It can be pretty easy to forget that skiing is an extreme sport, amongst all the cosy restaurants, well groomed pistes and safety measures. It’s easy to forget, that is, right up until you do yourself an injury.
As might’ve been obvious from the above, I am currently suffering my first injury of the season (a solid catagory 2). Typically, it’s coincided nicely with a patch of good weather, and it’s lingering in spite of being incredibly minor. So it goes. In any case, my bad luck has got me thinking about the four main categories that injuries on the mountain fall into.
Catagory 1: The ‘fuck it, I’ll be fine’
The most common type of injury in a ski resort, this is the one that you decide isn’t all that bad. Whether it’s broken ribs you know you can’t really do anything about, some deep tissue bruising, or a niggling muscle strain, it’s not bad enough for you to stay home. You’ll be fine, you think. Three days later, you’ve been airlifted to hospital. Oops.
Catagory 2: The ‘maybe a few days off won’t hurt’
People who fit into this category are old hats at catagory 1, and now they’re wise enough to know when taking a break is for the best. They’ve probably had a real season ender in the past, and they’re not taking any chances this time around. You’ll mock them for being overly cautious, but just wait and see who’s still shredding at the end of the season.
Catagory 3: The ‘oh shit’
You know before you even stand up that this is a bad one, and the more time you spend lying on your back, the more you know your body has betrayed you. Whether it’s a torn ligament, a hellishly nasty break, or something more obscure, this is the last time you’ll ski for the next nine months. Better luck next year.
Catagory 4: The airlift exit
You won’t know about this one until you wake up in a hospital bed. You’re too concussed to remember exactly what happened, but it feels like you’ve been hit by a bus. There’s a good chance you did something genuinely insane, like attempted to ride a full sized halfpipe. Of course, you could also have just been unlucky. This is an accident that you’ll be feeling for a while.
Hey, at least you got an epic ride in a helicopter you don’t remember.