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craiger_123 t1_j0hwxx1 wrote

O’Connell, 37, was found dead Tuesday morning after he collided with a tree in a heavily wooded area near one of the resort’s ski trails, said Sgt Melody Cutler, public information officer for the Unified police department. He was wearing a helmet, but suffered a spinal fracture and was pronounced dead at the scene.


OrangeLoco t1_j0i1si5 wrote

I wonder if his helmet had MIPS.


guacharusmaximus t1_j0i48no wrote

"Mips, or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, uses a slip plane designed to manage energy from rotational and angular impacts."


Junkyard_Pope t1_j0j5pnr wrote

He was also a ski instructor and outdoor guide. Truly a freak accident.


sorta_kindof t1_j0jascg wrote

I wouldnt call it a freak accident. Dude avoided fast moving trees for a living. You can mess that up about 1ish times


CoyotesAreGreen t1_j0jgtyw wrote

Technically the trees aren't moving. They typically stay pretty stationary.


sorta_kindof t1_j0jhx11 wrote

This whole time I thoght skiing was just standing still and the expensive lift pass was so they could move the mountain at you... I mean why else would it cost so much

Are you telling me they charge for a hill to fall down.....for fun? I don't believe you


The_Only_Dick_Cheney t1_j0lsswu wrote

How is that a freak accident?

A freak accident is walking to work and getting hit by an engine off a plane.


zandengoff t1_j0iib25 wrote

Same way Sonny Bono died. Took him out in the prime of his life. As a kid, it put me off of ever wanting to try skiing.


Cedocore t1_j0ilvi5 wrote

Can't you just stick to skiing on well defined trails? Instead of in woody areas?


sorta_kindof t1_j0jbxkp wrote

I personally love taking the trees and it feels more like a hike propelled by snow and gravity. It's scenic and the maneuvering is way different than bombing down the hill

That said I don't go fast enough to really hurt myself.

But the appeal of trees and trails is more about enjoying the mountain and hopefully not anywhere near people that will run into you unannounced. They are marked trails though just ones less traveled by

There's a Robert Frost pun somewhere in this

I took the trail less traveled by.... and I died like this guy


ucatione t1_j0k3m0y wrote

You can ski through trees without bombing the run. I love zipping through trees, but I take it nice and slow.


[deleted] t1_j0ip5wl wrote



happy_halloweenie t1_j0iq6m9 wrote

I've been skiing for 30 years and I've never gone off trail. When we want to have riskier fun we hit the jumps and the harder slopes. But I'm not interested in slamming into a tree just to get the fresh snow.


HipHopotamusHurray t1_j0j5gpo wrote

Realistic progression wise, people need to master moguls before going into trees. I personally love tree runs because it keeps you on your toes and there is actual planning involved, similar to navigating moguls


snorlz t1_j0jlna5 wrote

30 yrs and youve never gone off trail? wow, maybe you should try it before you decide you arent interested. Even for an ok skiier its easy to avoid trees unless youre going down expert trees


EbbyRed t1_j0iva7c wrote

I guarantee anyone that has the attitude of the above doesn't have the skill to safely navigate off-trail. Once in a while the attitude above ends up the headline of a news article.

Been skiing 20+ years, there is always a safer and still challenging on-trail option.


Hopeforthebest1986 t1_j0iwx3b wrote

Buddy, there's a whole world of skiers you don't speak for. I don't even consider it a full day's skiing unless I've spent as much time rappelling down cliffs as I have on skis.

I'm not saying that staying "on trail" is lame... I like a nicely groomed piste as much as anyone. But don't go telling other people to do the same thing you like to do.


EbbyRed t1_j0iyc4m wrote

I'm not saying people can't go off trail. I'm saying that people with the attitude of "on-trail is boring for anyone that's skied more than a couple times" are the ones that don't have the skill and end up headlines.

Presumably, if you have rappel gear and know how to use it, you probably have way more safety awareness than the average douchebag that skids down a black thinking that he should search out some powder in the woods.


Hopeforthebest1986 t1_j0iz5ch wrote

"Trees and natural features are the most fun for many people and also where the best snow is"

is absolutely not the same as

"on-trail is boring for anyone that's skied more than a couple times"

Don't put words in people's mouths. Ps, we are all average douchebags, some of us just have more fun while doing it.


Top_Strategy1083 t1_j0iii45 wrote

Natasha Richardson too. Although hers maybe wasn’t a collision.


GrabbyBar t1_j0kp5qe wrote

She fell on a green run without doing anything remotely dangerous like off piste.


Burnertoasty t1_j0kyn3b wrote

I did the same thing this year, I'm an experienced skier, been doing it since I was a little kid, probably for 35 years now, and this winter, just slowly coming to a stop, I over corrected a little at basically zero kmh, and fell backwards, nothing serious, but right at the end of the fall my head kind of fell back and I hit it hard on hard pack snow. Helmet took most of the impact, but I had a minor concussion for days afterwards. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I fear it would have been much more serious. Completely innocuous too. And to think for 30 of my 35 years skiing, I never wore a helmet. Nuts.


throwaway_forobviou3 t1_j0lolla wrote

> And to think for 30 of my 35 years skiing, I never wore a helmet. Nuts.

Same, only ever wore a helmet for racing. I was mostly the fastest skier on the mountain, did crazy jumps, too (far and high, not twisting and turning)

Just didn't think twice.

Think I had a concussion once. Completely misjudged a kicker, hit it way too fast and crumbled in the flat after a very high fall. Skied down the mountain, don't remember anything from the rest of the day.

>If I hadn't been wearing a helmet, I fear it would have been much more serious. Completely innocuous too.

Falls on the back of the head are crazy dangerous and you're most probably right.


yodarded t1_j0j5aro wrote

>Took him out in the prime of his life.

well... he was 62.


zandengoff t1_j0j65sl wrote

I meant he was coming around to a very promising political career. It really was just getting started for him.


SilverCervy t1_j0jx2oh wrote

Accounts of the day he died say that it was very foggy that day, almost whiteout conditions. And Sonny wasn't wearing a helmet. Tree skiing is immense fun but there are times when you really shouldn't try it.


RocinanteCoffee t1_j0kh5k3 wrote

Didn't the same thing happen to Liam Neeson's wife?


kabotya t1_j0lnee2 wrote

She died from falling and hitting her head and having a slow bleed, not from a collision


abstractraj t1_j0r23ll wrote

There are plenty of ski areas with broad trails without trees


Resinate1 t1_j0jpvd4 wrote

Sonny Bono like from that Eminem Song?


JCarlide t1_j0k2wk2 wrote

Sonny Bono as, "that Sonny" from Sonny and Cher.

Yes, that Cher.

Thier kid also started in politics already.


smoofwah t1_j0j21ez wrote

So how do I protect my spine 0.0


bjakeb6 t1_j0je58k wrote

The biggest issues are physical fitness and skill level. Make sure you are in good shape by doing lots of cardio, leg and core workouts. As far as skill goes, take baby steps to get better. If you try things way out of your skill level it makes it easy to get in an accident. Many ski injuries are caused from simply overestimating your own abilities. I even got injured the other day from overestimating my physical strength, and I definitely learned a valuable lesson!

This isn't to say you shouldn't do the more difficult terrain, but rather make sure you are prepared to handle it.


finnerpeace t1_j0jamha wrote

This is why we ski cross-country rather than downhill.

Tragic! :(


wazzuprising t1_j0ih68a wrote

I heard theme song to white lotus in my head as I read the headline.


Tribat_1 t1_j0ixxn4 wrote

I feel like a shitty person bc that was my first thought too.