Ever heard of a skier crashing into a deer (or vice versa?).
It apparently happened in Maine.
By Scott Thistle , Regional Editor
Saturday, February 3, 2007
CARRABASSETT VALLEY - Dr. Ray Stone never saw it coming.
Skiing down the Haulback Trail at Sugarloaf/USA on the morning of Jan. 12
the family practice doctor, who lives in New Gloucester and works at Central
Maine Medical Center in Lewiston had a fine arcing turn interrupted by a
whitetail deer that was attempting to cross the ski trail.
"I just never saw this deer coming," Stone said from his ski chalet near the
mountain Friday. "I was going pretty quick down the top half of Haulback,
arcing from left to right and all of the sudden I just got knocked right off
my feet and I was falling."
The deer, too, went down. "Its legs were just pumping away really fast, they
never stopped moving," Stone said of the animal. Uncertain of whether it was
a buck or a doe Stone, in a letter to the Kingfield-based weekly newspaper
The Irregular, wrote, "My first thought was, 'What hit me?...a (snow)
boarder? drunk skier? linebacker?' "
Others saw the collision from the chairlift said longtime Maine skier and
ski writer Dan Cassidy. At a social event that evening in Stratton, Cassidy
overheard some people talking about how they witnessed a skier hitting a
deer. Cassidy said he, at first, thought they were joking and was wondering
if they were "drinking something." But he said the story checked out so he
wrote about it, which eventually prompted Stone to write in to report he was
the skier who hit the deer.
Cassidy, who has been skiing in Maine for 45 years and writing about skiing
for 15 years, has never heard of a deer-versus-skier collision.
"Never, never, never," Cassidy said. "I've never even heard of anybody
encountering a deer on a ski trail, especially an alpine trail, I've seen an
animal, like a fox, come out on occasion but never a deer."
Stone recalls people hollering at him from the lift, and he raised his fist
and pumped it in the air just to tell them he was OK. To the lift riders it
appeared Stone was shaking his fist in anger over the deer ruining what
would have otherwise been a nice run down one of the resort's favorite
expert trails, Cassidy said.
But Stone wasn't angry just surprised. "I wasn't mad, just signaling I was
fine," he said Friday.
After checking himself out for any injuries, the doctor skied down to meet
his wife, Diane, at the chairlift. She was skiing ahead of him on the trail
and hadn't seen the collision.
When he told her he had just run into a deer on the ski slope her first
question was, "Is the deer all right?" she said Friday.
Stone said he's been skiing at Sugarloaf since about 1985 and is a "fairly
conservative" skier. "I don't think I even fell once last season," he said.
The run-in with the deer took him down, but his skis stayed on, he said. The
deer quickly bounced back to its feet and continued across the trail and
into the woods beyond, Stone said. "It never stopped running even though it
was down," Stone said. "Luckily we just glanced off each other. I'm just
glad the deer wasn't hurt."