Sugarbush Resort 2020 Adaptive Ski Camp

Presented by:

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 3.52.36 PM

And a special HIGH FIVE to Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports

Photos by John Atkinson HERE & Jordan Drew HERE, Video by Justin Jenny (shot 100% on GoPro) & Words by #HighFivesAthlete Landon McGauley

High Five founder, Roy Tuscany, grew up and learned to ski on the East coast. Throughout his time skiing and coaching there, he built many strong relationships with incredible people and companies. These bonds have been with High Fives and have supported Roy from day one. These relationships have only become stronger with time and the same community who supported Roy, welcome High Fives wholeheartedly, which is one of the reason the Sugarbush ski camp is always a favorite camp of all involved!

108-2020-02-29-JA-sugarbush-006

Roy’s amazing friends and family make everyone feel so welcome and at home. The excitement was high and everything was organized for all the Athletes arriving at Sugarbush resort to have the best time possible during February 27th – 29th, 2020.

The 14 adaptive athletes included; Christine Slavin, Kenny Young, Nick Fairall, Paula McNeill, Chris Collins, Greg Durso, Jeff Elliott, Ryan McLaren, Lawrence Green, Keenan Weischedel, and Roy Tuscany, Alana Nichols, Trevor Kennison, and Landon Mcgauley as mentors.

As Athletes arrived and got checked in to their hotel rooms, you could immediately feel the camaraderie between new and old friends.

A meeting was had to go over the plan and goals for the next days on snow.

GOALS – Get all levels of skiers out on the beautiful mountain, show them a great time, and improve their skiing! Service is our passion, safety is our priority.

Greg Durso High Fives Athlete 232 was stoked to be on the snow, and it shows!
IMG_5010

Day 1

Although the weather had decided to work against us on the first day, that did not effect the moral of the group. After digging a few vehicles out of the snow everyone showed up keen and ready to get out and doing some skiing.

The blizzardly conditions were a bit of a struggle but you could see the smiles of Athletes cutting though the fog.

Everyone had a great day, and in hindsight battling the winter elements for one day, just made the fresh snow and sunshine delivered by Sugarbush VT the following days that much sweeter.

A huge goal of the Foundation is to return Athletes to the sports they had loved prior to their life-changing injury. When we get to see it in person, it comes with a huge sense of pride and meaningfulness to what the Foundation does. On day one of the MDV Sugarbush ski camp, we got to see an Athlete return to the sport they had loved.

3 years after Ryan Mclaren sustained a spinal cord injury, he returned to the mountains via a sit ski and got out and rode.

I didn’t know how much I missed it until I was out on the snow again for the first time since my accident. That is the power of these camps.  The sports are the vehicle, but the payoff is the connection – to each other, to nature, and to the parts of us that no injury or experience can take away.
-Ryan McLaren, High Fives Athlete # 156

Day 2

We immediately saw the potential in all the Athletes. Whether they had spent a lot of time in a sit ski or not, the potential was there. They were all riding with different purposes. Some of the Athletes were working on charging new lines, while others were simply looking to leave their troubles, and their wheelchairs behind in rare chance to disconnect from everything and enjoy the snow, fresh air and beautiful mountains that Sugarbush was providing for us.

The real potential we saw wasn’t in each skiers ability, although that was impressive, it was in the attitude they showed up to the hill with each day. Day two, Everyone showed up ready to go in their ski gear, stoked to have a great day.

Thanks to the amazing support the Foundation receives we were able to give the riders a special gift. Our friends at Marker, Dalbello, Volkl provided each of the Athletes a Volkl Race ski with Marker Race bindings which had been beautifully tuned by Vermont North Ski Shop. The Athletes were also given the chance to test these skis out on a private Giant Slalom course.

Another successful day was logged in the books. Everyone had an amazing time and drastically improved their ski control skills. The Athletes left the mountain with a new ski and many new skills they were eager to try out on the next and final day.

DSC04427
DSC04492

Day 3

The next day was an early one. Everyone was at the mountain by 7am and on the chair by 7:30. Even more snow had fell overnight leaving us untouched fresh snow. The previous day had allowed everyone to get comfortable skiing and today was all about fun.

103-AT2A9576
DSC04175
DSC03804
75-2020-02-27-28-JA-sugarbush-112

We were all very fortunate to make a new friend on the final day. Mike Olsen was able to make it out and ski with all the High Fives Athletes. Although Mike was not an Athlete on the camp, he came and fit in like a glove.

Mike is a very impressive sit skier and that was immediately clear to all. He was taking time to ski with everyone and share the stoke out on the mountain.

82917761_10218659179403704_4233549358156480512_n

such a fun positive day on the snow full of smiles and meeting amazing people!! I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity to meet such great peeps and become a part of the high fives family.

Everyone had a great day and left the camp with new skills and new friends. The following day was the the High Fives Foundation Fat Ski-a-thon which everyone got to participate in and got to show their new abilities to friends and families of the Foundation. Mike left with the title of “Adaptive Athlete of the Fat Ski-a-thon”. Congratulations Mike, we are all excited to ski with you again!

The Marker Dalbello Völkl 2020 Adaptive Ski Camp was a very successful camp and we can’t wait to do it again next year.

DSC04432
DSC04148

Events like this would not be possible without amazing support from companies such as:

Marker,Dalbello,Volkl

PolarMax

Arcade Belts 

Darn Tough

Leki

Phunkshun Wear

Locale Outdoor

Vermont North Ski Shop