Nendaz 4* FWQ and Knee Injury

A couple of weeks ago I competed in the qualification day for the Nendaz 4* in Switzerland.

I managed to qualify into the finals in 6th position with the score from my first run.Unfortunately I injured myself when I crashed badly in my second run. 28 people qualified for the final, so even with a DNS I still ended up 28th overall in the 4* comp out of a field of over 50.The second run was cancelled after my injury and another more serious heli to hospital straight after me. Conditions had become pretty bad.

I have since had an MRI and have talked to an Orthopaedic surgeon, unfortunately the results aren't so flash.

I have a ruptured ACL, and a bucket tear on my medial meniscus.I will need two surgeries, the first for the meniscus and the second for the ACL. The recovery time after the first operation will be 6 weeks, to make sure my knee is fully mobile and strong before going back to fix the ACL.
The recovery time after ACL is 6 months so all up it is looking like 7 and a half months until I'm back to normal activity and back on snow, which will be too late for NZ but pretty good timing for the northern winter.
It will then be another 2 or 3 months after that before I am able to compete again.

The plan is to take it day by day and focus on the smaller goals of regaining mobility and strength.

I am pretty gutted, but it had to happen sooner or later!
Up until now I have never broken or cracked a bone, nor have I had any major ligament damage, so to be honest I think I've done pretty well to stay intact for so long!

Although it is unfortunate to have an injury put me out of doing knee dependent activities for a while, my mind is fully set on rehab and recovery. I have had a bunch of good friends around me since the injury so I am in pretty good spirits. I figure the best thing to do is to stay positive.

I will be back at it before you can say "oh hey its December already!"

That's the important stuff summarised but for anyone who wants to hear the more in depth story of the comp continue reading below.

The format was 2 runs both count.
The face was split down the middle into two sides. We had to do our first run on the left side and our second on the right.

So effectively it was two runs count, same day, two different venues.
I skied my first run solid, opting for the two small drops one big drop approach, which I figured would place me quite high.

I stomped all of my airs and placed 6th after run one, although i didn't find that out until after the day was done.
I went into my second run with a similar approach, my run consisted of one small drop, skiing quickly and keeping my line simple until my one big feature at the end.
The line I skied was a double stage drop.

I dropped in at about 3.30, and as it turns out the ski tracks had frozen where people had skied the soft snow under the first stage of my double. When I landed the first stage something went wrong with my knee, it was a sort of grinding sensation. I knew something was wrong but from there I was too far into the double and going too fast to pull out of the second drop. I went off it less balanced and landed in a refrozen bomb hole from another skier.

I knew there would be bomb holes and was expecting a pretty heavy landing but I thought it would be softer than it was.
I hadn't taken into account that the ski tracks could have frozen.
So basically I landed badly on an already compromised knee and rag-dolled twisting it knee further.

I am really happy with my first run and am stoked on the way I am skiing at the moment. I have at least proved to myself that I am capable of qualifying top of the field in the four star events.
After my results in the FWQ 4* events this season I will have entry into the 2015 Northern Hemisphere FWQ 4* comps.

So I have something to aim for, something to be fit and strong for.

Back to NZ, Land of of the long misty mornings

Sunrise flying back to NZ

Sunrise somewhere in the air near Aus