Ski groups gone wrong

IMG_0534Skiing in groups is always tricky, as we learned the hard way on an April trip to a very steep and unforgiving Western zone that shall remain nameless.

This was what we affectionately refer to as Boyz Weekend. We add the Z because we all grew up in the 80s and 90s, when most pop bands that had the word Boy in their name — and there were many — spelled it with a Z. So it makes us feel younger. We also shortened the name of Boyz Weekend to B-Dubya, then that gets shortened to B-Dubs, because that’s what boyz do. It makes for quicker texting when chatting up the trip in the weeks leading up to it, which is arguably the best part of B-Dubs.

It was this year anyway, because two runs into our trip, we had a disastrous injury. It was a textbook “skiing in groups” injury.

We had two gung-ho steep skiers in our group. Then we had one Eastern skier making his Western steep skiing debut, trying to keep up. And we had one experienced Western skier being tugged between going hard with the expert crew and leading the inexperienced guy down the trickiest stuff he’s ever sniffed on skis.

Things tore apart quickly, and it didn’t help that we were on frozen snow with low visibility. Two skiers were in a steep chute and one was skirting the sides trying to find a line and overcome fear when he heard a pop in his knee, and the rest of us heard a loud explitive. The initial diagnosis of torn ligaments was compounded by an even more distressing diagnosis back home of torn ligaments and torn leg muscles.

This has all confirmed my understanding that while you don’t want to ski alone, you also don’t want to ski with people of wide ranging of abilities.

B-Dubs will live. But in the future, we are going with a varsity and junior varsity trip.

— Jason Starr