Winter Park 2021
The Return of Ski camps
BOOM, just like that, 2020 is over. Although We are not sad to be saying goodbye to that year, we do owe it some appreciation. We learned a lot about ourselves and about what we are capable of. We tend to learn the best lessons under pressure and on the fly. We could never have expected or been prepared for the rollercoaster of 2020, but we did learn that we can handle a lot. Our amazing supporters, donors, and Athletes showed us that it was possible and that we would get through no matter what.
Canceling most of our camps last year was disappointing; there is no way around that. But we are in a new year with new strategies in place that will allow us to run camps while keeping the safety of all involved at the top of the priority list.
Which is exactly what we did to ring in 2021.
Originally, the plan was to take Athletes of different abilities and skill levels and give them the tools they needed to take their skiing to the next level. Whether that be just getting into a sit-ski or learning how to really rail a turn. Unfortunately, we had to cut down our numbers and decided it would be best and safest if we took the most experienced sit skiers and provided them High-end race coaching.
Three sit skiers were invited: Brad Baugh, Lawrence “The Mayor” Green, and Nick Fairall. They were provided the coaching, resources, and mentorship for a week to progress as ski racers.
These three skied under the guidance of Coaches Erik Peterson and Scott Olson At the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), along with the mentorship and advice of Trevor Kennison and Paralympian Andrew Kurka. The crew also took advice from fellow High Fives Athletes Cassandra Grenier and Jasmin Bambur who compete at these NSCD in their Paralympic Pursuit.
The courses were set, the gates were placed, and it was now in the hands of the Athletes. They had been given the tools to sharpen their blades. The difference between a sit skier who can ski down a run and one who can attack a steep, icy racecourse is a lot. The racecourse requires aggressive edging, a super confident mindset, and most importantly a lot of time in the bucket.
Seeing the boys begin to feel the power the laying an edge into a tight line on a racecourse was amazing.
The progression from one run to the next was visible; you could see the coaching and advice clicking. At the bottom of one-run, the coach would suggest something, and you could see the lessons come to life moments later. As Lawrence, Brad, or Nick cranked out a faster lap than the previous one.
Thanks to the amazing support of Granby Ranch on the third day of the trip, the crew was able to practice their new skills on a ski hill that was open only to them. Granby Ranch fired up the chair lift and the lights to let the crew rip some wide-open fast turns for an evening of night skiing.
The first trip of 2021 was a massive success. Being able to run a camp in this new world successfully was really reassuring to us; it proved we can do it safely while following all procedures and guidelines and still get athletes stoked and having the time of their lives.
Thank you to all those who made this camp possible. We want to give a huge thank you and High Five to Wells Lamont, Smith Optics, Eddie Bauer, Liquid Death, Phunkshun, Arcade Belts, Locale, Darn Tough, Kind Humans, Clif Bar, Charlotte’s Web, NSCD, and Grandby Ranch for allowing us to make this possible.