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How not to Snowboard at Marmot Basin Ski Area

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Broken Collarbone on Marmot Basin Ski Area

The excitement of my first powder day of the season was unlike any other feeling. The cold wind bit through my beanie and big fat flakes fell softly from above to settle upon the growing piles of champagne snow.

I was in heaven.

1 week ago we had been on the beach in New Zealand. Now after a few flights we were enjoying our first day of the ski season snowboarding at Marmot Basin Ski Area high in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Marmot Basin Ski Area Sign

Snowboard at Marmot Basin Ski Area

How not to Snowboard at Marmot Basin Ski Area

I had been dreaming of my first ski season for years and had visions of ripping apart the ski runs every day while watching my progress skyrocket.

And with that first day my dream had begun….

The more runs we did the more confident I became. Cole tried to warn me to take it slowly because on the first day of the season it’s not such a good thing to push it to the limits. If you know me then you will know that I am a pretty competitive person so I kept on pushing…

One minute I was going over smooth rollers, quietly pretty impressed with myself. The next, I was sitting in a ragged pile of soft snow with a thumping headache and stars in my eyes.

The nose of my board had caught in a lump of snow catapulting me in to the ground before I could react. I landed heavily on my head and shoulder before coming to a rest in a wrecked heap of gloves, limbs, goggles and beany.

Once I had established that I could move all my limbs by wriggling my fingers and toes I went on to see if any parts of me were badly damaged.

One flex of my right shoulder and I knew immediately that there was something seriously wrong with my collarbone. Now I do not profess to be an expert in the medical arena, but after four broken arms through my childhood I am fairly certain I know a broken bone when I feel it. And this was most certainly broken.

The initial shock of the crash subsided and the pain took over by coursing through my body. Tears sprung to my eyes but were quickly forgotten as I realised I was alone. Cole had been ahead and had not seen me fall.

Fortunately everyone looks after everyone on the ski field and the next person along waved down a ski patroller on one of their many spot checks. Just my luck he was a rookie and it was his first day on the job (to his credit he was amazingly calm). I asked him if he could check the break and in his concentration he must not have heard my next question:

“Is the bone coming out of the skin?”

To which he responded “ooooh yea” which immediately set of a rush of panic.

It took a few minutes to calm me down and establish that it was not in fact out of the skin and he was actually just exclaiming it was broken.

Ski Patrollers Marmot Basin

Ski Patrol strapping Adela to the backboard

Cole turned up worried out of his skin after I had not shown up at the bottom of the run. He had raced to the top and flown down the hill checking the run we had been on before spotting the sharp contrast of the red and black of the ski patroller huddled over a patient through the falling snow.

He knew straight away it would be me.

It must have been a slow day because within 15 minutes I was quickly surrounded by no less than 5 ski patrollers bringing oxygen, 2 backboards, 2 sleds and a neck brace.

One piece of advice I would give to any unfortunate soul who ends up in this situation… DO NOT tell ski patrol you hit your head unless you think you have done some serious damage.

Instead of being taken down on the ski-doo I was strapped in to the patrollers toboggan and rushed to an ambulance. At least they got their priorities right because the ambulance staff wouldn’t load me until Cole had handed over his Credit Card to pay the upfront $300 ambulance ride to hospital.

In the end it was not only my pride that was hurt (great first impression with my new colleagues) but it also severely hurt my bank account – actually make that Coles bank account. The Ambulance, X-ray and Doctor fees ran in over $5,000.

Hospital Broken Collarbone Marmot Basin Ski Area

Resting in the hospital after snowboard at Marmot Basin

In addition I missed the first half of my dream season, spent a lot of time watching crappy girly movies while everyone was out boarding and landed myself with a huge bump in my collarbone.

Suppose it could have been worse and I could have ended up in hospital for a month at the end of the ski season with a $30,000 bill like Cole…

But that’s a completely different adventure for another time.

Do you have a horror story or accident from any of your snowboarding or skiing trips?

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com

    November 21, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Oh my god! that must have been awful! I had some bad accidents but luckily nothing serious happened!!! Hope you are feeling better now!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Much better now thanks Sebastian, just a tiny bump on the bone to remind me to take it a bit easier next time haha. Cheers Adela

  2. Angela

    November 21, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Omg I’m so sorry, it looks terrible… I don’t go skiing because I don’t think I’ll ever be able.. Get lots of rest!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Thanks for the sympathy Angela. Got lots of rest but was running out of movies to watch after 3 months! You have to try skiing sometime, we still plan to do another season.

  3. bronwen burmester

    November 21, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    Poor you Adela! Yes I know another ski story in the family…Moss ended up slicing just below his knee with the edge of the ski, right down to bone and blubs of red and yellow insides were spilling onto the white icy snow. He ended up getting towed behind snow mobile with numerous internal and external stiches and having to miss out on the World Swim Champs that year!

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      Thanks Bron! That is gross about Moss slicing his knee, Cole never told me that story. Hope to skype soon. Love Adela

  4. Neil

    November 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    WOW! $5k is a huge amount, but what did Cole do to rack up $30k??

    I cant imagine getting hurt on the slopes, you almost feel invincible when flying down them. Sounds like the medical crew were pretty decent though, not sure i’d have got the same treatment in Bansko (Bulgaria).

    Did you get back on the slopes again that season?

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Haha I thought I was invincible but that quickly changed! Managed to get back up the mountain for the last 2 months so that was ok, but lost half the season. Hopefully get back there sometime.
      What was Bansko like? We are thinking about heading there at the end of February.
      And Cole knuckled a jump (3 times) and ended up with internal bleeding that he ignored for a few weeks despite my pestering to go to the hospital. Ended up stuck there for a month!

      • Neil

        November 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM

        Psh internal bleeding, whimp! 🙂

        Bankso was pretty cool, cheap more than anything. The town still had a lot of building work going on when I was there so didnt always look the prettiest, the old town was nice though. Up the mountain there were lots of beginner slopes and it can get pretty crowded, you get what you pay for I guess. Still worth a look for a week away I think.

        • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

          November 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM

          Yea I am a bit of a whimp haha. The only problem was it got infected otherwise I would have been sweet. Just thought I had strained a muscle originally. Better right a post up about it soon!
          We might head there but might try to head somewhere in Austria or one of the “bigger” mountain areas to get some decent snow and terrain. Cheers mate for the info anyway.

  5. cheryl

    November 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Sorry to hear that happened! Hope you heal fast and get on those skis/boards again soon.

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:28 PM

      Thanks for the kind words Cheryl. It was a shock when it first happened but luckily it healed properly so was back on my board after a few months. Looking forward to this season already!

  6. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    November 22, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    This sounds AWFUL. I’m a total klutz, which is why I stay away from snow-covered mountains. 🙂

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 22, 2011 at 9:26 PM

      Haha thanks Christy. I should learn my lesson as I am a total klutz as well and these situations tend to follow me around! Cheers Adela

  7. LAbackpackerChick

    November 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Oh no this story made me want to cry…hope you’re okay.

    Do you have travel insurance to cover? Ouch to you and Cole’s wallet.

    Poor thing 🙁

    • Cole and Adela (fourjandals)

      November 23, 2011 at 9:37 PM

      Recovered ok thanks! Just a bump left now to remind me. Luckily our travel insurance covered it but was all on Cole’s credit card until they paid it off. Cheers Adela

  8. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    November 25, 2011 at 1:54 AM

    Oh no! I was with a friend who broke his arm while we were snowboarding. To this day, he still tells people I pushed him.

  9. Annie@GreenTravelReviews

    November 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Ouch! I’m Norwegian, but I was in no way born with skis on my feet… I love anything that’s fast and energetic, except skis, and I must admit, this doesn’t make me want to try more 😉

    Glad you’re ok!

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Adventure Travel

Perfect Your Car for an Offroading Adventure

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There is something awesome about offroading – the ability to just drive is so freeing it can get addictive! But if you don’t want to get stuck or find yourself in a jam, you will need to make sure that your car is properly equipped to handle the terrain in front of you.

Road trips are the best way to discover what the wild has to hold and travel beyond the safety of the city. There is so much land to explore and so many opportunities to get back to nature that you just can’t pass up a road trip when it comes along. Wherever you plan to go, here are the things you should never be without.

Car Snorkel

It sounds weird, but it does work exactly like a regular snorkel and allows you to take your car through deeper ravines without messing up the engine or exhaust. Airflow 4X4 Snorkels are great models to try and you can use their CAD templates to double check your measurements.

Even if you aren’t planning to cross deeper water, having a car snorkel ready is perfect for a spontaneous change of route or if the weather takes a turn and there is a lot of water to deal with all of a sudden. It’s also good to have when you find that you are going through a lot of mud.

The Right Tires

Depending on the terrain you plan to drive on, you will need to make sure your tires can handle it. Regular tires are just made for fairly smooth tarmac so if you want to go anywhere that doesn’t have a road like that, you will need to step up your game and have a look at an off-road tire guide to see which is best for your trip.

Getting the right tires is important because you need to have enough grip on multiple terrain types to get to your destination. You also need to make sure that the car is stable while you drive so you aren’t going to put your back out going over a bump. The better suited your tires are to different terrains, the more comfortable your trip will be and the safer it will be too.

Storing Extra Fuel

When you are far away from anywhere, fuel stations are, obviously, few and far between. This means that you need to think carefully about how much fuel you will need as running out in this environment is extremely dangerous. You could think about installing a long range fuel tank or bring jerry cans of fuel just in case.

Whichever method you choose, you need to make sure that you have enough plus spare to get to your next fuel stop. However, do remember that your vehicle will be weighted down with all your food and water as well as your clothes and whatever else you want to take. This means that you will go through fuel a bit faster than normal – especially if you are using your car battery to cook.

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Adventure Travel

The Best Destinations For Sun, Splendour, And Sightseeing

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Whilst an explorer should be seeking eye-opening experiences on his or her travels, there’s no denying that a healthy dose of sun helps to make the adventure a little more enjoyable. There are heaps of cold destinations (Greenland, Russia, and even England) that are visually stunning and a lot of fun to explore, but we’re going to talk about some of the hotter places on the planet that have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. You might as well have the perk of sunshine and warm weather whilst you’re exploring the world, right? After all, there’s no reason as to why you can’t relax during a big excursion. That being said, you need to find some destinations that meet all the criteria we’ve mentioned. If you’ve no idea where to go on such a travelling experience then you should check out these top destinations for sun, splendour, and sightseeing.

California, United States.

California fits the bill perfectly when it comes to a place that promises endless sunshine and a lot of things to do. There are many beautiful places to visit in the U.S. that promise sunshine and adventure, but this state is a common favourite for both domestic and international travellers. And there’s good reason for that – we’ll prove it to you. First of all, no tour of this gorgeous state is complete without a visit to Los Angeles. The city of L.A. is unlike anywhere else in the world. You should start by exploring Hollywood, as it’s something that everyone should do once. You’ll get an intriguing look into the world’s most famous films and actors behind the veil – and the Hollywood Hills are worth exploring for a look into the natural beauty surrounding this area. But once you’ve seen the intriguing truth of this surreal place, you should head into the heart of L.A. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered a different world. Whether you head to sunny Venice Beach or the busy downtown area, there’s so much to do. Find the Grand Central Market if you want a quirky L.A. dining experience; there’s often live music to go with the food. And this is only one city of many to explore in the sunny state of California. Make sure you had to San Francisco too.

Victoria, Australia.

If you want a real adventure in one of the sunniest places on earth then you need to visit Australia. It’s a huge and incredibly intriguing country with desolate uninhabited areas and dense cities that are heaving with people and things to do. The land down under finds the perfect balance when it comes to a destination that promises both natural beauty and lively culture. Whether you want to explore vast unexplored wilderness or a glitzy modern city, Australia has it all. The state of Victoria in the south-east is definitely the best place to start your journey, though. You should head to the Great Ocean Road for a journey that’s both scenic and historically relevant (the road is the world’s largest war memorial). You’ll get to see the Twelve Apostles along the way (ginormous limestone stacks that have become an iconic landmark in their own right) and the bewilderingly beautiful towns of Port Fairy and Portland. You’ll even have the opportunity to see whales and other fantastic sea life if you pay attention to the ocean at your side.

But the natural side of Victoria is only the very surface of what this state has to offer. You can expect sun and sweltering wherever you go and whatever you do in this massive state, but you probably want a little more than that out of your adventure. After all, you’ve travelled to such an exciting part of the world. This isn’t any ordinary beach holiday. You should head to the city of Melbourne if you want to see the vibrant and lively side of this state. The capital city boasts such a powerful modern-day and historical culture. You should visit The State Library of Victoria and head into the La Trobe Reading Room if you want to see both mesmerising architecture and a fascinating place. The Princess Theatre also boasts sublime architecture and a whole heap of wonderful performances to enjoy once you step inside. Once you’ve had your fill of culture and entertainment in Melbourne, you should definitely try some of the fantastic cuisine that the city has to offer. Check out www.vamos.net.au if you like the idea of eating at a tapas bar in Melbourne’s theatre district. This is just one example of a dining establishment that is influenced by cultures from around the world. The point is that Melbourne is one of the most fascinating places to visit in the state of Victoria. If you want a diverse and extensive experience of Australia with the perk of near-permanent sunshine then this is the place to go.

Barcelona, Spain.

You can’t explore the sunny cities of the world without visiting Barcelona. It’s not only a sunny and vibrant city – it’s a sunny and vibrant Spanish city. The culture that pours out of every building is part of what makes this city such a beautiful place to visit. As explained over at www.traveller.com.au, the work of Gaudi is part of what makes Barcelona so stunning. This famous Spanish architect designed so many of the unique aspects of the city. In fact, La Sagrada Familia is a gargantuan church that he designed and it’s still being built today (nearly a century has passed since his death). As suggested over at www.tripadvisor.com.au, you might want to take a private tour of the city if you want to get a full experience of the place.

The Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Whilst it’s not a continent that tourists explore as extensively as some other regions of the world, Africa boasts a lot of natural beauty along with sweltering heat. And the country of South Africa is definitely a fascinating place to visit if you’re looking for an enriching and educational experience combined with the chance to see some visually awe-inspiring sights. The Kruger National Park, in particular, is one of the most beautiful locations in the country. We’ve discussed it before, but it’s worth discussing again. If you want to see stunning animals in their natural habitat then this is the place to go. There’s something about seeing cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, and many other stunning creatures in their natural habitat that fills you with a sense of elation. It’s an incredible experience.

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Adventure Travel

Tips That Will Help You Make More of Your Trip To Thailand

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Are you thinking of taking a big trip to Thailand this year? If so, you need to learn a bit more about what you should do and what you should expect when you eventually get there. There’s something for everyone in Thailand; it’s that kind of country. But making the most of it and knowing the key attractions and ways to spend your time is important, so read on to learn about this and more.

 

Remember, You’ll Get Further When You Smile 

Manners matter a lot in Thailand, and there are certain things you should never do. Pointing at people with your foot is seen as a sign of disrespect, as is touching another person’s head. So make sure you don’t do that. You will probably notice that Thai people smile a lot, so you should do the same. Being positive and smiling when you meet new people will help you go a lot further.

Explore the Markets and Don’t Forget to Haggle

Markets are a big deal in Thailand, and experiencing them for yourself is something you won’t forget. There are the conventional markets that are very loud and busy, and there are also floating markets that are navigated by boat, as you can see below. Whichever type of market you visit, soak in the atmosphere and don’t forget to haggle because it’s expected of you.

Sample the Street Food, But Do So Carefully

Street food is abundant in Thailand, and it can help you to get a taste of the real thailand by eating what the locals eat. As you walk through the streets, the smell of the street food will hit you first, but before you tuck in, make sure you take care and eat safely. Seek out food that has been cooked freshly in front of you and not the food that’s been left sitting around.

Find Time to Relax and Slow Down

Thailand can be a fast-paced and overwhelming place to visit, but you can’t let it get the best of you. If you want to experience the country to the max, you need to find time to relax and slow things down a little. The Shiva Samhita is a classic Thai text on yoga, so maybe you should take some inspiration from it and find time to do some yoga. You’ll find plenty of courses there to help you.

Don’t Miss the Nation’s Many Beautiful Temples

Thailand’s temples are not to be missed. Anyone who’s interested in religion, spiritualism or beautiful architecture can’t help but be astounded by the temples that are found throughout Thailand. No matter what point of the country you find yourself in, you’re sure to find incredibly buildings like the one you can see below. So make time to see as many of them as you can.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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