Got days two and three on snow racked up this weekend and the 'true' start to the season which I gauge as the first time the riding is hard enough to thrash my lower back. Happens every year no matter how much core work I do in the gym to prepare. But its out of the way early this year so that's good.
Jomo and I got up to Jay Saturday to try and snag some of the leftovers from Tuesdays dump. We were able to find some deep stuff in pockets in the woods but the cover was still very much in the extreme sketch zone. Lots of obstacles still need to get buried, we were hitting all kinds of stuff and I lost a ski a few times due to getting snagged under a downed tree or root. I also took a real sweet digger into a exposed muddy drainage while attempting to traverse back to the resort from Timbuktu. I am happy to report that my gear performed quite well and I stayed dry and was able to wash the mud off with snow...like it never happened.
Even with all the junk still exposed in the woods it was still great riding for early Dec and we got as much vert as we could handle. My body still needs a few hard days of riding to get up to full speed.
With an impending thaw barreling down on us in the forecast we decided to also hit Cannon early on Sunday before things went south for a few days. Met up with Shaun and Joe and got right to it. Conditions were pretty good but after an hour or two of riding we all got a solid dose of reality shortly after getting on the Zoomer chair.
We heard several people a few chairs up yelling back to get patrol to the cat track that cuts across the bottom of Zoomer just a few hundred feet up from the base. Everyone was relaying the message down and up the mountain from chair to chair so that someone could be radioed in. You could tell there was an urgency beyond someone tweaking a knee. We probably only missed the crash by a minute or two and a few seconds after first hearing the call we were passing over the scene. It was hard to tell exactly what happened, his skis were 20-30ft up the hill from where he was laying at the edge of the woods. To spread out your gear like that there had to be some speed involved. He was laying motionless and a bit twisted, obviously unconscious and as we passed over head we could see a pool of blood starting to form underneath his head. It was hard to tell how severe it was from the height we were at but at the time we thought maybe he just double ejected and hit face first...maybe a concussion and a broken nose.
It turns out a 19 year old kid died from his injuries that day. Incredibly sad and sobering. Hearing the news this morning was tough. Really makes you think about stuff in your own life, especially for me having recently crashed hard at Jay two years ago. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.