The Gnar Shredded Me: The Time I Almost Died On A Mountain
If you couldn’t tell from looking at me, I’m just simply not athletic. But, I didn’t truly know the extent of my unathleticism until last winter when I went on a ski trip with my buddies.
The whole entire trip, my friends did one thing and I opted to do the polar opposite.
For example, while everyone went skiing, I ripped board. When everyone bought helmets, I pinched my penny. And when everyone went down the first trail in 20 minutes, it took me 5 ½ hours.
No really. I, Grace O’Malley, took FIVE AND A HALF HOURS to get down a TWENTY MINUTE SLOPE!
Like all good stories, it began with a TikTok. Little did I know that this would be the last time I saw my friends for the rest of the day.
Before the nip even left my mouth, my pals had already started their journey down the mountain. As I watched them all swiftly glide off the edge, I remembered I had left my phone in the room in fear of breaking phone number 42.
I quickly yelled out to them to not wait up, for I am no Shaun White and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s day. I had just enough time to tell them to meet me at a bar before they were too far out of my sight.
After a second nip of liquid courage, I too made my move down the mountain.
Five minutes in, I had already fallen three times. That’s when I realized I had the wrong size board. Things were already off to a great start.
I couldn’t let that get to me, I had the whole day ahead. So I hopped back on my board and got to skeezin’.
Since I left my phone behind I had literally no sense of time, but I’d say I was falling and gliding for about fifteen minutes when I tumbled my way onto a double black diamond trail.
When I say tumbled, I mean I ate complete and utter shit through trees and rocks and landed ass backwards onto this murderous trail. I was laying starfish style in the middle of the slope while olympic skiers swerved and jumped over my dead limp body.
After about 20 minutes of being a human speed bump, I finally gathered up enough strength to crawl my way back to the green trail I had fallen from.
I was able to perch my body up, Weekend at Bernie’s style under a tree and crack one of the many cold one’s I brought with me. There, I was able to look out at the beautiful view and drink the pain away. An action I grew very familiar with on my journey down the slope.
After my crisp refreshing beverage, it was back to boarding. I strapped in my boots and pushed myself up. I made it pretty far (like 20 yards) until I went down again.
This particular fall set the mood for the next several hours. I had an out of body experience where I was not only able to watch myself wipe out but I could also feel my head dribbling off the ground like a basketball. The only way I can describe what I looked like going down is when the Monsters in Space Jam use Michael Jordan as a human basketball:
I might not have lost consciousness, but I definitely felt those cartoon stars dance around my head.
So now, I’m concussed and I’m only this far down the mountain:
And…I needed to get here.
Due to the brain damage inducing fall, I had terrible decision making skills. Every time I got up on my board I couldn’t get myself to turn or stop so I would continuously eat shit.
So I decided to make this miserable experience fun for myself, every time I fell I made myself drink. I had four Angry Orchards in my pockets and eight Mcgillicuddy nips in a fanny pack. All of which I used to reward myself for being trash at snowboarding.
Each time I started going fast on my board I’d fall and cry. I also had little thin cloth gloves on that I had no idea shed little black shit. So every time I wiped my face and tears, the little black shit would stick to my face and create a 5 o’clock shadow. On top of that, I was clueless as to the fact that my big red coat was all ripped up and oozing cotton. Thirty, maybe forty people had come up to me and asked if I was okay and even though I wasn’t okay I still said yes. No one ever questioned me because I must have looked like a weird weeping werewolf.
Between hitting my head, falling numerous times, and drinking excessively I grew more and more delusional. At one point I was sitting there helpless and crying, jealous of all the people going down in the emergency toboggans. Until I looked up and saw what I thought was a mirage, but it wasn’t a mirage at all. It was a real bar in the middle of the mountain. I kicked off my board and ran to it like it was Jenny and I was a post-Vietnam Forrest Gump.
I tried my best to warm myself up in the bathroom and wiped my mitten beard away. After that, I ran right up to the bar. I must have looked like an absolute madman ordering my drink, not only was I doing the junkie shiver, I also had swollen red eyes from crying and was limping my way to the bartender. Somehow, they let me order a drink but told me I only had 10 minutes to drink it. I sat alone, shivering, and drank my bloody mary.
Quite literally, it was all downhill from there. Using only the sun as a clock, I knew it was about to get dark soon.
I tried every which way I could to get down that mountain. I boarded, I walked, I even used my board as a sled. Still, no matter what I tried…the trail never ended.
Until it did.
The bottom of the slope led me to a resort where I went in and tried to get myself warmed up. Some time had passed and I was still Jack in the Titanic type of freezing, so I mustered up the courage to find my hotel.
My plan was to ask a nice stranger if they knew where my hotel was and hopefully it wouldn’t be too far. I scanned the outside for someone who looked like they’d know where I should go. I started walking towards a man with a scally cap. Most men who wear a scally cap are usually very knowledgeable, I thought to myself. As I got closer I realized, IT WAS MY FRIEND'S DAD.
Apparently it was 5:30 and no one had seen me since 11. So they were all out looking for me. They figured I’d be at a bar and that’s where they found me. (Maybe I have some things I need to work through if everyone assumes when I’m lost I'm shitfaced at a bar, but we’ll talk about that another time).
Luckily, I found him before they had to turn their dinner party into a search party.
The rest of the gang met us at the restaurant where we kept the party going. My good pal Molly even brought me a change of clothes.
We were eating, drinking and celebrating the fact that I didn’t die on the mountain.
Instead…I died in the restaurant.
No really. I was eating a chicken sangy when all the sudden I found myself nodding off.
If you’re my friend, you know I’m never serious. But when my friend's boyfriend at the time caught my head in his hands and told me to “cut the shit.”, that got the attention of the rest of the table. At this point they were growing worried asking if I’m okay and saying things like “okay Grace, not funny” “this is weird, that’s enough.”
I tried to talk but nothing but slurred speech came out. After that, everything went black.
Out of the nine people there, seven of them froze.
My friend Brianna quickly got up and ran to my rescue, and our other friend followed. They brought me down to the ground and tried to get me on my side. Which, quick side note, is crazy for me to picture because my dead weight is more or less equivalent to the weight of a mid sized sedan.
ANYWHO, by now more people in the restaurant started to notice and a few even stepped in to help.
I was out for about 45 seconds until I had my Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz wake up moment. See below for reference.
My friends Brianna and Meaghan, who never show emotion, let alone cry, were bawling their eyes out. They fully believed that I was going to die in a honky tonk bar in Maine.
As I was coming to, all I could think was “THIS IS SO EMBARRASSING.” I immediately started cracking jokes because I had the whole restaurant’s attention, which is just a prime opportunity to try out a set. Bad idea, one of the kind people who came to my rescue somehow saw my humor as a sign of brain bleeding and recommended I spend the night at the hospital. She also told me I have diabetes, didn’t ask or beat around the bush just hit it with “you have diabetes” and went back to drinking her craft IPA.
Long story short, the general consensus believes I had a heat stroke, the rest think it was the result of a concussion, that one lady thinks I’m diabetic. But if it was anything serious I would have croaked, right there, in BillyBob’s Lodge because the EMTs took like 35 minutes to get there. When they got there, I felt like Amy Winehouse, they tried to make me go with them but I said “Nooo,nooo,no.”
All and all, this is what I learned on my trip to the mountain:
-If you can’t afford a helmet…you can’t afford to go skiing/snowboarding all together
-Make sure you have the right size equipment when participating in snow sports
-Always bring enough booze to get you through a difficult time
-Accept help when you need it
-Fuzzy gloves = Muzzy SZN
-My friends would actually care if I die
-For every 9 people, only 2 can save you
-Always trust a guy in a scally cap
-I have diabetes?