A byte of life from the Land of Sumos and Sushi

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Japanese Snow Claims its First Victim

The ski areas around the Fukui area are all fairly low in altitude. The highest can’t be more than 1800m, and most are below that. The nice thing about this is that there is a lot of tree skiing as no peak reaches above the tree line, and most notably for me, deciduous tree skiing. It was an unusual but beautiful sight to see groves of birch, beech and ash on the slopes in addition to the normal pine coppices.

A trip to the biggest resort in the area (Katsuyama Ski Jam) last weekend showcased some of the lovely powder runs through the aforementioned trees, but one of our group had to pay a terrible toll for our passage. The Japanese believe that the ancient tree sprits are the guardians of the mountain realm and should be respected as such. Perhaps incensed at the snowboarders frivolous trespass of their land, one tree fought back and took fellow snowboarder Ryan Nichols down to the ground with an almighty blow to the knee. Writhing in pain, the 24 year old Tennesseean managed to un-strap and drag himself on to the piste, but could go no further and ski patrol was quickly called.

Soon, Ryan was strapped up in an orange body bag, flying down the slope headed for the emergency medical centre. The damage done was fairly severe – “some chunks [of bone] are missing from my tibia, and there’s significant damage to my ACL and PCL – I’m in a hard cast from my ankle to my thigh”. However, true to his fighting form Ryan vowed to get back on his board: “[The Doctors] are obviously saying that snowboarding this season is not an option... but I’m not ruling it out”.

The amusing side to this incident (if there is one) occurred when I pulled out my camera to document the action. On seeing the camera, the ski patrollers instantly dropped all medical equipment, whipped out the peace signs, and without hesitation were soon rounding up the posse for a group photo, leaving the injured party lying in the stretcher, shuddering with post traumatic shock.

You’ve got to give it to the Japanese – they’ve got their priorities right.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lewis said...

Looks like Ryan might not be snowboarding down Mount Fuji after all... I love the pics Sam, I really must get a digital camera!

Lew

Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:07:00 pm

 
Blogger The Funky Drummer said...

He hasn't ruled it out.

Thursday, February 03, 2005 8:35:00 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My official posted comment is:

No comment. :-X

If I hear of ANYONE trying Fuji-sama, I reserve the right to b!tchslap them. And then laugh at injuries. Followed by more b!tchslapping.

ben

ps, nice pictures! Wish my digicam wasn't broken >_<

Friday, February 04, 2005 12:31:00 pm

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is: "What an idiot!"

Thursday, February 10, 2005 10:01:00 am

 

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