The Bespectacled Skier

For Beginnners
I have great teeth — little problems with my teeth beyond fillings and now that I am getting on in years refillings. No braces, no root canals, no whitening, or no caps.

However, I am as blind as Mr. Magoo, and skiing blind is a bad thing.

However, I have been this way most of my life so I am used to dealing with it. When I started skiing I once again started wearing contact lenses. I have skied with glasses on and it is a pain. Two more surfaces between your eyes and the visuals around you. Double the fogging surfaces. A couple of weekends ago I had to ski with my glasses and goggles and it was a pain. I had to be careful taking my goggles off due to defogging on the way up the lift and of course I do not want the glasses to come flying off on the ride up. Then, when putting the goggles back on I would have to fiddle when putting the goggles back on.

I understand there are goggles designed for skiers such as myself. However, I go for contact lenses rather than glasses when I ski. One less piece of gear to break up or gouge myself when I perform snow gymnastics.

In fact, I have discussed specific problems with my contact lenses with my ophthalmologist Dr. Joe Stradel. I would be skiing down a hot run and it seemed like a lens in one of my eyes would get pushed out of position by the air pressure. Dr. Stradel did not bat an eye, diagnosed the problem, and suggested an alteration to my prescription. Now I can see just fine flying down the hottest of runs.

So, unless I am boneheaded and lose a lens or run out (both are bonehead maneuvers) I ski with contact lenses and goggles, or contacts and my Smith Sliders.

Good Stuff!

1 Comment

  1. Oh man, you brought back a serious flashback. Like you I am as blind as a bat and the whole frosted glasses bit was ALWAYS been the bane of my sking days.

    More bad things happened to me due losing vision acuity than any other cause – save me forgetting I am NOT a bird and can’t fly off things like 30 foot cornices or imitating the whole “Chinese Downhill” bit and shooting off a drop-off ramp at 40 or 50 miles an hour and assuming that there was going to be a happy ending…but I digress.

    One of my proudest moments though, involved losing my “eyesight” after a crash at the top of Pallavicini (diving off the far cornice in a driving rain is stupid) at Arapahoe Basin on my last ever day of employee skiing out in Colorado. As I was only wearing gloves, a ball cap, sweat pants and a light sweater, getting out of the rain before I got too cold and lost control of my limbs was a real concern.

    Side note – it was a beautiful sunny day (in the middle of May) for 3 hours before that and the rain came up on me and a crowd of others real sudden.

    The crash completely frosted my glasses and I couldn’t keep the rain from freezing on them about every minute or so and I quickly gave up trying to clear them and concentrated on dodging any sort of a dark silhoette (trees, rocks, lift poles, other skiers) that appeared in the frost.

    I couldn’t take off my glasses as the rain would completely blind me and looking for shadows was better than nothing. I was able to get down the Palli face at a fairly decent pace and only fell twice in the process (falling off big moguls I couldn’t see).

    A dozen or so folks – mostly employees – had to work their way back to the lift and ride off the mountain as they couldn’t ski in the rain. I got down and out of the rain WAY faster than they did and was in the bar with hot drinks and food at least a half an hour before any of them showed up.

    I found out later that a couple of them had talked with the lift operators about sending out ski patrol as they figured I was wrecked somewhere near the top of the mountain…which was funny when they called it in and I was already at the bottom talking to the bottom operator. “Palmer? Why? Uh huh…yeah, it’s pouring out…no, he’s standing right next to me swearing at the weather…he’ll meet you in the bar…says he’ll get first round!”.

    I miss skiing.

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