Curse of 2006 | AspenTimes.com
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Curse of 2006

My ski season was cursed, at least during the 2006 part.I missed three weeks in January because of one of those unavoidable things that pop up in life. In this case, a terminal illness in my family that led me back to the Midwest. I didn’t care what I was missing back in Aspen.When I returned to town, I could only laugh when a colleague sheepishly apologized for all the powder that fell while I was gone.I missed another three weekends in February and March because of trips. For some reason, I always feel guilty for leaving the valley during ski season, like I’m breaking an unwritten rule.I took a day off March 10 and eventually talked myself into skiing. I hedged because I knew the snow was supposed to fall all weekend, so the conditions would soften. I yearned for light, fluffy powder, so the idea of skiing heavy mashers in warm temperatures and high winds spooked me off, almost.I convinced myself to snap out of it – even a mediocre day on the slopes beats most days of doing anything else. I went to Snowmass and had a great couple of hours sticking to the trees. On the last run, I wanted to go into Garrett’s Gulch. While making my way down to it along Sheer Bliss, I found myself hurled to the ground after hitting a particularly dense patch of crud. It was like an unexpected endo on a mountain bike.I knew right away something wasn’t right in my upper body, but thought my collarbone survived when I could raise my right arm over my head. I reconsidered when I tried to move my arm forward and inward. There was a hitch in the motion and a pain I hadn’t felt before along the length of my collarbone.I skied down, drove a stick-shift home with more than a small amount of difficulty, and learned from my Carbondale doctor that my collarbone was separated from my sternum, a somewhat rare occurrence.Although I can tell it is healing already, the prognosis isn’t good for getting back on the downhill slopes.In a typical season, I might feel a bit ripped off by my abbreviated ski season. Fortunately, all the good snow so early helped ease the pain. I didn’t get a lot of turns this season, but what I got was prime.


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