Another Sugarbush report – with fun and injury!

This weekend I met up with some AZ folk at Sugarbush. The snow conditions all weekend were amazing. Snow on Saturday, partly sunny on Sunday, a little bit (okay a lot) of wind on Saturday. Even got to ski a little bit of powder on Saturday, a rarity for me at Cannon.

Saturday highlights: got to meet some cool AZ people and do some skiing with them (Scotty, sorry we didn't get to ski together). I think I made a few runs off of every chair on both parts of the mountains, with Castlerock probably being my favorite. Middle Earth is just a wonderful trail, I think I like it better than Hardscrabble now. Definitely the weirdest experience of the day was going downhill on the Slidebrook chair. Not sure I've ever done that with skis on, it definitely felt weirder.

Sunday, I must have just missed the mini-meetup in the morning, so I set off on my own. Just a fantastic day to be skiing. After about five hours I was feeling a little out of my game so I decided to take it slow and work on my tree skiing. This is my first year in the trees for some time, so I'm trying to practice a lot. I picked the trees skiers left off of Bramble on Mt Ellen (all the way on the north side). I had skied in there with Vinny the day before, and thought since it was not too steep, very open, and pretty well traversed it would be a good place to practice while alone.

On my third run down, at some point I experienced a "spontaneous binding ejection." I have that in quotes because it wasn't a fall that caused it, but I am not sure if maybe I suddenly jarred at the wrong angle. I fell down a steep patch and my ski flew off and hit me on my left arm below the elbow, pretty hard. It hurt, but I didn't think anything of it. My ski was sticking up tip down, fairly deep in the snow. I put it back on, and started down again, thinking this will be my last tree run of the day. Another spontaneous ejection. I landed hard on my arm again, I still felt okay. But when i stood up ... blood in the snow. Not a lot, but enough to be alarming. My face was the only thing exposed, but that wasn't cut. My elbow and lower arm were wet, but I thought it was just snow from a previous fall. Nope ... blood! Fearing that my binding was defective, I took off my other ski and started to walk out (it was only about 20 yards so at this point).

Here's the funny part. As I'm coming out of the trees, a skier was standing nearby looking into the woods. She asks me "Hi! How hard is this area if I'm just starting to ski in the trees?" I told her I thought it wasn't a bad spot to start. Very hard to get lost, there is somewhat of a wider trail in there, and it's pretty short. She goes, "So can I ask why you are walking out then?" So I respond, "Well, I think something's wrong my my binding and I'm bleeding somewhere I don't know exactly where." The poor woman, I think she might be scared off of tree skiing for life. She generously offered to ski down with me to the first aid station, but I thanked her and told her I would be fine to get down there.

When I got to first aid, the volunteer medic's wife had me take off my coat, took a look at the gash and goes. "Oh, don't look at it. I think you should probably sit down, too." The rest is boring. At Mt. Ellen first aid they temporarily bandaged me up and sent me over to the clinic at Lincoln (which is a real doctor's office, with doctors and everything, which is great). I needed three deep and 6 superficial stitches, but the cut wasn't deep enough to go into muscle, which is good. I was able to drive home and am feeling fine today. I gotta say, the SB people were great. No one was like "what were you doing in the woods," they made the whole thing pretty stress free. And they even printed me a voucher for another day this year or next, which they totally didn't have to do.

All-in-all, a fantastic mountain. Next time I go back I hope to get into Slidebrook...maybe next year. :)

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