Last summer, my brother and his family moved from the Denver ‘burbs to the Minneapolis ‘burbs. In addition to discovering the wonders (and joys) of overnight ice fishing, they’ve also discovered skiing — Minnesota-style!
How is Minnesota-style skiing different from Colorado-style?
Hard-packed snow, notwithstanding, the primary change for him and his family is access. Instead of living at least an hour from the nearest Colorado resort, my brother lives only 10 minutes from Buck Hill, one of the top teaching and ski racing mountains in the Midwest (it’s where Lindsey Vonn learned to ski).
So beginning in January, his 9 year-old daughter joined a school ski program. Every Friday after school, she takes a lesson with her classmates, has dinner, and then free skis into the evening.
Two weeks ago, she asked my brother to join her for a few runs. In his words, here’s what happened.
Dad and Daughter Ski Night
6:00 pm – Arrive at Buck Hill ready to ski (after a 14 year layoff).
6:05 pm – Start searching for my daughter.
6:15 pm – Still searching for my daughter.
6:20 pm – Call my wife to see if she knows where I might find my daughter (That’s right, I don’t just ask her if she’s seen my socks).
6:25 pm – On third lap of cafeteria I find my daughter.
6:30 pm – Buying lift ticket and getting rental equipment.
6:40 pm – On the magic carpet for the first run of the day.
6:41 pm – My daughter is at the bottom of the hill after our first run of the day.
6:45 pm – I am at the bottom of the hill after first run. Talk to my daughter about making turns on the run, rather than going straight downhill.
6:50 pm – Second run, a few more turns and we arrive at the bottom closer together.
6:55 pm – Third run completed. More turns and I’m starting to get the skiing motion back under control.
7:00 pm – Fourth run disaster strikes. My daughter has a nasty fall (while doing the turns her father — that is me, I — MADE her do). She lets me know.
7:15 pm – Ski patrol has loaded daughter in sled for short ride to the base.
7:45 pm – On the way to the ER after the great folks in the ski patrol have immobilized her knee.
8:00 pm – Admitted into the ER
1:00 am – Discharged from ER with a broken knee (that’s right a broken knee). She managed to fracture the very top of her shin bone where the ligament attaches.
The following morning, my daughter is laying on the couch with her leg in a brace, watching Sponge Bob and looking forward to skiing next year.
Question: After concern for my daughter’s well-being abates, I face a dilemma. Should I garnish her allowance to reimburse me for the ski ticket and rental costs or see if I can somehow work it into the insurance?
I only got 4 runs in before we had to stop!
The Brave Ski
Mom Sister Adds…
A few days after my niece’s accident, we chatted on the phone. Despite her injury, which is actually pretty bad, she’s hoping to keep skiing and start-up again next year (it’s gotta be more fun than ice fishing, right?).
As for my brother, he was just getting his skiing mojo back, so I hope he’ll get a rain check from Buck Hill and get out there on the slopes again this season. If nothing else, he was super impressed with the quick response and kind-hearted treatment provided by the Buck Hill Ski Patrol.
Good luck to you both!
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