Episode Extra: Nik’s Epic Wipeout on the Antarctic Luge (VIDEO)

Yep. It was nasty. And this, as Paul Harvey used to say, is the rest of the story. Well, most of it anyway.

Hey y’all! Dusty here. And let’s face it: an adventure isn’t really a true adventure unless there’s an element of danger and unpredictability involved. And one of the recurring themes you’ll notice over the course of our may groovy adventures with Adventure Life is that danger and unpredictability are drawn to Nik like hungry bees to sweet honey. She’s like “Danger-prone Daphne” from the old Scooby Doo days. If there’s trouble, and she doesn’t find it, it finds her. And her experience on the luge is a textbook example.

So let’s get right to it: some of the most common questions we’ve been asked since this happened:

Nik Hurt Antarctica LugeHow is Nik? Did she really hurt her knee? She’s fine, thanks for asking. And yes, she really did. Turns out she not only suffered a slightly torn meniscus (the piece of cartilage in your knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint) but after further examination it was revealed she also suffered a bruised bone. Ouch!

How did she get off the mountain? Did they really send the stretcher after her? No stretcher. No ski patrol. No snow machine. Turns out we had to get off the mountain the old fashioned way: we walked. Walking through the snow and ice down here is, as you’ve seen, not all that easy when your knees are working. So picture the two of us – Nik in a great deal of pain – hobbling together the rest of the way down the hill, through a penguin colony, onto the Zodiac, across the water, up the gangway and into the cabin. Safe to say it took a while. But Melissa, the ship’s doctor, was there within minutes. And she was awesome.

Did anybody else get hurt? Funny you should ask! Nik was actually the third person that afternoon to suffer the same injury, to the same knee, on the very same luge track. And it so happens she was the last, because once they saw Nik hobbling down the hill our guides finally put an end to the lugeing that day. Probably for the best.

Why is that sort of thing allowed anyway? The luge? It really is kind of a tradition in Antarctica, and evidently a [mostly] harmless one. We actually stopped at a couple of different places where people were allowed to luge, and by all accounts everybody had a very safe, very fun time. We just picked the wrong place on the wrong day to give it a whirl. Figures.

Did you get trip insurance? And did it help? Yes, and no. Not in this case, at least. We’ll have to share our thoughts on trip insurance, particularly as they relate to this incident, for another blog down the road. Because we did run into a couple of surprises as far as that goes.

How did her injury affect the rest of the trip? Fortunately it happened toward the end of the expedition, so she didn’t miss too much. It knocked her out of all the activities the next day, but she was slowly able to get up and around and she actually made it out on another couple of excursions before the end of the trip. But the pain was pretty constant. The really cool part though, was the support she got from everybody on the ship. Folks were incredibly nice and helpful!

Do me a favor would you? And send Nik some love in the comments below. She is absolutely, positively extremely danger-prone, but she’s a hell of a tough cookie and a world-class adventurer. Thanks again to the wonderful crew at One Ocean Expeditions for taking great care of her! And y’all definitely drop us a comment with any questions!

Cheers gang! Until next time…





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