Ski Season 2021/2022

As a consequence of my 2013 accident I have a severely reduced range of motion in my left ankle. In an attempt to mitigate this, I had scheduled surgery at the beginning of March. Expecting some forced downtime as a result of that, I tried to get as much skiing in before the hospital as I could. I ended up going on quite a few weekend trips with friends and a one week family vacation to a kids hotel in Austria. Good times!

Lesley, Felipe, Sören, Luigi. Gemsstock in Andermatt.
Amazing hoar. Almost looks like a picture.
Felipe, Sören, Luigi
Sam. We went to Andermatt-Sedrun on a day with brutally cold wind and temperatures. Hiding behind our backpacks on the open chairlifts. But in return we basically got the entire resort to ourselves ;-)
Brief glimpses of the sun.
Frozen face smile.
Thomas and me. Andermatt-Sedrun again. Beautiful weather this time.
As you can see, it was horribly overcrowded ;-P That is Thomas making his way down towards me.
Living the good life.
Christian and me. Andermatt-Sedrun once more.
Christian. This time at Männlichen. We threw ourselves down some crazy steep black worldcup runs. We topped out at 85km/h. Apparently the professionals peak at around twice that. 160km/h. Damn!
Sören, Christian.
Eiger Northface.
Sören, Mark, Kai. Lenzerheide.

We developed a rhythm at the kids hotel where we'd have a joint family breakfast before Anita headed out with the kids to the bunny slope behind the hotel. Leonie was attending her second ski course and making nice progress. Lukas would sled the same slopes and play in the snow. Then they'd spend the afternoon in the hotel daycare while Anita could enjoy some alone time in the spa. Meanwhile I was skiing as much and as hard as I could. Then we'd meet up again in the late afternoon for time in the hotel pool. Leonie is attending swimming lessons at home and was eager to practice in the pool. She's currently at a dangerous level of skill: confident enough that she'll happily rocket right into the deep end of the pool. Yet, she can't actually swim yet, so will do some dog paddling to keep her head above water while looking around for us to rescue her. Lukas as always is inspired by his big sister and so will jump right after her. Exciting times.

I tried to cover the entire resort during my week of skiing in Austria. I think I mostly succeeded.
"Kamikaze", "Only Experts". No shit. They take their black rating seriously here.
Good life!
Steep. Sustained. Fall at the top, have the helicopter pick you up at the bottom.
Hard to believe, but the weather was like this for an entire week!
Ooooh yeah!
Nearly 12 vertical kilometers in a single day. Squeezed into just 6 hours of skiing because I had to be back in time to entertain the kids.

Surgery. Completely unrelated to the skiing ;-P Modern medicine is freaky. I arrived at the hospital by tram. Two hours later I was in the operating room. A shared room, so while they rolled me in, I could look into my neighbor's open foot. Local anaesthetics only. I kept up a conversation with my surgeon while he was literally taking a hammer, chisel and rasp to my bone. Completely surreal experience. I didn't feel pain, but I could still feel temperature and pressure and of course could hear just fine, so I was acutely aware of what was going on. A meat machine in for maintenance.

I left the hospital on the next morning. After only two days I was off pain killers and the wounds seemed to be healing well. Two weeks later I gave myself permission to walk without crutches again. When I saw the surgeon again three weeks after the procedure, he was quite surprised to see me walk around normally and without a cast. So from a recovery point of view things seem to be going much better than expected. Unfortunately I don't see much progress in terms of improved mobility in the joint yet. People tell me to be patient and continue with physical therapy for a few months, but it is a bit disappointing. The surgeon's dry comment: "You should consider yourself lucky to be alive and walking at all."

Ready to be carted into the operating room. Quite happy to still be sporting a 51 pulse despite a severe lack of training since becoming a dad and working from home during the Corona years. There's hope for some more adventures yet ;-)
Morning after surgery. I love how they labelled my legs to make sure they are cutting open the right one.
Recovering in a friend's garden plot. Babysitting while Anita had to work on the weekend.

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