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Si’s Travel Diary

Monday, 26 Feb 2007

Location: Galtur, Austria

MapThe last couple of weeks have been very strange, filled with highs and lows. From being totally stoked riding some of the best powder of the season, to wishing I hadn’t had that last Jager shot before jumping on a toboggan head first down a big hill…………….so here is what happened....

Last I wrote I was lounging around my apartment waiting for the snow to stop and my shoulder to recover from my encounter with a metal gate. Eventually the sun came out and Nick, Matty, Joel and I were up early riding the best powder of our lives. The next day we rode with Benny and he showed us some unreal backcountry runs, the stuff we had dreamed of when booking our tickets to Austria. Blue sky, waist deep snow, steep fast runs and only you and your best mates….best day of the season!!

That same night we thought we would try our skills at tobogganing. They open up a special sled run on the mountain; so people get the gondola to the top, have a few confidence drinks at the bar and then toboggan all the way back to town. We started the night by drinking a bottle of vodka in the time it took the gondola to reach the top (about 15 mins), then with a few tips from our mates we did our first run. I have never laughed so much in my life. Sitting on a wooden crate going about 60km/h down a narrow slope is one of the funniest things I have ever done. Benny showed us that it was also possible to lay head first, well that just opened up a can of worms. After our first run we caught the gondola back to the top and went to the bar. After a few beers and some Jager shots it was time to go home, this is about the time when things went pear shaped. All was going well until I tried to take a corner too fast (going head first I might add), I hit a bump and went mid air landing on my shoulder, fully dislocating it…..not good!! It took about 2-3 mins to get it back in and to top it off the screen on my phone broke too. But I still had the best night………stoked!!
I rested my shoulder for a week but with the pain still constant I went to see a sports doctor, having a few x-rays and an MRI scan…….The verdict?? Well I have been advised to have a shoulder reconstruction as the tendons in my shoulder are no longer keeping my shoulder in place. It’s not urgent so I am waiting to see what the insurance company says……..I’ll keep everyone posted!!

With waist deep powder and sunny skies we decided it was time to build the step-up (see photos) that we’ve been wanting to build for the last couple of months. Even from the start we were all a bit hesitant that it was actually makeable……… being true Aussies we built it anyway. It took two days to build and was the biggest thing we have ever built. Nick was first to jump clearing the gap and actually landing on the ridge, but upside down………..very funny. I went next, getting a little bit more speed but doing exactly the same as Nick. Joel did the same. It was at this moment we should have stopped and realized something was wrong with the kicker. We were just about to fix it when one of our Swedish mates, Erik, went off the kicker and landed in the same spot but on his legs…….breaking his back!!. We called ski patrol; they called the helicopter…..Not good. Erik is doing fine now. He went to hospital but luckily the break wasn’t that bad and he was out in a couple of days with a back cast on. He flew home to Sweden the other day and will hopefully be back in a couple of weeks.