Fear while skiing

The above post gives me some comfort that at 48 my best skiing may be in front of me.
Being a terminal intermediate I will never be confidently skiing La Grave but I do have an inbuilt want to push boundaries. There's some attraction to skiing more difficult lines than I am totally comfortable with. I expect most skiers have that same instinct.
I think your average North American double black is a realistic goal for most part time skiers.
I hadn't noticed this thread until last day or two. I saw @Tony Crocker mentioned me in it in almost three years ago as "still skiing like the Energizer Bunny", but didn't tag me. I'll be 68 in less than two weeks and still doing OK although at the beginning of the past season my general fitness had declined due to reduced biking and hiking (and no jogging, not that I ever have done that much) from mild Achille tendonitis on left side for more than a year and plantar fasciitis on right. Both are still with me but getting better. I'm biking a little more and rather than quitting walking the dog after about a mile, I walk 2-3 miles some days.

I've done back stretches almost every day since I was in early 20s and strained my lower back. I recently found left knee was a little stiff when pulling it to my chest after my two late July days skiing Mammoth. I mentioned it to my Dr. during recent annual appt. and he had X-rays done on both knees to have a baseline. He thought from feel of right knee and X-ray that it was worse than left, but neither are that bad. He also though it's possible I have bursitis on left knee which I did 9 years ago when I had very noticeable localized swelling on left knee during my son's Cal Poly graduation.

I think @Sbooker understates his skills as "terminal intermediate" but then overreaches with "I think your average North American double black is a realistic goal for most part time skiers." I only skied with him and his family once at Mammoth, but they hung in there and enjoyed when I led them down powder between Cornice and Dropouts. While I don't agree that double blacks are something for most part time skiers, I do think that with more days sbooker would quickly be a solid advanced skier.

I'm sorry that we no longer get posts from some who posted in 2007-8 in this and other threads. I've never been seriously injured skiing (knock on wood) with worst being bruised, maybe broken, ribs and bruised shoulder. I didn't go to Dr. I do have a healthy fear of heights and find it's usually easier to jump in knowingly and solidly versus standing in an exposed place and overthinking too long and possibly getting stiff. I'm also sorry that I didn't get their best product during my one time with Extremely Canadian at Whistler. We got into some great places and were shown some good techniques, but even though I was the strongest skier in our group there was at least one place were guide wanted us to slide smoothly past exposure into entrance, I felt like I side-stepped. And we didn't do anything too crazy.
What's weighing on me at this point is the rash of serious ski injuries to people I know over the past two seasons, three of them in 2021-22 and four in spring 2022-23. Most of them fall into category of $#!t happens. Garry Klassen had a collision injury (tibia plateau fracture, torn thumb ligament) on May 4 on the same run (Solitude at Mammoth) that I had the broken rib/lung puncture collision in April 2008. However I believe the recovery process is more drawn out in retirement years than for younger people.

So far tseeb and I seem to be in the "aging" gracefully group. I've mentioned before that my Iron Blosam peers have either had to quit skiing or are strictly skiing blue groomers.

The one contemporary who combines tseeb's fitness with elite level skills derived from high school/college ski racing (like Patrick and EMSC) is Lonnie, who is one year younger than me. He had a twisting fall in the trees March 3, 2022 that broke his lower tibia and required some metal hardware. He returned to skiing in December with full recovery of both fitness and ski technique from what I could tell, and had another road trip season of skiing nearly every day for 3 months.

The next injury March 31, 2023 can be tactfully described at this point as career threatening. As an ex racer he felt comfortable skiing 50mph, but he hit a roller, lost balance and fell, shattering his upper femur. I've never been a speed guy, but this tells me that at age 70 I should approach terrain that I listed on page 2 with extreme caution/skepticism.

Andrew McLean, who should know as well as anyone, compiled this scale to rate difficulty of steep ski terrain:
Steepness Ratings 0-7 with +/- qualifiers
S0 Flat terrain. A golf course.
S1 Low angle - possibly poling in places.
S1+ Beginning terrain at a ski area. Safe run outs.
S2 25 degrees slopes. “Intermediate” terrain at a ski area.
S2+ Slopes at or near 25 degrees with some terrain features
S3- Slopes up to 30 degrees.
S3 Slopes up to 35 degrees. “Expert” runs at ski areas.
S3+ Slopes at or near 35 degrees with terrain features that require maneuvering
S4- Slopes 35-45 degrees with safe run outs and little to no terrain features
S4 Slopes 35-45 degrees with dangerous fall potential and terrain obstacles
S4+ Slopes just under 45 degrees that are continuous, have fall consequences and terrain obstacles
S5- Slopes that are continuously at or near 45 degrees or slightly over
S5 Slopes between 45-55 degrees. Falling est verboten.
S5+ Slopes at or around 55 degrees. You’d be lucky to live through a fall.
S6- Short sections that are steeper then 55 degrees, yet continuously above 50 degrees.
S6 Slopes continuously steeper than 55 degrees. Slow death from falling highly likely.
S6+ 55ish degree slopes with major obstacles - cliffs, trees, crevasses
S7 60 degree slopes. Just plain ol’ steep as hell.
S7+ 60 degree slopes with nasty obstacles. A quick and certain death if you fall.
S8 The future. Scary.

Little Chute and Big Couloir are probably 5-. The super long and steep lines I skied at La Grave and Las Lenas are 4+. I'm probably done with those, but still comfortable with 4- and will consider 4's with great snow conditions. I think McLean would rate something like Hangman's a 4 because the 45+ degree exposed section is quite short and can be sidestepped if necessary. The "fun part" of steep skiing to me now is mostly in the 30-35 degree range.

Lonnie's recovery process from surgeries April 1 and April 18 is much slower than Liz's from surgeries May 24 and July 5. Both of Lonnie's injuries were at Taos, and in both cases there were serious medical errors in diagnosis or treatment. If you have a ski accident in New Mexico, move heaven and earth to get home to a doctor you trust.
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Besides this thread, I've also gone back read both of the Apocalypse threads. https://www.firsttracksonline.com/b...future-50-day-ski-seasons-or-apocalypse.6907/

I forgot to mention in my post last night that my wife is facing a lot of fear in returning to skiing after needing holes drilled in her skull due to brain bleeding a month after falling on an easier run due to a binding malfunction in January 2022. She landed solidly on her helmet when the binding toe slid forward. To me, her fall was something that many of would have handled by rotating while going down to land on arm, shoulder or hip. I got crossed up skiing steep trees in Mott Canyon years ago and was head straight for one head first and rotated in air so my skis landed at the base of a 5-6' diameter pine.

My wife had other non-skiing injury last fall that led us to defer her last year's Ikon pass. We did not get her a Vail Tahoe pass (which easily allows partial day skiing a mile from family cabin, with friends who are laid-back partial day skiers) for upcoming season since last year's very low-cost pass after Covid and injury credits went unused, but I'm still hoping that she goes again to avoid the apocalypse in the kitchen when I try to get 50 or more days.
I should have mentioned that Liz took the same Kristen Ulmer "Fear" clinic in 2021 and 2022 that our former admin did in 2007 to initiate this thread.
Fear isn't always best conquered. Sometimes it is serving a purpose.

I guess the key is knowing when to hold em and when to fold em.