A SKIER who has taken to the slopes for a record-breaking 56 consecutive months despite the summer heatwave and mild winter has battled through the pain barrier to set her record.
Helping a fellow skier almost ruined Helen Rennie’s hopes of setting an unbeatable five years of constant skiing.
The 60 year old Inverness schoolteacher celebrated a Golden Christmas while everyone else dreamt of a white Christmas with her 50th sortie.
But in January disaster struck when she damaged her knee on a ski-tow after her over-sized and inexperienced companion lost his balance on the machine.
Helen said: “It was a bit of a disaster at the end of January when I decided to go to Nevis for the day.
“The sun came out in the afternoon and a queue developed at the Goose T- bar. So I suggested doubling up with a man over twice my weight to cut the queue as he was by himself.
“I assumed that being on the Goose run he was competent. He wasn’t ! He kept letting the back of his left ski go on top of the back of my right one, then at the steepest part he just fell off.
“He pulled me over but pinning my ski at the same time. My right knee was injured and then to make matters worse, my right knee got stuck when I fell.
“I couldn’t dislodge it so I was hauled up on my back for a good way .
“The ski patrol were great and I had my first ever ride in the ‘meat wagon’ but it ended my season.
“I don’t bear any grudges against the guy that fell off and caused my injury- he was a nice enough man , a teaching nurse from Leeds and very apologetic. I’ll just be very wary in the future about doubling up with people over twice my size ! “However I’ve kept the monthly record of skiing going albeit painfully. I managed four snowploughs in February outside the Daylodge, one run down the Ciste bowl in March and April and several runs on Coire Cas in May.
“The toughest was in June when I had to hoof up the hill for a run down the Ciste gully. Up until then I’d been able to use the lifts and I was apprehensive about whether I’d make it up carrying my skis and boots.
“Normally I just walk in my ski boots but at present the knee’s not liking that and it does make my rucksack a good bit heavier. The physio thinks there is cartilage damage and it will be a slow process recovering.
“But I am determined to keep skiing every month and judging by the amount of snow on the Cairngorms at the moment, it looks promising, even if we have another heatwave.
“I am pretty sure they will last into August but I’m not sure about September. There’s more snow over the west so if I can walk that far I might return to Nevis to the patch below Aonach Beag as it will probably survive till the autumn snows again like it did last year.”
“It would be nice to reach 60 months though as that would be the only time my age was the same as the months!” ends