As the saying goes… the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. As you know, our director Klaus Obermeyer considers a mundane day one where he spends it swimming with non-aggressive sharks just for funsies. Ho hum. Just another day. And where does he get this zest for danger from? His father!
We got the sad news earlier this week that the original adventure seeker in the family, Klaus Obermeyer’s father, Klaus Sr., had broken his femur. Klaus Sr. is 91-years-old, and he broke his leg while skiing down Racer’s Edge in Aspen while on his lunch break. (My lunch break usually involves a sandwich or wedge salad, but whatever.) Leave it to an Obermeyer to not break their leg the old fashioned way ie: a dodgy grocery store parking lot, slick bathroom floor, et al. Oh no, Oberymeyers do it with flair! I can say this jokingly, as thank goodness, Klaus Sr. is doing well…. But let me elaborate on his "lunch break."
Klaus Sr. has been skiing since he was 3-years-old and has rarely missed a day of skiing during the season. This is his first severe accident in 88 years. (Yeah, um, I don’t quite have a track record like that. And for the record, I’m currently typing with a Band-Aid on. Buh.) When contacted in the hospital by a reporter for the Aspen Times, Klaus Sr. replied, “I’m sorry, I can’t ski with you today.” Ha! Despite his accident, he’s still got the sense of humor and that Obermeyer charm!
Klaus Sr. is an Aspen icon having started his career on the mountain as a ski instructor and later starting Obermeyer Ski Wear. (Lore has it that he created the first parka after Hollywood starlets got too cold on the mountain to finish their lessons.)
Klaus Sr. knows the ski runs like the back of his hand and that is what lead to the accident. He didn’t see a rope that had been put up for a special event, and he ran into it at full speed. The Aspen Times quoted him saying: “I exploded,” Obermeyer said. “It could have been a lot worse. Sometimes you're lucky even when you're unlucky.” And then he said something nobody ever says: He said that the accident was completely his fault. (I’m sure Jackie Chiles is very disappointed.) You see, Klaus Sr. explained, laughing, “I was skiing with my eyes closed.” Oh. Oh sure. SHOW OFF. I mean really. I can barely WALK down the street and chew gum, and he’s skiing with his eyes closed at 91. Obermeyers. I think that sums them up pretty well.
In all seriousness, Klaus SR is recovering at Aspen Valley hospital and has begun physical therapy. He hopes to be discharged by the time your eyes reach this blog, if not before! Lots of thanks to the Buttermilk Ski Patrol members whose quick response, organization and skill certainly helped Mr. Obermeyer fare as well as he did.
Klaus SR vows to be back on the slopes next season… but said not to rule out skiing the Aspen Highlands, as after all, they’re open till April 24th. He promises to ski with both eyes open this time. Good plan, Papa Obermeyer!!!