The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

Subscription Options

Welcome to Reality, Dan Zucker.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 by billsimmon in crazy people, friends, people I want to get drunk with | 6 Comments

Today’s Burlington Free Press

Zucker, a high school physics teacher at St. Johnsbury Academy, guesses he had a tenth of a second to react. He threw his arms over his head and slammed his axes into the snow. The axes went all the way through the snow to the ice beneath, and Zucker thought he’d stopped himself from falling.

“For a moment, I’m like ‘excellent’,” Zucker said. “It only took another half second for the snow to lift me up.”

From that point, Zucker went sliding down the hill, which is about a 55- to 60-degree pitch. As he slid, he noticed how placid the whole thing seemed. Despite moving at breakneck pace down the ravine, Zucker said the sliding seemed very orderly.

“I was in this slide of snow and it wasn’t turbulent. It wasn’t churning at all,” Zucker said. “I had no physical damage for most of the ride down.”

Zucker compared the feeling of riding the avalanche to hanging onto the undercarriage of a fast-moving train.

Their relatively calm ride down the ravine ended when Zucker and Finocchio were launched over a small cliff and became airborne. Upon landing, the tumble became violent, and Zucker’s hat and sunglasses were ripped off and one of his axes was torn from his hand.

He tried to stop himself by sticking his ax in the snow, but he just ended up with a faceful of powder. Then he looked up, he saw Finocchio had caught up to him and the two were about to crash into one another. Somehow, they both managed to roll away from each other, narrowly avoiding what could have been a disastrous collision.

As he pinballed through the trees, Zucker was enshrouded in snow and could see nothing. Because the snow was still surging down the hill, the trees served only as obstacles and did little to slow Zucker down.

“It was just this crazy thing,” Zucker said about hitting the trees. “It was just ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’”

The pair came to a stop about 8 feet from one another. Zucker sustained minor scrapes to his elbows and head, sprained his ankle, broke his left pinkie finger and bruised the ligaments in his left knee. Finocchio, 31, had a bruised pelvis and was lapsing in and out of consciousness.



Subscribe to the Comments

  1. Holy crap, Zucker! Now I know God doesn’t exist, cause if he did, this was a perfect chance to wipe you out for all those nasty things you said about Him.

    Nice to know you’re still among the living, “Mutha.”

    (Oh, and btw? Broken pinky finger? Total wuss injury.)

  2. …but bodysurfing an avalanche? BAD. ASS.

  3. On April 19, 2009, dt said:

    what a drama queen.

  4. On April 20, 2009, Reba said:

    Holy Crap Zucker, welcome to reality indeed! Isn’t it weird when things seem so calm when they’re exactly the opposite? The same thing happened to me when my old car was hit by a semi on Rte 7 – the semi didn’t even notice, just kept going and I watched as small pieces of my car tumbled away ahead of me as I was being pushed sideways from the force toward a ditch as I slowed down. I was thinking “maybe this is it”. Glad you’re okay!

  5. On April 21, 2009, Mark Sasahara said:

    Holy crapsteak Zucker! I think you both could have been a lot worse off.
    Glad you made it reltively safely.

    New extreme sport: Mountain Surfing!

  6. On September 1, 2009, Melanie Plummer said:

    E-mail me.

Leave a comment

Get a Trackback link