Last run of the day, fading light, a quick joint and then drop into untouched snow between dark green trees. Powder fizzes as your board cuts over it, and we were riding fast, snaking tight, blind corners through trees.

Fizz- Turn - Swoosh - Cut - my stomach was up in my throat, gripped in concentration as me and Oli raced down the dense forest. Oli shot off to the left, I took a right hand swerve around a clump of trees. As I carved fast, I came up against a wall of tree trunks - Instantly my brain calculated I could not stop in time...

CRACK! A moment of freeze-frame, the taste of blood in my mouth and I sank into snow up to my shoulders.

Then silence. Then came the pain, deep in my stomach, running down my groin, grasping onto my thigh, sucking all of my body inwards, like a black hole deep inside my body. I had seriously damaged something. I was thousands of miles from home, trespassing on a Bulgarian army base, half an hours walk from our tiny wooden hut, lost in a forest with darkness setting in, seperated from my buddy who was flying down the mountain right now, and I was in agony everytime I moved. The silence engulfed me, heavy like a suffocating blanket.

OLLLLLLLIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! I screamed.

The soft snow and heavy pine trees absorbed the sound.

The others had gone back to the hut for the night, me and Oli had hiked off for 'one last run'. Typical. There's an old saying about 'never have a last run.'

I screamed again. Silence.

I wiggled my toes, hidden below me in the snow. Feet stilll attached. A Good Sign The snow around me was white, not scarlet from blood, so that was also A Good Sign. I pushed down to climb out of my hole, and I crumpled in agony. Not Good. Digging with my hands just scrambled large piles of powder back over myself. With this dead leg I felt like I had been anchored down and trying to swim over the powder, I was engulfed by it, filling my mouth and nose. Trying to lift or pull my leg felt like I was actually trying to separate it from my body, the muscles and nerves were tearing inside me, all down my leg. I breathed out deeply and slowly to let the pain evaporate.

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  • The Crashpacker

    I never meant to go travelling, I just went. You start moving and can't stop, and when you do come to rest the inertia swells i…

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