Aggressive flying using much brake input near the ground is dangerous. In the advent of a loss of control, the ground is very near and there will be little room for recovery. The danger zone is 10—200 feet above the ground—-high enough to hit hard and too low to throw a reserve or for the wing to recover.
Midday on November 20 I had decided to hike up the hill at North Boulder for a sled ride. The sun was too far south and no frontal systems were forecast so outlook was for a smooth glide to the l.z. That was the plan as I hiked up the hill with a few other pilots. I launched with a dynamic reverse launch and flew away from the hill. I was surprised when my vario indicated light and I started to turn above the 3/4 launch. I turned closely and sharply towards the hill. At that moment I had an assymetric deflation on the inward side further slowing down wind and resulting in a spin. The glider spun 180 degrees and I was now facing away from the hill but it dove so sharply that I could not clear the hill. I felt my legs hit the ground hard. My left leg was uninjured but my right leg contacted a rock and I felt pain in it. It was apparent I could not fly or walk down so started to organize a group to carry me down on my back board. EMS and mountain rescue soon arrived and I accepted a carry down. Upon reaching the cars, I climbed out and asked my daughter to drive me to the emergency room. I was still optimistic until an X-ray confirmed that I had broken my leg.
A month later I am recovering and starting to walk but still criticize myself for flying too aggressively too close to the hill and being too greedy for light! I should have been content with a sled ride on November 20th!. Fly cautiously in the danger zone!