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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?

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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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

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Adventure Travel

Best Time to Visit Panama and Costa Rica

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The fact that Costa Rica and Panama are close makes both countries perfect for visiting. During your holiday there, it’s easy to travel back and forth between the two countries and enjoy all the wonders they have to offer. Keep in mind that the timing of your holiday will influence what sorts of sites you can visit and what activities you can make part of your plans. By understanding a little about what to expect, it’s easy to determine the best time of year to visit both countries, based on what you would like to do.

Learning More About the Dry and Rainy Seasons

If you’re the type who prefers the hustle and bustle that comes with holidays during the tourist season, plan on being in Costa Rica and Panama during what’s known as the dry season. Expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather during this part of the year. Many of your activities will be outdoors, although you will find a number of indoor sites that you will want to include in your plans.

The dry seasons in both countries overlap. The dry weather for both typically arrives during the first to the middle part of December. In Costa Rica, the dry season usually lingers until sometime in April. Panama enjoys a slightly shorter dry season, with it usually ending sometime in March.

Keep in mind that since this dry period is the height of the tourist season, the cost of visiting from December to April will be higher than at other times of the year. Even so, if your plans include spending a lot of time exploring the rain forests or soaking in the rays on one or more of the beautiful beaches, the dry season is the only time to consider.

Making the Most of the Dry Seasons

During the dry season in both nations, do expect the weather to be more humid and the day temperatures to be a little higher. There is some variance depending on which regions you plan on visiting. As a general rule, locations nearer the coast will include warmer weather and higher levels of humidity. By contrast, the more mountainous areas will offer slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels.

During this time, do plan on enjoying the lush greenery found in the rain forests. During much of the dry season, the abundance of rain from what’s known as the rainy or green season ensures that the forests are at their best. Consider adding some variety to your holiday by spending time at the beach, soaking in the nightlife along the coast, and doing some shopping at many of the open air districts. This is also the perfect timing to enjoy some of the local cuisine while dining outside.

There are special events to celebrate during the dry season. President’s Day in Costa Rica occurs during this period. Along with locals, you can enjoy a number of celebrations, open-air festivals, and just about any type of entertainment that one can imagine.

Since the dry season does attract more tourists, it pays to book your lodgings in advance. Along with President’s Day, there’s also spring break and the Easter Season to consider. While you could look at different hotels and other properties near beaches, there are also hostels that make perfect places to sleep. After all, how much time do you plan on spending indoors when there’s so much to do?

Things to Do During the Rainy Seasons

In spite of the name, it isn’t always raining during the rainy or green season. Most days, there will be brief periods of sunshine that do allow you to spend some time at the beach and other outdoor venues. Do expect the evenings to be cooler. At times, the temperature may make wearing long sleeves or possibly a sweater a good idea.

Even if you’re out and about while it’s raining, there are plenty of things to see. Towns and cities in both nations offer indoor concerts, a number of restaurants catering to all sorts of tastes, and clubs and other settings for entertainment. You will find museums that will tell you more about the history of indigenous peoples and the complexity of their cultures.

What are some of the activities you can enjoy during this time of year? Both Costa Rica and Panama offer options to go horseback riding. Generally, this will happen during the morning when the sun is most likely to be out. Walking tours are also a great way to learn more about the culture and possibly find some interesting places that you will want to return to a little later. Don’t overlook the opportunity to get in some fishing when there’s a sunny morning coming your way. There are changes to engage in freshwater fishing as well as charter boats that will take you to some of the better places to enjoy salt-water fishing.

Coffee and rum tours are also something to consider during the rainy season. These tours allow you the opportunity to see different facilities and how they produce their products. As a bonus, you get to enjoy some taste-testing at many of the places that you visit along the tour. Some of the sites will also have bistros or restaurants included, allowing you to enjoy a nice meal or snack with your coffee or rum.

In terms of museums to visit, San Jose offers some of the most interesting museums in Costa Rica. Many of them are located in or adjacent to what’s known as the Central Market. It’s a great way to enjoy time indoors during the rainy afternoons and early evenings.

In Panama, check out the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Viejo. You can make use of headphones that offer the guided tour in multiple languages. If you happen to be proficient in Spanish, feel free to check out each exhibit on your own. You can also check out the Biodiversity Museum, which features exhibits on the over 1,000 species of animals and plants that are found in the country. Make the most of the discounts offered on Sundays. Retirees also get to enjoy discounts when visiting these museums.

Which season is the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama? It’s really up to you. For those who prefer a slower pace and don’t mind rain during the afternoons and evenings, the raining season is ideal. Those who thrive on activity, sunshine, and plenty of tourist activities will enjoy going during the dry season. Whatever your choice, plan on coming back a second time. It’s rare for anyone to see everything they want to see during a single holiday.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

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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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