Every skier has unique goals. Some work to master the diamonds, others try to ski every weekend, and many simply want to get outside and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery. A variety of challenges affect a skier's goals. Adaptive snowsport programs at ski areas throughout New York help children and adults reach their goals and experience the joy of winter sports. Programs offer adaptive skiing instruction, equipment rental or loan, and enthusiastic support. Just be sure to make reservations in advance.
The mainstay of the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) Snowsports Program at Windham Mountain is alpine skiing. This highly-recognized program teaches adults and children with cognitive or physical disabilities (age 5 and older), from very first-timers to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Students check in, get fitted for equipment, and meet their instructor in the Adaptive Sports Center, an accessible building with slopes just outside the door. Lessons, available daily December through March, include lift tickets and rental or loan of adaptive equipment.
ASF offers a competition program for advanced adaptive skiers to learn fundamental and advanced racing skills. Teams compete in Disabled Sports USA-sanctioned races throughout the season. Snowboarding has become popular with ASF students, and there is now an ASF Race Team.
A Catskills ski mountain with a strong adaptive snowsports program, Belleayre was voted a Top 10 Family Resort by Newsday readers. The new lodge, the Adaptive Snowsports Center, is wheelchair accessible and conveniently located for easy access to the trails. Military veterans can participate in the Warriors in Motion dedicated to those wounded in service. Catamount ski area in the Hudson Valley features the STRIDE adaptive ski and snowboard program. Instruction is available by appointment on weekends into April.
The Lovejoy Adaptive Training Center at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in the Finger Lakes was designed for accessibility and snow sports. Its name honors Dr. Robert M. Lovejoy, the program's first skier with total blindness, who promoted skiing programs for people with disabilities.
The Double H Ranch Adaptive Winter Sports Program offers children ages 6 through 18 who are dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to participate in winter sports in the beautiful Adirondacks. There is no charge, and equipment is provided. Activities include instruction in downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. Over 200 volunteer instructors and National Ski Patrol provide a 1:1 support ratio with students. The Double H Ranch's mountain has a chairlift, two ski trails, and miles of cross-country trails. Families can sit comfortably in the lodge and watch their children's progress.
The Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville offers adaptive sports lessons to persons with virtually all disabilities, both physical and cognitive. Each student is instructed individually with emphasis on his/her ability, rather than disability. Frequently encountered disabilities include spinal cord injuries, Downs Syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, autism and developmental delay. Many students gain new confidence to tackle other activities. The program runs from late December through mid-March.
From Whiteface in the Adirondacks to Holiday Valley in western New York, adaptive sports programs share the same goal: to make the excitement of snow sports available to everyone. For most up-to-date ski conditions and mountain information, ISKINY makes it easy to get the information you need.