Susanna Opper: Cost of carelessness |

Susanna Opper: Cost of carelessness

An open letter to the snowboarder who ran into me on Rudi’s Run:

Since you took off when you heard the call to Ski Patrol, even though you were asked to stay around, you don’t know my story. I’d like to share it with you.

Here’s what was going through my mind as I lay on the snow with a dislocated shoulder.

First, my vacation was over. I’d only skied a day and a half. I’m from the East Coast, and for most of the past 50 years, I’ve taken a week’s ski vacation out West. I prefer Colorado, and this was my 12th visit to Steamboat. I first came alone in 1974 when the road to the mountain was still unpaved. I returned later with my boyfriend, then with my husband, and later still with his sons and our grandchildren. My husband no longer skis, and this year, I visited with a friend. She grew up in Grand Junction, but had never been to Steamboat.

Because you didn’t look where you were going, or you couldn’t control your snowboard, or both, my friend had to finish her vacation alone. Fortunately, she had a good time, so you didn’t ruin two vacations. Now, I’m back in Massachusetts, and there’s a foot of snow coming. But I won’t be skiing at the little mountain near my home.

I didn’t get a good look at you, though fortunately, there was a witness, but I think you are young. I’m not. I’m 77, and this was my last Western ski vacation. I didn’t want it to end this way. I hope you’re still on the mountain at 77 and that you remember then the cost of your carelessness when you were young.

Susanna Opper

Alford, Massachusetts

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