Ski injuries down slightly in Aspen |

Ski injuries down slightly in Aspen

John Colson
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” Although statistics are not available from the Aspen Skiing Co., local orthopedic surgeons or Aspen Valley Hospital, it appears that the holiday skiing and snowboarding season of 2007-08 has been no worse for injuries than years past.

Jeff Hanle of the Skico said that the company does not keep a statistical count of accidents that result in injuries, but an informal survey of personnel on the company’s four local mountains indicated that the number of serious injuries is down.

Aspen Valley Hospital spokeswoman Ginny Dyche said the emergency room dealt with 517 patients from Dec. 4, 2007, through Jan. 1, 2008, compared to 524 over the same period a year ago and 507 in 2005-06.

She said the emergency room does not differentiate injury reports from skiing or snowboarding from other accidents. She said she was told by the personnel she talked with that “it’s been a very typical holiday season [with] no major traumas,” though the hospital has treated the usual broken bones and tissue tears.

Dyche said there have been “some head injuries, but nothing major.” Citing ambulance statistics, she said the reports showed that this has been a relatively normal year.

Throughout December 2007, she said, the ambulances that work exclusively with on-mountain ski injuries transported 43 patients to AVH, compared to 61 transports in December, 2006.

George Trantow, administrator for the Orthopaedics Associates of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, concurred.

Citing data from the firm’s Snowmass Clinic, he said, “Our sense is that it’s pretty much average.”

Trantow and Hanle both hypothesized that all the fresh powder dumped on local slopes has slowed skiers and boarders somewhat, and has all but eliminated injuries related to skiing or boarding on icy hardpack.

Plus, said Trantow, it’s been very cold for the past couple of weeks, which might have contributed to low injury numbers, because “who’s hardy enough to be out on the good powder, when it’s so cold?”

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