ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The sheer face of death. We all must die sometime. It was my time and then it wasn't.

Updated on March 7, 2013

What a relief and beauty the contrasting colors are.

Think of a white like pitch black.
Think of a white like pitch black. | Source

At the top of this shoot resembling a long ski jump I was standing in the starting gate which was covered with what we call a shack – really just a cover like a

The wind was steady at about 40. The temperature rising at about 5 degrees but, based on the snow falling it had to be 20 degrees. The wind died and a heavy white fog with snow laid in. The ground had about 10 feet already of a pure white snow. My course was lined with pine bows to give some relief from the pure white. There was a bluish hint to the course right in front of me, a gun metal reflection. A day before I had actually climbed the hill to memorize the course, which was fruitless as 12 more inches covered the terrain with snow that early morning.

A white out is when there is no relief from whiteness of snow and frozen cloud about you. I have been in the stuff so heavy that my feet could not be seen. This is a fog made of refracting particles all near or pure white.

Do it right and you win, do it wrong and your going to fly out of control for 100 ft easily.

A trough or a pre-jump area is a place on a ski course where the contour makes an almost half inverted oval place in the snow met with an equal half converse second or vice versa. If you hit them and compress and then extend just right you can gain speed. If you hit them wrong and stay in your compression too long you are centrifugally catapulted into space. An Olympic Ski jump produces optimally about 55 miles an hour. Too much more and the wind factor of skis in the air will rip the skis right off a lady. However these pre-jump compression troughs are often dealt with at 70 + MPH.

Stop to think about that. The racer is 200 lbs, his speed is 80 mph. Now he hits an upturn in the surface. Nature would launch him in the specific curvature in the snow – up. 80 miles per hour of 200 lbs being slammed into the upturn. In a racers best shape they can leg press 5 times their body weight. Think this way – in prime the racer has 33 inch thighs (around/ individual) and a 30 inch waste.

Maybe I was sent back so these great guys were born.

Or perhaps I was released something else altogether.
Or perhaps I was released something else altogether.

Well that was where I was at in the first downhill of the 75’76’ season. I was the first racer to go and my visibility was maybe ten feet. I was the last racer

The evergreen bine bows that marked the edges of a brand new course were now sprigs barely causing impact. This was world champion stuff. In essence you were shooting off and the shoot put you into 70 MPH in about 6 seconds. A good compression at the trough lifted and propelled you on your way. I propelled. But I could not discern the apex of the trough. I went ninety feet into the upward abyss. My angle was wrong. At over 80 mph my death was certain, I went over a ridge that went another ninety feet down. A patrolmen standing nearby reported that I went straight up angling over the cliff.

I instantly fully relaxed, I tried to right my head but the wind held my skis above me in my descent. So I was pointed head first at the uprising earth. It did not come up quickly. I actually had time to wonder “What the Hell!”. With the quick change of wind to fog rising higher above my 12k ft height a shear formed.

A sideways wind of over 140 miles an hour. It Knocked me sideways for a good 70 yards across the canyon onto the side of the next ridge.

My impact caused a small snow slide that buried me further. I came to in many feet of snow in all directions buried. I cleared my breathing space. My tomb was not cold and I could actually move many parts of my body. Uh oh I thought. I should be more busted up. Something is not natural. The official starter told me not to go, he would postpone, should I have listened to him? But if I had made it, I would have qualified for Olympic trials.

So I managed a good drool and watched. Uh oh again my spit went up. I was upside down. Then I started feeling warmer, Uh oh again, I should have been getting colder. This was beginning to feel a lot like heaven. I felt no weight and no cold and was not panicked at all, I was at peace in this un-releasing tomb.

Reverse the colors and that is a white out.

A state of no perspective at all.
A state of no perspective at all. | Source

The wind that caught me got the bottom of the course just moments before, while they were radioing not to go.

Then a strange and curious thing happened; I started to fall back to earth. Again not good at all. It felt like I was falling toward hell. I had not passed the test, I was released from heavenly bonds and was plunging down. ---- ???? In an instant I was blinded and then back into nothing. Until I hit an outcropping with my butt and was launched another 20 feet down to land upright on my feet in 5 ft of snow.

The Sun was out and bright I could not see at first. Then I saw many hundred feet back to where skiers and officials had witnessed my odyssey down the mountain. It may have been God working but naturally it was the weird wind shear that cleared everything, and pushed me to safety. A thought never left my mind. I looked up the shoot to the starting area. There was a starting shed, timer wands, weather station and 3 men when I left it. All was gone the wind shear hit it direct, 3 souls lost to the mountain.

I now live knowing milliseconds are all that separate us from .......

I do not know for certain of hell and death related to our earthly walk. But I do know the old Eric died that day and a new one began. Well it was a little while later really with the bruised kidneys, spleen, fractured ribs and 2 messed up vertebrae and concussion that pissing blood stopped and I was enrolled in a nice comfy university. I should have stayed up there in the starting shack and never risked that run.

But If I had? What then?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruth, thank you, yes there mother is quite beautiful --- In fact she was on the mountain with me on this very day related. I knew I had to change my ways of lose her --- glad I did change.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Chistopher, I am still looking but satisfied so far.

    • Ruth ferraz profile image

      Ruth Ferraz 

      5 years ago from New Jersey

      Hi Ericdierker,

      Praise the Lord you have eternal Life also!

      Congratulations, you express yourself very well writing!

      I think you could have your personal Blog also!

      By the way, your kids are beautiful!

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 

      5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Everything that happens us in life has some purpose and it is up to us to divine what it is. I'm glad you survived Eric and I think the picture of the happy family shows that you have went a long way to fulfilling your allotted purpose. Stay off the skies though.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I have to think that pain is with us. But suffering seems optional.

      Thank you so much for reading and giving me some kudos, it means much to me.

    • Conservative Lady profile image


      5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Wow what a journey you took! I am glad you are here to tell us about your new beginning my friend. Sounds painful though ;-)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Brother Buc!

      My son is right now building things higher and higher so cars go faster and crashes are more spectacular. He knows I am opposed to such violence ;-)

      But jumping off the bed with wings is far more satisfying.

      Thanks for living with me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We get one shot at this thing called life....might as well live it with gusto.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)