Staying Safe on the Slopes

By: Jodi Marks


My sister, Gina, on the slopes.

With the temps in Atlanta now around 75, it’s a good thing my sister, Gina, and I got out of dodge to hit the slopes before it all melted away! This year, she and I headed to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a nice weekend of skiing. Staying in the heart of Salt Lake, we decided to break in our gear on the best, non-snow boarders allowed (not that I have anything against boarders), resort in the area named Alta.

What a blast! Skiing since she and I were both just kids, we took off down the blue paths chasing the wind and each other. Never one to back down to too many challenges, we egged each other down some single black diamonds just to push ourselves and basically wear ourselves out.

With about half the day gone already, I was taking a path that would eventually merge with one of the steeper black diamonds on the mountain. Cautiously approaching the bend, a man shot out of nowhere from my right aiming for the advanced trail through the tree line. Having too much speed, he overshot the trail, tripped up and slammed face first into the base of the first tree. Hearing him hit, I knew he was hurt. Gina raced on to alert the snow patrol and I raced to get to him.

By this point, his face was pretty banged up…I’d forgotten just how much facial cuts bleed. Trying to calm him, I grabbed his hat that had fallen off and shoved it back on his head to keep him warm. Then taking his neck gaiter, I filled it with snow and gently pressed it to his nose. I’m almost positive it was broken. Thank goodness in less than 7 minutes, the snow patrol was there and took him down the mountain on the back of their snowmobile.

I have to admit, I am not one for blood and I can panic with the best of them, but for whatever reason, our paths were meant to cross that day. I took a couple things away from that experience…no matter how many skiers passed him as he hit that tree, only I stopped to help. So always help others! And, as soon as I got down the mountain to join back up with Gina, we bought ski helmets! You can never to be too safe!

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