The Snowboard Goddess & Confessions of a Fanatic Snowboarder

Reading time: 13 pages, 5,744 words, 13 to 23 minutes.

Being an über skeptic, I am neither religious nor spiritual. However, there are mysteries beyond our ken that I cannot ignore. I share some of them here.

I began snowboarding with a three day clinic in early January 1994 at Mystery Mountain in Thompson, Manitoba. I’m now in my twentieth year of snowboarding. With such an auspicious anniversary, I felt it was time to tell my story. You can judge for yourself whether I’m dedicated, obsessive, a fanatic, a nut-case or all of the above.

Prior to 1994, I had no snowboarding experience and knew absolutely nothing about the various types of snowboards. I was 43 years old; a snowboard virgin. I had skied since my early teens but skiing was losing its challenge. Someone suggested this snowboard clinic.

Little did I know that the Rossignol Alpine snowboards we were learning to ride were an ‘advanced’ board and a lot less forgiving than most of the free-style boards you usually see on the slopes. Let me briefly describe the different types of boards while I beg the forgiveness of aficionados for being overly simplistic.

There are two basic types of boards; hard boards and soft boards with many types and variations, but I’ll try to keep this simple. There are many technical features that I will avoid such as camber, rocker, torsional and longitudinal flex, side-cut and setback to name just a few. As I said, I’m trying to keep this simple.

Hard boards are narrow and rigid and usually use rigid bindings and hard plastic boots similar to ski boots to control the edge. Hard boarding is all about edge control just as carving a turn with skis is all about edge control. I’ve thought about having a sweat shirt made that says, “Hard boarders are always on edge”.

There are three types of hard boards. Carving boards are long and heavy for high speed carving, powder and big mountain terrain. Racing boards are short and light for faster maneuverability and are the easiest hard board to learn. In between these two extremes are Alpine boards which include the best of both worlds but they are also a compromise between the two and are primarily recreational and a lot of fun once you learn to ride them.

Hard boarding requires 100% focus and concentration. Ogling the cute snow bunnies or chatting with your buddies has painful consequences. There are only three things that I concentrate on when snowboarding; me, the board and the mountain. Anything else is a dangerous distraction.

Very few (probably less than 1%) of the snowboards you see on the slopes are hard boards. Most of the boards you see are soft boards and there are numerous types such as free ride, free-style, all-mountain and others too numerous to list. Soft boards are flexible as are their bindings and boots. You need this flexibility for jumping and acrobatics so the board flattens when landing in order to avoid “catching an edge” and wiping out. Soft board edges are not very aggressive and therefore they are more forgiving which is ideal for stunts as well as beginners. On the other hand, it makes it more challenging to carve a turn with soft boards whereas with hard boards you set an edge and carve a pencil-thin line in the snow.

As I said, this is a very simplistic explanation. There are numerous variations of boards, boots and binding. If you’ve ever watched snowboard cross (or boarder cross) racing you’ll see a mixture of both hard and soft boards. Over the years, some soft boards have developed to the point where they can almost carve a turn as well as a hard board yet are flexible enough they can withstand jumps (“catching air”) and landing without wiping out.

My niece & I at Sunshine in Banff

My niece & I at Sunshine in Banff

Before that snowboard clinic in 1994, we had an orientation session the evening before. We were advised to use knee pads, elbow pads and a hip bone and tail bone pad during training. If you’ve ever landed on your tail bone you’ll know how painful that can be. Hip bones, elbows and knees also have little flesh to pad them.

They also recommended we bring a change of long johns (underwear) because, no matter how cold it was, we were going to wring the sweat out of our clothes by lunch time. They weren’t kidding. The next day it was minus 42 C (roughly the same in Fahrenheit because the two scales cross at minus 40). Despite the cold, we were drenched in sweat by noon because we spent most of the time constantly picking our sorry asses up off the snow. With my head uncovered and mitts off, I could see heat and steam radiating off my head and hands.

At the end of the day I could barely drag myself into my car to drive home. After a hot bath along with a couple beers, I crawled into bed and fell asleep until next the morning when I dragged my sore butt back to the slopes. Rinse, repeat for two more days. I swore numerous times I was going to murder our drill sergeant instructor. Two things kept me going. First, I paid good money for this three day clinic and second, was imagining cruel and unusual punishments for the instructor before murdering him.

They told us not to expect to do ride the full length of the bunny hill until the third day. Two fellows did it at the end of the second day; one was a skateboarder, the other a surfer. They both had experience riding with both feet on one board. The rest of us were skiers who had to ‘unlearn’ ski skills, get comfortable with both feet on one board and re-learn how to fall.

Learning to fall is more important than you might think. On skis, when you wipe out, you try to land on your thighs because thighs have a lot of cushioning flesh. On a snowboard, especially a hard board, you don’t wipe out so much as you do painful body slams, so learning how to fall properly is vitally important.

Most ski injuries are lower body injuries such as broken legs. On the other hand, snowboard injuries are mostly upper body and organ injuries such as arms, wrists, necks, kidneys and other juicy parts. Mothers beware: if you’re going to let your children ride boards, make sure they take proper lessons. Don’t let their friends take them to the top of a mountain and just push them off.

And, don’t forget helmets. They’ve probably saved my life more often than I’ll ever know. As one fellow asked, “What’s your head worth?” Obviously, it’s worth more than the price of a helmet. I once knocked myself unconscious in sight of the lower lift attendant. When I came to and rode down to the lift, he said, “If you hadn’t started moving soon, I’d have called the Ski Patrol.” I was still a bit woozy and mumbled thanks or something. If I had my wits about me I should have asked how long was I not moving. In addition, helmets are a lot warmer than any other head covering.

No matter how much I pay attention, wipe-outs do happen. One at Candy Mountain, Thunder Bay twisted my knees so badly I thought the ski patrol would have to drag me off the mountain. I picked myself up, dusted off the snow, made a few more runs (stupid!) to make sure everything still worked. Afterward, resting in the lodge my knees became painfully stiff so I called it a day. It was about a month before I ventured back on the mountain.

However, over the years, my knees became more painful. Without Glucosamine, I’d probably be in a wheel chair. Today, I’m still boarding but my knees tell me when low pressure weather is setting in. I’ve had many other injuries. More on that later.

One other thing kept me going during that painful three day clinic. Her name was Angela: a tiny, sweet young thing in her early twenties who was barely four feet tall. I figured if she can do it then so could I at 43 years old.

On the last day, I told her that she was an inspiration to me; that if she could do it, so could I. Surprised, she said, “Gerold, you were an inspiration to me, too. If an old guy like you can do it, so can I.” We both laughed.

The first few years I used regular ski boots on my snowboard. Once I realized I loved snowboarding and intended to keep doing it, I knew I had to get real hard board boots. Hard board boots look similar to ski boots, but there are differences. The soles are thicker to raise the boots off the board for more leverage when carving turns. Also, the toe and heel are curved at the ends to reduce dragging them in the snow on extreme turns (“laying it down in the turns”).

Another feature on some hard board boots is a ‘cant’ adjustment. Cant is the forward lean. The more forward the lean; the more aggressive the turn. However, there is a downside. The more forward the lean, the faster legs get tired. On my boots, I’ll start the day at level two and adjust to level three after a morning of practice and drills. Level four would be for racing and level five is an Olympic leg killer. By the way, on soft boards, the cant is on the binding rather than on the boot and is adjusted for the same reason.

Prior to flying to Toronto for a meeting, I grilled instructors about hard board boots. The general consensus was that Raichle made excellent boots. I searched the internet for a retailer and found one in Vancouver, one at Collingwood and one in Toronto called Sign of the Skier.

You may have noticed, there aren’t a lot of stores selling hard board gear. Hard boarding is a low volume business; there just aren’t a lot of hard boarders unlike soft boards where there seems to be a store on every street corner. This also means, hard boards, boots and bindings are expensive. After that three day clinic we had the option of buying our boards and bindings. Mine cost $850 and that was almost twenty years ago. You can buy a decent soft board for half that. It also means hard boards and gear rarely go on sale.

I searched Raichle’s website to learn more about their boots. They made the Suzuka brand boot as well as the Suzuka Dee Luxe. However, there was very little information about them nor any information about the difference between the regular and the Dee Luxe model although I suspected the Dee Luxe was more expensive. I called Sign of the Skier on Tuesday to confirm they carried these boots and they said they had lots in stock.

I was looking for size nine. I wasn’t too fussy about color but I preferred either grey, black or white.

I arrived in Toronto Saturday morning. The meetings started on Monday but I learned long ago when a company pays for my flight I take advantage and make a short holiday of it. By paying for two nights’ hotel out of my own pocket I do the tourist thing and see places I normally wouldn’t or couldn’t afford. Often, I can take advantage of our cheaper corporate hotel rate.

So I arrived at Sign of the Skier Saturday morning and asked about hard board boots.

“I’m sorry sir, but we’re all sold out.”

“What? Tuesday you said you had a lot of stock.”

“We did, but our one week sale (did he say SALE?) started last Saturday and it’s been snowing since Wednesday so product has been flying off the shelves.”

“OMG, do you have anything at all?”

“All we have left is our display model on the wall.”

“Well, let’s have a look,“ I said, trying not to get my hopes up.

He came over with a grey boot in size nine. It was a Raichle Suzuka Dee Luxe. It fit like a glove. And, it was on SALE! Regular $650, marked down to $400 and change. He dug its twin out of the store room. The gods were smiling on me that day. Nor would this be the last time for such fortuitous circumstances.

A couple years later, after receiving a nice profit sharing bonus, I decided to buy a longer board. I went to my favorite ski and board store in Thunder Bay, the Ski Haus and talked to my favorite salesman, Dave.

He asked, “What make of board do you want?”

I said, “Rossignol has served me well so I’d like to stick with them. I’ve tried a few others but the only other one I liked was a Burton but they’re too popular and you have to lock ‘em when you park ‘em otherwise they walk away.”

“Bad news, Rossi stopped making hard boards last year and they’re concentrating on the soft board market now.”

Apparently, hard boards are a prestige item and new start-ups sometimes produce them so they can make a name for themselves on the racing circuit. Once established, they’ll turn to higher volume items like soft boards. Rossignol had been making skis for a long time so this is how they broke into the snowboard market.

He said, “Have a look through the catalogs and see if there’s anything you like.”

I did but didn’t see anything interesting.

He said, “The owner, Bill Scollie, is away at a ski & board show. He’s bringing back new catalogs so stop in next Saturday and have a look”

When I dropped in again, Dave said, “If we had a Rossi what size would you want?”

“Well, I have a 153 CM board now but I’d like something a bit longer, say around 160.”

“Would a 159 CM do?”

“Close enough, but I thought you said they weren’t making them anymore.”

“Go have a look in our showroom.”

“Dave, I’ve already seen your kiddie-boards. I’m not interested.”

“Trust me. Go have a look”

I did. Standing in the corner was a white and grey, 159 CM Rossignol free-style carving board still in its dusty wrapping.

Incredulously I asked, “Where did you get this?”

“It’s last year’s model (as if I care) and when Bill got back, we talked about it. He thought I’d sold this Rossi last year and I thought he’d sold it so we both ran downstairs and found it buried under a bunch of stuff. Do you want it?”

“Yes, of course I want it!”

“Make us an offer.”

I did some mental gyrations. My last board and binding was $850. Say $250 for the bindings; that leaves $600 for the board. Plus there’d be more than a decade of inflation. I figured I should make a lowball offer and let them talk me up.

So I said, “How does $500 sound.”

Just then, Bill the owner walks by and says, “How about $400?”

“Bill, you’ve got an unusual negotiating style!”

He said, “It would be incremental business. If you hadn’t inquired, we’d never have found it until it was obsolete and worth nothing so, if you want it, take it for $400.”

I did. The gods were smiling on me once again.

Dave asked if I wanted to use my old bindings. He’s using the new X-Bone step-in, quick release bindings that are great for guys like us that are a little thicker in the middle so with these X-Bones we don’t have to bend over when buckling up or releasing.

He said, “Unfortunately, they only fit Suzuka Dee Luxe boots.”

“NO SHIT! That’s what I got.”

“No shit! Well bring ‘em in so we can get the serial number and order the bindings to match.”

For a third time, the gods were smiling on me.

Several years later, our annual Sales meeting in January was held at the Collingwood ski resort. I had quite a bit to drink and decided to go back to the hotel. Wending my way on foot through the Alpine village I kept getting turned around unable to find the hotel. No problem, it was a warm winter night with an occasional gust of blinding snow so I’d keep strolling around amidst the revelry and merriment all around me.

There was another momentary blinding gust of snow. I opened my eyes to see a beautiful young blonde in a pure white snow suit carrying a white snow board. She asked if I was lost. If that wasn’t enough, she had a British accent (my favorite).

I said I’m looking for my hotel.

She took me by the hand, walked me around a corner that I had missed and I found myself standing on the front steps of my hotel. After another blinding gust of snow, I opened my eyes to thank her. She was gone. Poof! Just like that.

So you see, there is a snowboard goddess. And, she speaks with a British accent. Once again the gods were smiling on me. This wouldn’t be the last time.

I’ve often said that hard boarding is as close as you can get to heaven without dying, but you have to go through hell to get there.

I have a bad neck. At age thirteen, I was running and jumped across a low hedge. I didn’t see the metal cable stretched over the hedge. It caught me under the lip and snapped my head back. Not only did I slip a disk but I was the fifth recorded case of teenage calcification of the vertebrae. It was a painful recovery.

At age twenty, a bunch of friends and I got drunk and decided to chase cars down Portage Avenue in a blinding snowstorm. Hey, if you don’t do stupid things when you’re young, you won’t have any stories to tell when you’re old. Have I got stories!

Then we decided to race-climb trees. Not only did I win on the way up, I won on the way down when a branch broke and I landed on my face, snapping my head back and breaking my left wrist.

Many years later I searched Home Street Park for that nefarious tree. Most of the other trees are still standing, but they killed the tree that broke me as a youth. You can see its remains below. How sad.

IMG_1961

At age 25, before shoulder belts were in widespread use, I was a passenger in a Mazda wagon driven by my boss. Running a red light, a ¾ ton pickup truck T-boned us and spun us 360 degrees. My forehead caved in the dashboard and snapped my head back again.

At Emergency, I knew it was my X-ray the doctor was examining when I saw him do a double-take. I looked over his should, saw my name and told him, “It was like that before the accident.”

H spun around, “Oh, thank god for that. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be standing here talking to me.”

These are just some of the accidents and youthful stupidity that gave me a bad neck. I have what Chiropractors call “Straight Neck” and doctors call “Clay Shoveler’s Fracture”. In the old days, ditches were dug manually by hand shovel. As the ditch got deeper, the shoveler flung his shovel-load back over his head, out of the trench. Each shovelful snapped the head back. After a lifetime of head snapping, the normal curvature of their necks straightened out.

Our spines are shaped like the letter “S”. This provides some flexibility and helps to cushion shocks. Since, after numerous accidents, I’ve lost the curvature of my neck, I get a pain in the neck when I fall or wipe-out because I no longer have that S-shaped springiness. Life for me is often a pain in the neck. Sometimes I have a lower opinion.

Learning a new sport means I have to get really good at it or suffer the painful consequences. I cannot dabble. The avoidance of pain gives me a lot of incentive to become good at what I do whether it’s slamming into the wall playing Squash or in-line skating (it’s how I keep my legs in shape over the summer) or skiing or snowboarding or whatever. Being a speed freak doesn’t help either.

Some people believe the carrot works better than the stick. Trust me; that’s bullshit. I’ve got the neck and emergency room visits to prove it. Avoidance of pain is a much more powerful incentive than pleasure. In this world, pain and pleasure are not equal. Consider the respective feelings of one animal being eaten alive by another and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, I take lessons when I can and practice, practice and practice some more. I confess; I’m a fanatic snowboarder. I have to be. Either I get good at it and learn how to wipe-out or I just don’t do it. Go big or go home.

It may explain my contempt for amateurs. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against beginners. We all start as beginners. Amateurs, however, are perpetual beginners and on the slopes they’re a danger to themselves and everyone else.

I’ve been buying season passes to the four mountains at Lutsen Resorts in Minnesota which is just across the border from Thunder Bay. In the morning, I do several runs on Ullr Mtn; the beginner hill. I monitor myself looking for sloppiness. I’ll spend the rest of the morning on Eagle Mtn. doing my drills and practice. Then, afternoons I have fun careening down Moose Mtn.’s black diamond and double black diamond runs.

When Candy Mountain at Thunder Bay was still open, I walked into the Lodge and overheard someone say, “There’s that elite snowboarder.” I got excited. There are elite snowboarders here! I must find them, get to know them, swap stories and learn from each other. I looked around but didn’t see any elite snowboarder. After hearing it for about the second or third time, I realized, I’m it. How disappointing!

You see, it’s difficult finding an instructor that can take me to the next level. I’ve taken instruction from regular snowboard instructors, but I end up teaching them more than they teach me. I’ve inquired for advanced instruction at several resorts but instead they usually offer me a job as an instructor. That’s not what I want.

In the first place, hard boarding is difficult to teach. Many times I wanted to kill the instructor (“Chairman of the Board”) during my first three day clinic so I don’t want that antipathy. In the second place, I want to come and go as I please and some days I just don’t feel like going. Also, I don’t want to make a job out of something I love for fear of losing that love. They say, “Do what you love and make a job out of it.” Not for me. I already have a job I love. I’m not pushing my luck.

There was another time the gods smiled on me for lengths I’ll go to find advanced instruction. There are four levels of ski and snowboard instructors. Level one instructors teach the basics to classes. Level two do advanced teaching and private lessons. Level three instruct the instructors. Level four, of which there is but a handful in Canada, operate ski schools at large resorts.

One day I heard that Dylan Dainard, a level three from Orangeville was in Thunder Bay for the winter and was instructing instructors at Loch Lomond. I called Loch and asked when he would be there. I went to Loch and asked an instructor to point Dylan out to me. Dylan was talking to a group of instructors: I approached and waited until he was finished. I introduced myself and told him my plight.

As I expected, he politely refused. I made a point of bumping into him a few more times always without success. One day he approached me and said that he’d seen me at Candy Mountain doing drills and practice in the morning then cutting loose in the afternoon. He admired my dedication and was willing to give me an hour’s instruction.

The one hour lesson began at 10:00 and went through lunch. He taught me so much in one lesson I no longer cut loose in the afternoon, Instead, I drilled and practiced every chance I got. Occasionally he’d pull me aside and say something like, “You’re heel-side turns have improved but here’s how you should work on your toe-side turns.” All told I had five lessons from him and learned more in one season than the previous six years. Bless you Dylan wherever you are. You may be one of the reasons I’m still alive.

There’s not many of us old hard boarders left. Many have quit or are crippled or dead. One school chum of mine shattered his ankle. The first two attempts to pin it together failed and they were prepared to amputate. It was on the third and final pinning that it “took”. Today he’s lucky to be walking with a cane.

As I said earlier: it’s as close to heaven as you can get without dying but you gotta go through hell to get there. One particularly painful body slam during early days left me with a sore neck for a long time. It might have been a double body slam because when I regained consciousness I noticed two depressions in the snow.

Some time later, my neck became so stiff I had to unbuckle my seat belt to turn my head to see out the car’s rear window so this was becoming a safety issue. It was time for a visit to a Chiropractor. He took a full spinal X-ray and examining it, he said, “When did you break your neck?”

“Say what?”

“Yes, the third vertebra from the top was fractured ¾ of the way through. It heeled well. Have a look.”

I looked and I could see where the fracture extended through most of it.

He asked, “How long were you in a brace?”

At this point I decided to have a bit of fun. I said, “Oh, I’m from Thompson. We’re tough up there. We don’t use braces.”

He turned to me and gave me a concerned look. After numerous visits my neck movement improved considerably.

I swear by Chiropractors. I don’t buy into most of their dogma but when it comes to bones they do a much better job than the so-called medical profession. However, there are times when doctors do come in handy.

I was riding through the terrain park at Loch Lomond one night at high speed. I treat “jibbers” (soft boarders) like slalom gates. The gods apparently disdain such hubris. A young snowboarder lost control and slammed into me sending me into a backwards body slam. I went down hard, picked myself up and made sure the lad was ok. He apologized. I can’t remember what I said. I must have been on automatic pilot.

I rode down the mountain and at the run-out I noticed the front of my board (controlled by my left foot) was acting strangely. I thought it was odd. If the board or binding had been broken, there’s no way I could have ridden down that slope. When I got off the board, I fell to my knees.

I felt heavily sedated. Sounds were muffled. It felt like I was experiencing the world from the bottom of a deep well. It lasted a few moments then I recovered. When I tried to stand up, I couldn’t. My right leg worked but my left leg was like a piece of dead meat. I turned to look at it. It looked funny. I didn’t think it was broken as there was no pain. I tried to move it with my left arm, but my left arm didn’t work. It dawned on me that my left side was paralyzed. I tried to say, “Oh, shit” but it only came out only on the right side of my mouth. The entire left side of my body was completely paralyzed.

I remember a feeling of profound sadness (“look what I’ve done, now!”) but no fear. It’s said that everyone has a special talent, a unique ability. I am the “Master of Disaster”. I have an uncanny ability to remain calm and think clearly when everyone else is running around like headless chickens during disasters like car accidents, shootings, fires, floods, etc. I organize everyone into a team, assign everyone task (even the children to keep them out of harm’s way) and we do what’s necessary. When the authorities arrive I fade back into the woodwork. I do it so seamlessly, that most people, when asked afterwards, can’t even remember my role.

That night, I looked around at the surreal night-time view and told myself, “Drink in this scene for you will never again see these slopes from this angle.” Looking back now I wonder where the hell did “Drink in this scene” come from? Sounds almost Shakespearean! It’s funny how the mind works at times like that.

In any case, I’m not one to give up without a fight. I rolled onto my back and tried to get up that way. Didn’t work. I threw myself onto my stomach and tried getting up that way. Still didn’t work. I kept throwing myself around one way then another like a beached fish. After a while, I slowly started getting some feeling in my left arm, then my left leg. Finally I could stand. To say I was relieved would be an understatement.

Time to call it quits. No sense pushing my luck. I drove home vowing to stay off Terrain Parks; a vow I would NOT keep.

Next morning, just to be on the safe side I went to a walk-in clinic and explained to the attending physician what happened. He recommended I go to the hospital Emergency ward in case of broken blood vessels. On the way there I stopped at home to pick up a book knowing that non-life threatening injuries usually have longer waiting times. Little did I realize how seriously they consider head injuries nowadays. I barely read one page when I was called.

The doctor said if there were broken blood vessels, I wouldn’t be standing there talking to him twelve hours after the accident. He scheduled a Doppler and an echogram exam to check for defective heart valves and adequate blood flow. They diagnosed a Transient Ischemic Attack otherwise known as a mini-stroke. Apparently the backwards body slam loosened some plaque which blocked blood flow to my brain. Flopping around on the snow trying to get up must have broken the blockage and restored blood flow. It pays to never give up.

The doctor said, “Your pipes are clean.”

“So can I keep snowboarding?”

“Yeah, just take it easy.”

Sure, I’ll do that when they screw the lid down on my coffin. And they better use screws not nails or else I’m kicking my way back up again. Like I said, I don’t give up easily.

Sometimes, the gods smile on me even when they inflict pain for my own good. On March 10, 2011 (note the date), my boss and I took a holiday and hit the slopes with his teenage son. Forgetting my vow to stay off Terrain Parks, I was carving a turn on the far side of a hill when his son jumped it.

“LOOK OUT” is the last thing I heard. When I regained consciousness, he was bending over me asking repeatedly, “Are you ok? Are you ok?”

“Yeah, except my neck is killing me.”

Back in Emergency again, I discovered they take neck injuries even more seriously than head injuries. Even before I produced my medical card they put me in a neck brace and then immediately after took X-rays.
The doctor said, “Your fractures healed well.”

“What do you mean fractures? You mean plural, more than one?”

“Yeah, one’s recent, the other’s older.”

“Oh.”

I suspect the recent one was the previous Terrain Park body slam that caused that mini-stroke. Both the doctor and later my chiropractor diagnosed whiplash and cautioned me to expect a slow recovery. Today I’m about 99% healed which is better and faster than they expected.

Snowboarding last year would still have been painful. Although the pain didn’t stop me from trying; the weather did. It was one of the warmest winters on record with thawing and rain destroying the slopes then freezing into ice. I made it out twice; my worst snowboarding season since 1994.

I don’t believe in coincidences. March 10, 2011 is an auspicious date. The day of my whiplash wipe-out is also the day the Japanese earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Several reactors melted down and then, unprecedented in history, they melted through, spewing radioactivity into the ocean and into the atmosphere. I covered this disaster in numerous posts on Nuclear Disaster Japan

The prevailing winds began blowing radioactive particles all over North America. Air samples on the West coast indicated that residents were inhaling at least five “hot particles” a day. As dangerous as radioactivity is, far more dangerous are radioactive hot particles which, when ingested, become continuous emitters and far more likely to cause cancer. Dangerous levels of radioactivity were discovered as far east as Toronto.

In any case, whiplash kept me off the slopes the rest of the season and made in-line skating too painful the following summer. On my numerous blog posts, I had warned people to avoid breathing unfiltered outdoor air to minimize inhaling hot particles. I’m notorious for ignoring my own warnings, but whiplash ensured compliance. After that, unseasonably warm weather kept me off the slopes and breathing unfiltered air. I don’t believe in coincidences.

On a different note: there’s something you’ll notice reading these numerous blog posts about the Fukushima disaster and that’s the frightening number of YouTube accounts of the news that have been blocked or cancelled. There are things Big Brother doesn’t want us to know but the gods and circumstances have an uncanny way of circumventing Fascist intervention.

Like I said, I don’t believe in coincidences. You can decide for yourself.

Gerold
February 10, 2013

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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3 Responses to The Snowboard Goddess & Confessions of a Fanatic Snowboarder

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  2. Dylan Dainard says:

    Hi Gerold. I, on a whim, googled myself and discovered your article. Thank you for the kind words. I hope your snowboarding is still going well, and that your Thunder Bay winter is white.
    If you are ever out in the Rockies, please look me up at Panorama Mountain Village where I am the Manager of the Snow School. We can go for a rip around.
    Hope all is well,

    Dylan

    • gerold says:

      Thanks, Dylan.
      We’re finally getting lots of snow in T’Bay and I’m having the time of my life.
      Some day when I’m at Panorama I’ll look you up. I’m not surprised in the least you’re Manager of the Snow School there, you lucky fellow.
      Eating my heart out …
      – Gerold

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