Fracture Fridays: Wayne Hobin’s duct tape splint job
There … a little gauze and some duct tape and I can get my fractured wrist into the glove. Now I’m good for several more days of skiing.
In the “days before there was air or helmets,” I was skiing down Northstar and had stopped to take a break. I was below the ridge where there is now a “No Jumping” sign near the trees.
It was a very cold and snowy February morning. I had come out to ski for two weeks and visit my Dartmouth buds. However, today, I was on my own.
As I stood there, a group came down and did some aerobatics over the jump. The last one over tried to grab his skis in mid-flight and missed. Of course that upset his balance and he turned perpendicular to the slope, wildly pin wheeling his arms. When he landed his edges caught and he was heading right for me. I didn’t have a prayer … SPLAT! I wound up “skiing” very rapidly backwards into the woods. I extended my left hand to stop the progress and it whacked right into a tree. My assailant mumbled something like: “You OK?” and then left me there lying in the woods.
As they say, you only remember exactly what happened the first time. After that, the memories are supposed to be modified from remembering the remembrances. In this case, my memory is extraordinarily clear.
I tired to get up but felt a fire in my left wrist and the hand was just dangling. Many obscenities later, I was able to upright and climb back to the trail. I had to ski the rest of the way down to the Northwoods chair.
I asked the lifties if there was anything they could do. They said they could call the patrol but they’d probably want to put me in a sled and take me to the ER. Nah, it’s only a broken wrist.
So, I continued down to the Village. Navigating Tourist Trap on Riva was a major challenge but somehow I got down. I went to a ski shop and asked if they had some duct tape (they all do). They also had some cotton material that I put on the wrist prior to taping. The issue was to keep my splint thin enough to get the glove over it.
Yes, it was painful but I managed to find an ice bucket for the next several days and continued skiing with my homemade splints. Somehow, it healed just fine over the next three months.
I’m still skiing many years later.
Tell us your story
Injuries are a common topic in mountain communities. We tend to push ourselves to the point of having them. If you have an on-mountain or sports-related injury, we want you to share the story of your injury, recovery and redemption (and if you’re currently injured, we want to hear your plans for the last two).
To read more Fracture Friday stories and to share yours, visit VailDaily.com/FractureFridays. And be sure to check the paper every Friday for the latest Fracture Friday.