The Compass series captures a visually stunning full spectrum experience from ski trips to three beautiful countries: Russia, Italy, and Japan. The contrasting culture, mountain shape, terrain, snow quality, food, language, music, pace of life and architecture all play into what it feels like to ski and travel abroad. For Nimbus, the series is a further departure from a mass appeal approach to ski movie making.
Max Anufrikov (5:07)
The Moody Blues
“Nights in White Satin”
Nimbus Independent was started in 2007 by Eric Pollard in collaboration with Chris Benchetler, Pep Fujas and Andy Mahre. The four like minded skiers began Nimbus to bring a different perspective to skiing.
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Issue 117: The Eric Pollard Issue is out now and we’re kicking the season off with a bang. The legend that is Eric Pollard is taking the seat as editor for our October edition. Find out about the inspiration behind Eric’s ski design, join him on a powder-hunting trip of the Austrian Arlberg and follow his step-by-step guide to riding a pillow line.
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After breaking his leg and suffering major complications, EP dusted off the cobwebs (literally) and went skiing today on his Sir Francis Bacons for the first time since given the approval from doctors. Amazing to see him back on skis after such a scary accident in Russia.
Click here for to read all about his accident earlier this year.
The huge number of clicks and views that occurred following the release of Pollard’s super smooth POV footage on Powdermag.com and tetongravity.com nearly caused the internets to explode. Luckily disaster was averted so we can continue pretending to stomp everything!
I’m doing much better now that I’m out of the hospital. I spent half the winter laying on my back, bed-ridden, and simply waiting for news from doctors. Basically what went down is as follows;
I broke my leg the first day of the first ski trip of the year! A spiral fracture of my tibia, I spent a couple nights in a Russian hospital, flew from Russia to Germany on an air ambulance (Doctors decided it was very risky to fly back to the USA). In Germany I had an operation to put a rod and some screws in my bone. Days after the first surgery, my leg was in a lot of pain, and my good friend (the creator of Line Skis Jason Levinthal who was in the hospital with me) and I were very concerned that I had compartment syndrome. We asked the doctors repeatedly to do the necessary tests on my leg, but the Doctors were convinced there was nothing wrong. Unfortunately our suspicions were correct, and I did have compartment syndrome. I was rushed into surgery in the middle of the night (after a full day of the worst pain of my life). Once again, unfortunately for me, the surgery was done incorrectly, and the pressure in my anterior compartment was not released. Lots of pressure in my leg caused tons of pain, and I had yet another fasciotomy surgery 6 hours later. Because the anterior compartment had not been released on the first fasciotomy, the muscles then burst out of my leg. As a result I had a lot of damage to that particular area, and I also had a very large wound with very swollen muscles. I could not move my foot or toes up. The massive cut/wound in my leg was open from my ankle to my knee and was about 9 inches wide.
I then decided I needed to be moved to a different hospital because I had lost confidence in the hospital I was at. I had quite a few more surgeries while I was in my new hospital in Germany for over a month. Surgeries to check my nerves, cut out dead tissue and attempt to close the wound. I was stuck laying in my bed, meeting with neurologists and surgeons, getting bad news, and just hoping for the best. The risk was that I had a huge open wound, and if I got an infection with all my compartments open, I would lose my leg. The other fear I was facing was that I might not regain the use of my foot and toes because of nerve and muscle damage. My family flew out, and I had a huge amount of help from the Line rep and his family from Frankfurt (thank you again Siamak, Linda and Rosheen). Finally I was told that the only thing left to do was a skin graft because the wound would not close otherwise, so I had the operation. After a month in the same position, waiting for my skin graft to heal, I was cleared to fly home to the United States. Back in the USA I went to another hospital and had another two surgeries, bringing the total to 10!
When I awoke from my first surgery back in the States I was told that I my foot was partially paralyzed because my anterior muscle had been cut out. As a result I lost the ability to move my foot upward, and because of nerve and other soft tissue damage I can’t move my toes. I lost the muscle in my leg because of the pressure that was put on it from compartment syndrome. Upon awakening, I was also told that I had fell victim to an infection, and I am on an iv via a PICC to fight the infection. I have to wear a fanny pack that carries the anitbiotics, and I have a line that goes into my bicep and straight to my heart which delivers 2 hours of antibiotics three times a day. The last surgery I had was to do a final debridement and close the wound.
I’m thankful to be moving forward with physical therapy and optimistic about getting back on my skis next season. The entire experience has been very difficult, and I feel so lucky to have had so many people thinking of me. I truly believe that it has made a big difference in my recovery. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I can’t wait to see you up on the hill!
If you’re planning on attending or competing in the Sochi Olympics 12 months from now, please be aware of the local medical facilities, or lack their of.
Eric was on the first day of a trip to his favorite powder stash in the world, Sochi Russia with the Nimbus crew. Eric rodeo’d an average sized natural air and landed clean into a white room, then immediately scruffed speed knowing there was a cat track ahead. Unfortunately it came up sooner than expected & he dropped 10+’ to flat on the cat track with a broken lower leg (tibia).
He got down the mountain to the local hospital the most knowledgeable medical staff unfortunately was his friends armed with google. The Russian “doctors” immediately put his leg into a cast. Luckily Eric called his doctor at home who confirmed this was the most dangerous thing that could have been done. If the leg swelled with no where to expand he could have lost blood flow leading and long term muscle damage or even need for amputation. He immediately cut his cast off having friends frantically run laps outside for bags of snow to keep the swelling down (no ice in the hospital).
Eric’s insurance guaranteed air & rescue from anywhere in the world, but that wasn’t good enough in Russia. The amount of customs paperwork & approvals to get in & out delayed the rescue by 48 hrs with essentially no medical services in town.
He was finally flown into a Franfurt Germany hospital krankenhaus-nordwest.de . On day 3 he had a metal rod inserted to fix the break. Unfortunately the broken leg is now the least of his problems. because of the 2 days stuck in Russia without medical attention needed to secure the leg, he had now developed a much more serious and potentially long term problem.
The calf muscles continued to be inflamed & swelling but unable to expand due to a natural membrane around the muscle, this is called “Compartment Syndrome”. The only solution is to literally slice the lower leg open through the membrane the full length from the knee to the ankle to let the muscles expand to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately doctors in Frankfurt did not perform tests for Compartment Syntdrome until days of agonizing pain were endured by Eric. They were were giving him so much morphine that any more and there would be risk of dieing from overdosing even though he continued to tell them the pain would not go away. Finally days later through language, medical & culture barriers they performed the test needed to confirm Compartment Syndrome which was obviously positive.
5 days after the injury he finally was getting surgery done for the Compartment Syndrome. Unfortunately the day after, the pain continued to increase & doctors finally informed him that they had actually only releived 2 of the 4 compartments in his leg! They had to then go back in to surgery to slice open the other side of the leg for the remaining 2 compartments to expand.
It’s now been over a week since the injury and although the pain is at a more normal level, it will take weeks for the muscle to reduce swelling and his leg to be sewn up. The future health of his muscle tissue can only be determined over time. Since it’s too risky for him to fly home due to risk of blood clotting he has now been moved to a hospital that is considered to be one of the best in the country specializing in trauma with doctors that can better focus on his condition www.bgu-frankfurt.de
Eric remains incredibly level headed, patient & persistent throughout this ordeal. Long time friend & Line’s founder Jason Levinthal stayed with Eric throughout his first week in the hospital. Eric’s wife, daughter & parents are now with him.
We will keep you updated here. Thanks for your positive thoughts & blessings.
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