I used to race for a couple of years for my University (my early 20’s). We had some excellent racers in our competitions. Some of the guys and girls racing with us were Junior Canadian National team members. Pretty high calliber stuff. I couldn’t even dream of standing up to them but my best finish ever was 22nd and that was only because most of the top guys fell due to the very icy conditions that day. My strategy was that if I just stay up until the finish line, I migh rank. It worked and I broke into the second seed. Once!
Anyway, one day, during team training we decided we’d find out who was the most insane among us. We strapped on the helmets and went at it with a radar gun trapping out speeds.
I posted one of the five fastest times at 97km/hr. It was an incredible rush and I’m sure it’s the fastest I’ve gone on skis before or since. The funny thing that happened while I was breaking my own personal record is the nausea that set in and around the time I was making the fastest part of the run. I don’t know if it was the speed or my nerves but at the fastest point I felt like I was going to evacuate the contents of my stomach. As I slowed down near the bottom the feeling passed as quickly as it came. In a way, the sight of one of my teammates throwing up his breakfast shortly after reaching the bottom was somewhat encouraging. I’d hate to think I was the only one who had the suffing frightened out of them by those speeds.
Of course now a days, I don’t so much burn up the trails as cruise the pistes.
…ahh, the good old days… the older I get the better I was…
I went fast enough to separate my left shoulder. It was my first time on downhill skis. I took a lesson, worked my way from the bunny hill to the next bigger hill, and to the next. After 2 hours, I decided for one more run before lunch.
Never say “Just one more run”. It’s guaranteed to be the last run you’ll make that day.
The hard part was taking boots and stuff off with one hand. No, scratch that - the hard part was getting down off that friggin’ hill. I tried to ski down, and fell twice more. Ouch…
Now Ralf Jr. wants to try downhill skiing this winter. Only after he (and I) get some time on our cross country skis!
A while back I dated a girl who was big into downhill skiing. I got out a couple times a year back then. For about our third date, we decided to ski. Toward the end of the day my confidence was getting pretty high and I decided to take on the most difficult run. About half way down I hit a patch of ice and flipped over. The instant before that was undoubtedly the fastest I have ever gone on downhill skis; I think I continued to gain speed, but everything after this point would fall under the category of “fastest I have ever gone with downhill skis nearby”. Anyway, I used my forehead to leave a trench (which we later discovered could be seen from the chairlift) the rest of the way down the hill and off into the woods. The entire hill was strewn with various clothing and ski equipment, and I forgot my name for a while. I have since restricted myself almost exclusively to water skiing, so that I do not have to worry about hitting patches of ice.
Well, they weren’t downhill skis specifically, they were cross-country skis which happened to be going downhill at the time. I have no clue how fast I was going. But since what I saw in front of me was a clump of spruce trees, and beyond them, air where the ground should be, I was in my opinion going much much much too fast. This happened before I had learned to turn at will, so I went with the classic emergency stop: I threw myself down in the snow and whimpered.
Anyone who thinks cross-country skiing is dull is not seeking out the right sort of terrain.