When people say that everything slows down just as you have an accident I am often left with a certain level of disbelief. My experience is one of everything speeding up as circumstances accelerate away, and all that is left is to sit back and watch as body and soul fall on the mercy of fate.
That was what happened the day I skied for the last time. I was not doing anything particularly dangerous or difficult, particularly considering my experience, skill and level of fitness. I was descending, off-piste, between the Platières lift and the run coming down from Mont Vallon, knee deep in fresh powder and running on instinct. I had skied this section of the mountain many, many times, and usually in the same conditions – clear skies the day after a snowfall. I had no reason to be afraid for my safety, and then it happened. I would be able to piece it together later on, but at the time there was just a piercing pain in my knee, a wrenching and then I was neck deep in powder, on my back, looking up.