Monday, March 30, 2015

Skidding Off a Ski Trail and Hoping for Help

By Ashley Liporace

Imagine. You are on a ski trip with your father. You just started to go down the mountain. Fun, right? Now you are heading towards the side of the mountain off the trail. Scared yet? What happens if you add in falling? You see the top of the hill where other skiers are and you are yelling for help.  Now you are scared. This frightful event happened to now-twenty-year old Michael Koick three years ago. He recalled this memorable moment for me on Saturday, February 28.

Ashley Liporace: What happened?

Michael Kocik: I was at Hunter Mountain on the Way Out Trail and I fell off the side of the trail.

AL: Did you hit something to make you fall?

MK:  Yes, I hit a patch of ice and it was too late for me to dig into it. So I went straight off the trail, down where no one could see me.

AL: Dig into the ice, what is that exactly?

MK: It is where you try to slow down on skies when you hit ice.

AL: What happened after you realized you were heading to the edge of the trail?

MK: I did not have time to process what was going to happen next. I do not remember the fall either; I think my mind blacked it out.

AL: What do you remember?

MK: I was laying there, my leg hurting, I thought I broke it. Then I looked up the side of the trail and I yelled for help. My dad passed by and I yelled louder and he did not even stop. I blame his head phones that he had plugged in.

AL: Obviously someone found you, but do you know how long it was?

MK: Well, it was not my dad, that’s for sure. (slight laugh) A couple found me and I got to ride down the hill on the sled, it was somewhat fun. They took me to the medical hut.

AL: Did they find anything wrong, like a concussion or a broken leg?

MK:  No, I was perfectly fine. I was bit sore from the fall. One of my skies was missing. If I did not have my helmet or goggles on, who knows what would have happened. There were all these brown scrape marks from the wooden fence that I apparently went through, it was small, and some yellow and orange from my skis. Not to mention, on my goggles there was a huge line going from one end to the other.

The weirdest part was that when me and my dad were heading up to hill on the chair lift, we were talking about one of our friends having to ride down the hill on the sled to the medical hut. It was just plain wired that I ended up having to ride down one only a short time later.

AL: Did you learn anything from this experience that you would want others to remember?

MK: Oh, I learned a lot. (Slight laugh) For starts, when your parent says take the hill slow, take the hill slow; they know when you’re tired a lot more than you know you are. Also, never let my dad put on music when he skis. But the most important thing is that you should always wear your helmet and goggles. It can save you from a lot of trouble.

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