An eventful snow trip

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Just returned from a somewhat more eventful snow trip than any of us had planned. We spent our first 2 days at Coronet Peak, Cardrona and then day 3 at The Remarkables. Snow was great despite it not having snowed for over a week and the atmosphere over by the terrain park was awesome as there were a whole bunch of boarders & skiers going off the big kickers. There was even a humvee parked alongside, license plate "HUMMEN", pumping out some nice tunes.

We'd been down the mini-park next to the big kickers a couple of times and had lots of fun so I'd setup by the second jump to get some happy snaps. From memory its about 1.5 to 2m tall. Like any good jump its downhill on the landing. Unfortunately for Kat it wasn't downhill for very long and with her speed it meant she landed from a height of over 3m onto flat ground. Oomph.


I yelled "niiiiice" as she flew past and saw her spin around a bit on the ground before focusing my gaze back up the hill as Joz & Phil were still to come. It didn't strike me as a particularly hard fall until Joz and Phil had both passed a couple of minutes later and Kat was still lying still on the run.

She tried to move but couldn't for the pain and many skiers & boarders passed by offering to get the ski patrol, an offer we took up. I have to say it is really cool how concerned people are about the well being of others on the snow. Even the well meaning lady who suggested we move her off the run, which we did not do since we didn't know if it might've been a spinal injury. Ski patrol turned up on their ski-doo within 10 minutes of us sending someone down with their little siren blaring and put Kat in a funky deflatable beanbag stretcher thing. It was really nifty as it held its shape perfectly to keep her dead still on the way down. I think it was only when we had to lift Kat to put her on the stretcher and she cried that it struck me how seriously she might've hurt herself.

Nurse Joz

After an hour or so in the on-mountain clinic Kat was taken down to the Lakes District hospital in Frankton (10 minutes from Queenstown), by ambulance. Initially we weren't sure what the damage was. Kat was obviously in a lot pain if she tried to sit up but it wasn't obvious whether it was muscular or something more serious until an x-ray confirmed that she had fractured parts of her spine. Even then we weren't sure if the fractures were unstable which may require surgery. It was a pretty scary night.

The following morning she was taken down by ambulance to Southland Hospital in Invercargill for CT scans which confirmed that she had a stable wedge fracture in her lower spine. That was good news as it did not require surgery. She's now sporting a spiffy brace which stops her from bending her torso, and moves around at "5 metres per hour" as Joz likes to put it. :) She's not actually that slow but moves around a bit like Frankenstein since she can't bend. I say that with all the love in the world, and content in the knowledge that Joz is looking after her well - apparently he suggested today that she might want to pass the time at home by stripping the ads from movies they've recorded...

Oh, and Kat has a nice deep cut in her chin which we still aren't sure of the cause of. It needed 3 internal stitches and 5 outside so its going to leave a respectable scar.

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This page contains a single entry by goosmurf published on September 4, 2008 10:34 PM.

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