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Innsbruck = Disaster

February 18, 2008
We went to Innsbruck, Austria this weekend to visit the city and also go skiing. We were very excited about the trip because it seems like we haven’t been anywhere in a while and we were wanting to get away. We arrived on Friday afternoon and spent the day walking around and seeing the sights of the city.
The Golden Roof:


Josh in front of a cute street:

 The Swarovski “Crystal Worlds” Shop & Exhibit:

There was much less to do in the city than we realized, but that was fine because we had 2-day ski passes for Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, we headed to the mountains to go skiing at Nordpark. We got up to the ski lifts and it was a clear, sunny day. It was very beautiful.

Ready to ski:

We went down the main piste (a red) without many problems, but the snow was a little icy and part of the run was a bit narrow. We looked at the map to try something different and realized that there weren’t many runs to choose from. We decided to take the cable car up to the top of the mountain for another run (another red).

When we got to the top, we realized that we had to hike quite a way to get to the piste. We had the whole day ahead of us, so we might as well go for it.

Josh hiking to the piste:

When we finally got to it, we had to take a break. The run looked a bit steep but it was marked as a red so we figured it couldn’t be that bad. Plus, it took us so long to get there that we didn’t want to turn around and hike back. Josh put his skis on then I started to but one of my skis went sliding down the hill. Crap. Now, what do I do? I only had one ski. Well, I took it off and decided to slowly inch down the hill to get it and then decide what to do. This, I have learned, is not the correct answer.

As soon as I moved to get in position to go down the hill, I started sliding. Before I knew what was happening, I was barreling down the hill. I was completely out of control and could not stop sliding. I was falling so fast and hitting bumps and flying into the air. It was the scariest event of my life and I really thought I would hit a huge rock and die or become paralyzed. I tried to grab onto the snow (there was nothing else to grab for!) whenever I hit the ground, but it was very icy and of course I could really grab it. I tried keeping my feet down as much as possible but couldn’t control it. My coat and shirts came up as I was sliding, so I was basically sliding on my bare back for most of the way. Eventually, I came to some more powdery snow and was able to stop. At this point I was on my stomach, feet first. I had fallen so far that I could no longer see Josh at the top of the hill.

I lay there for a couple of minutes looking up and trying to decide what to do. I was afraid to move because I was afraid I would start falling again…but I also wanted to make sure that I could move. I wiggled my arms and legs to make sure I could still feel them. Everything seemed to work except that my right eye and my bottom lip felt huge. I looked down and noticed some blood in the snow. Not a good sign. I picked up some ice and put it below my eye and then looked at it. Yes, it was covered in blood.

After a few more minutes of having no idea what to do, I suddenly remember that I had my cell phone in my coat (appropriately placed in the pocket labeled mobile). I carefully reached for my phone while moving my body as little as possible. This is when I realized that my coat and shirts had come up, my coat was unzipped and I was also missing my second ski, poles, hat and goggles. I found my phone and called Josh.

“Lori, are you okay?”

“Umm, I think so. I can move but I think I look pretty bad because there is some blood. I have no idea what to do now.”

“I have been waving up here the whole time. Why didn’t you wave back?”

“I can’t see you.”

“I was getting ready to ski down to you.”

“NO! DON’T! It’s impossible. Don’t even try. Just walk back to the cable car.”

Josh talking to someone else.

“There is a snowboarder here who is going to come help you and try to get your skis. Are you sure you’re ok?”

“I’m pretty sure I’m ok, but warn this guy that I think I look pretty bad.”

Then I saw a snowboarder making his way down, stopping every so often to pick up something that I dropped. I continued to rub pieces of ice on my face. I’m not sure why I was doing this. I guess it was to get the blood off. Anyways, the snowboarder, Jeremy, came to me and had a look of panic and horror on his face. At this point, I realized that I must look a bit worse than I originally thought. After establishing that we should speak English and that I think I’m ok, he decided the best way to get down was to continue to slide. So, he went a few feet ahead of me on his snowboard and I slid to him. He was also carrying my skis and poles at the same time. He helped me until the ski patrol people came and helped me the rest of the way where Josh was waiting. Then I went to the first aid room and rode in the ambulance to the emergency room. (This was a bit of deja vu from when I twisted my knee last year.)

It turns out that my nose and part of the right side of my face were pretty torn up. I guess the best word is raw. My back was kind of bad too. My face was covered in bright red blood. It looked a bit fake. The ER x-rayed my face, cleaned my face and back and put fat cream all over me. Yes, it is something called “fette creme” which I guess helps with the healing process. Everything seemed to be okay for the most part except for the burns on my face, nose and back from rubbing on the ice. The doctor referred me to a plastic surgeon. Yikes!

I don’t have any pictures from the actual incident but here are some pictures from afterwards. I’m telling you now that they don’t do this injury justice.

Seriously, these pictures do not do it justice. The picture of my face is from the evening of the accident. The picture on the right is 2 days later (today). The bruise that goes into my pants is foretelling as my entire bum is black and blue. No joke. And it’s incredibly painful. My back is mostly what is killing me. It hurts to walk, to eat, to sleep, pretty much anything. Obviously, this ruined our weekend. We came home early on Sunday. Innsbruck was a bust. I can say that Josh has been so amazing through it all. He is making me as comfortable as possible and taking very good care of me.

Oh, and Jeremy informed us that this is the steepest piste in Europe with an incline of 70 degrees. Nice.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2008 1:46 pm

    I wish I could be there to help you but I know Josh is a good job of taking good care of you. I pray for you everyday that the healing process will be fast. You are in great hands, the Lord is watching you and will always be with you. Just remember I love you very much and miss you.


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