What to do When Things Go Wrong – Part Deux

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can go wrong on the slopes. My comrade Emma wrote an instructive post on dealing with the unenviable but very important case of a ski injury - EmmaTips.   I am focusing on a couple of situations not nearly as serious, but worthy of some thought or a strategy to manage the situation.

The Ski Submarine:

It’s a blissfully snowy day, having a ball with friends and family blasting through some champagne powder.  Poof – white smoke everywhere - You bite the dust – no biggie it’s just powder. A stark reality then emerges – my ski is buried somewhere within 15 square yards of the LZ.

  • The first step might be prevention. Some prevention in the way of powder leashes is worth the nominal investment on those days where the powder has piled up.  Powder leashes are brightly-colored ribbons tucked into your boots and attached to your ski bindings and act as streamers for your skis that can lead you to the errant ski.
  • One you have shaken the fog off the first step of course is to check and determine that you are OK.
  • Next, look where you fell and the direction in which you fell for a starting point, all the while poking with your pole as you work your way back to the spot just above your fall.
  • If you are with family or friends, spread out and form a grid and begin posting with a ski or pole.  Be methodical while covering the reasonable amount of area within a reasonable time.
  • At some point you may have to call no mas and that is OK.
  • Flag down ski patrol or slowly walk down the hill and get ski patrol’s attention, give them all of your information and go get refitted in the meantime with a rental or demo.
  • You might be surprised at how often skis can be found within the time frame of your trip.  If not there is almost certainty that it will be found when the snow melts and can be returned to you.

The Relationship Widowmaker:

I have witnessed the most two compatible people on earth embark on a ski trip and have it end in a trail of tears.

The happy couple gets on the first lift, imagining the day ahead, suddenly the stronger skier leaps out of the chair, shoots 150 yards down the hill, and dusts the less accomplished soul mate in a snowy wake. The offender sheepishly offers: “It’s alright honey, you can do it, just make a few turns."

 Eruption! Vesuvius style cursing, invectives launched and now Ken and Barbie have imploded into a supernova of insults and recriminations. Avoid this nightmare at all costs.

  • Discuss how the day is going to start.
  • Be very honest with your partner about your abilities – if you are the star then start out easy and for Pete’s sake do not patronize your less-traveled partner but also do not take then to terrain they cannot handle.
  • If the difference is so stark -particularly if she/he is a beginner save your relationship get them in a lesson first and agree to meet after that lesson for some very causal cruising on the greens.
  • If they are intermediate, then swallow hard on your double black off piste lust for the good of the team and enjoy some time with your partner.
  • If you are already in the middle of a situation take a moment, cool down, gather yourself and your partner and slowly and methodically work your way down the hill.
  • Grab a cocktail because one of you is probably going to have some explaining or apologizing to do.

The Sub-Genre of the Relationship Widowmaker: The (Kids) Mid-Mountain Meltdown

 My fellow Snowmama Tania offers some very insightful points when the kids have had enough in the middle of the mountain - TaniaTips .


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Comment posted by Donna on April 2, 2013 2:06 PM MDT

These are some great tips!!! Love the ways to save the relationship. Hopefully people will remember these on their next ski trip.

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