Helmet saves skier in piste fall

13th March 2008, by Chris Gill

If this doesn’t make you consider wearing a helmet…what will?;

A skier who fell while schussing along a piste in Zermatt last week, was saved from serious head injury by wearing a helmet.

Mark Stringer from Derbyshire had purchased his Giro 10 helmet just three days before the fall. As a good intermediate skier, he had only recently considered wearing one; so bought the helmet in resort on the first day of his holiday. The Giro 10 retails at approximately £100 and meets the full safety standards.

The accident happened on a long, gently undulating section of piste that required some speed to get across - quite common in many ski resorts. Skiers and boarders regularly achieve a hefty pace and Mark reckons he was probably reaching a speed of about 40mph when he simply misjudged a roller in flattish light and “took off”, crash-landing and smacking the side of his head onto the snow. No other skier or boarder was involved and the run was quiet.

Although stunned and shaken from the fall, Mark walked away with no more than a few bruises. On examining the helmet there was a huge crack along one side, the interior foam protection had crumpled and the outer casing dented. His goggles had also cracked under the impact.

Had he not been wearing the helmet, it is likely that Mark would have received a serious head injury.

Mark and his son were skiing with assistant editor, Wendy King, and her group of friends at the time; all of us wearing helmets, but all still shocked by the damage inflicted in such a fall.

Mark purchased a replacement helmet the next morning: an expensive holiday but one that could have cost a whole lot more…

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