If you’ve called the Reservations Team of Canyon Services within the last few years, there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken with Meagan. What most folks don’t know, however, is that while she grew up in Salt Lake, hiking and skiing our beautiful mountains, she hasn’t been able to go out and enjoy these active pursuits for a few years, due to a chronic, invisible illness which drastically changed Meagan’s life a few years back. After Canyon Services’ blog featured Wasatch Adaptive Sports last August and again in February, Meagan decided to give them a call for herself and see if they could help.
The process couldn’t have been simpler! A quick call with Elizabeth, Executive Director of Wasatch Adaptive Sports to discuss limitations, concerns, and medical/surgical history to make sure Meagan was a good candidate and the application forms were in her inbox. Within 24 hours, a lesson was scheduled for two weeks away – good news for our intrepid reservationist who didn’t even own ski pants anymore!
While Wasatch Adaptive Sports will do lessons at Alta (where Meagan, a historically self proclaimed, Alta-preferring snob, would have loved to start), the first lesson is typically scheduled to take place at Snowbird Ski Resort, where Wasatch Adaptive Sports has a supply closet.
Upon arriving at the WAS office in the Snowbird Center, a private instructor – who is studying Occupational Therapy at the University of Utah! – was assigned to Meagan, along with a volunteer to help out, and further discussion determined that the best equipment for Meagan’s situation would be a Kart-Ski or SnowKart, with hopes of graduating to a bi-ski perhaps next year. The variety of adaptive equipment available is absolutely staggering, from a device allowing for support while still standing upright to sit-skis using outrigger poles for control all the way to the conservative SnowKart. The wonderful folks at Wasatch Adaptive Sports have the equipment to get most folks who thought they’d never ski out on the slopes.
Lessons take place on the Chickadee Slope of Snowbird, where the slopes are gentle, trails are well groomed, and learners abound. The two hour lesson flew by mastering turns and stops, and plenty of help to get on and off the lifts – a complicated process in a kart. With all the challenges faced by individuals with chonic disease and injury, it’s truly wonderful to find a way to get back on the mountain without that feeling of “otherness” so often associated with adaptive technology and activities.
If you, or someone you know, have limited mobility and have written off the idea of joining in on the fun of a ski trip to beautiful Utah, we at Canyon Services would encourage you to re-evaluate. Canyon Services has 8 vacation rentals available with bedrooms on the same floor as the living space, which would be appropriate for individuals who can manage a flight of stairs at a time: our reservations team is happy to help find you a condo to suit your groups’ needs and abilities!