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3/10/2017 Latest post:
Welcome to this chronicle of Soren's journey and his experience with a spinal cord injury sustained after a skiing accident on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 . Soren loves skiing, loves skiing with his friends and coaches, and loves an active, outdoor lifesytle in all seasons. While on a ski trip for a competition with his high school telemark team to Grand Targee ski area, which sits on the western edge of the Teton Range in western Wyoming, and after a fall during his Finals run, Soren found himself on a new path in his youthful, active life. We are using this website to keep family, friends, supporters, and champions of Soren's journey updated in one place. We appreciate your support and hopeful encouragement. Please feel free to post your words, photos, and thoughts for Soren as you see fit. Your support and his community is a key element in his journey forward. Thank you for visiting.
Here is a summary of Soren's accident and some background written the day after the accident by family friend Brian Link who was on site that day: Just before noon on Saturday, March 4th, 2017, Soren was competing in the Freeheel Life Cup, the pinnacle of competition for big mountain telemark freeskiing in the Unite States.. Soren skied strongly in the qualifier round two days earlier, and was therefore near the end of the start order for Saturday’s finals. He had inspected the course before his run, and had chosen a challenging but reasonable line that included three moderate cliff drops. While free skiing, Soren has successfully landed many such jumps. He has also spent a lot of time in the terrain park at Snowmass ski area back home where he mastered the three “big air” style jumps that are beyond many skier’s ability. He is comfortable in the air. Soren started his run strongly, skiing beautifully above a scary cliff exposure, making a smooth turn through a short chute, and launched the first small cliff band. He landed smoothly, and made several good strong telemark turns to scrub some of the speed he picked up in the air. He then traversed across the slope to the rest of the line he had scouted out, and paused just briefly above the top of the double drop he had decided to ski. It looked like a great line, but either he flew just a foot or two too far, went through a ski track that was laid down by a previous competitor, or maybe a combination of the two. Instead of landing solidly and getting a good pop over the next cliff band, he skipped off the landing area and hit a rock squarely on his rear end, then somersaulting a couple of times before landing in the soft snow below the rock band above. Ski Patrol responded within minutes. At the scene of the accident Soren told his rescuers that he could not feel his legs and had extreme back pain. The ski patrol realized the severity of his back injury, packaged him carefully into a sled, and skied him down the mountain. They called in a helicopter to transport him from the base area of Grand Targhee to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC), a 30 minute flight to the west in Idaho Falls., ID.
Doctors determined Soren had dislocated and fractured the T-12 and L-1 vertebrae, and performed a 5-1/2 hour surgery beginning at 6 p.m. that same Saturday night to reduce and stabilize his spine at these dislocated and fractured vertebrae. After surgery Soren remained in ICU for four days, and was then moved one floor up to room 323 of the orthopedic ward for an additional ten days of recovery. On Monday, March 20th, Soren was finally transported bed to bed via ground and air ambulance from EIRMC and Idaho Falls Airport to Centennial Airport in Denver and finally on to room 413 of Craig Hospital in Englewood, CO a city directly south of downtown Denver.
Soren was born in Boulder, CO in 1999, and spent the first few years of his life there with his parents Kathy and Tim, and his older brother Jari. They moved up into the mountains of western Colorado and Old Snowmass when the boys were ready to start school. Soren and Jari went to the Waldof School of the Roaring Fork through 8th grade, and made lasting friendships there with the tightly knit classes and teachers who followed them from grade to grade. Tim and Kathy, who met while working at NOLS in the mountains of central Wyoming, shared their love for the out of doors and the mountains with the boys right from the beginning. Soccer was their team sport, and both boys were consistently leaders of the many teams they played on. Another big influence for Soren was his time spent at Teton Valley Ranch Camp, where he made many great friends and developed outstanding outdoor leadership skills.
High School took both Soren and Jari to the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, and coincided with a move for the family from Old Snowmass to Carbondale to be closer to school. The CRMS community is incredibly inclusive and supportive. Soren is a leader on both the Soccer team and the Telemark Team, and has developed a great circle of friends at school. He is also a huge animal lover, with the family's Golden Retriever Treva and barn cat Tigger at the top of the list.