After serious hesitation, I committed to the third year in a row of snow skiing this winter with the great non-profit, Outdoors For All (ODFA). The first year was Stevens Pass, last year Summit At Snoqualmie, back to Stevens Pass this year. Overall I’ve just had better conditions up at Stevens. It is a bit farther away, but ODFA provides the transit which is terrific. According to our local weather meteorologist extraordinaire, Cliff Mass, he’s saying it may pan out to be a great season due to La Nina, so crossing fingers for some light, dry, & forgiving powder! Here in western WA, the snowpack can be so wet & heavy nothing close to what say UT or CO get, so we locals call it ‘Cascade cement’. When a stroke survivor has lost so much muscle mass & stamina as I have, it’s a hell of a lot of work to turn and edge zapping every ounce of reserves especially when I wipe out in the stuff! Last year we did have a record season overall with over 200 inches, but it again wasn’t the powder I hoped for.
ODFA’s program is fantastic. If you can get through the loud & raucous drive up to the mountains with a van full of kids and deal with the crazed smallest change room the resort is too cheap to donate to us, the real benefits then really start. Their dedicated instructors are the best and typically at least a 1:1 if not 1:2 ratio and it’s real instruction, not just someone to help you up when you experience a yard sale all over the mountain…
I never did take ski lessons pre-stroke, so finding the lessons super valuable and seeming as if I’m learning all over again from square one!
My PT, Aaron has been kicking my ass lately to start getting in somewhat decent shape. Loads of squats even while standing on a balance board! The hope is I push to get over a milestone this fall and then to a good point when January gets here. Then, skiing suddenly becomes my PT, yikes!
There is also another great guy & another stroke survivor, Rick who I met through my PT who I also may meet up with before or after my 7-week session with ODFA to ski should I have anything left in my tank. As part of the fees I pay to go up with ODFA, it includes a seasons pass, so might as well get the most out of it, so we shall see!