Skiing for blind and partially sighted people

When most people think of skiing, they think of taking a ski lift up a mountain and then gliding down at great speed.Most skiing that blind and partially sighted people do however, is cross country or Nordic skiing.

This is immense fun, and great exercise in the outdoors. Cross-country skiing involves skiing in ready prepared tracks or grooves in the snow. You are likely to have small slopes to contend with, but nothing like downhill or alpine skiing.

Metro will consider subsidy requests for members to attend various skiing events. Examples are given below, but these aren’t exhaustive.

Blind and partially sighted people ski with a guide who will assist in the way that best meets the skier’s needs and preferences.

The video below of Metro member Darren Kail downhill skiing  at Ridderweek 2022

 

If you’re a beginner, the guide will show you how to ski, and if you’re a seasoned skier, they will give you tips to improve your technique. So, even if you’ve never handled skis before, you shouldn’t feel afraid to give it a go.

Another crucial function of the guide is to ski close to the blind or partially sighted skier to give them information about any slopes coming up; to help them stay safely in the tracks; and, some would say most importantly, to tell them when the next drinks station is coming up!

 

Metro Annual Skiing trip

Ridderweek

  • Ridderweek is held in March or April in Beitostolen Norway.
  • At Ridderweek there is a 5km race for women or a 10km race for men;  biathlon (a 6km ski coupled with sonic rifle shooting); and the 20km Ridderrennet race. 5km race for women or a 10km race for men;  biathlon (a 6km ski coupled with sonic rifle shooting); and the 20km Ridderrennet race.
  • You can read Metro members’  accounts of the previous Ridderweeks by accessing the ‘articles’ link on this page.
  • Contact Mike: mike@mikebrace.co.uk  for enquiries about the skiing trip

 

Want to know more?

For more information about skiing at Ridderweek for blind and partially sighted people and Metro’s involvement, contact Mike Brace at: mike@mikebrace.co.uk

 

 

The 2023 Ski for Light International Event  29.1.23 to 05.02.23

Applications for skiers, guides, and volunteers will be available later in August at www.sfl.org

The 48th annual Ski for Light International Week is scheduled to run from Sunday, January 29th, through Sunday, February 5th, 2023! We are excited to be returning to Snow Mountain Ranch, part of YMCA of the Rockies, located near Granby, Colorado. We are equally thrilled to be returning to an on-snow event after COVID caused the SFL International Week to be held virtually for the past two years.

Snow Mountain Ranch offers more than 90 kilometers of expertly groomed Nordic ski trails, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, all covered with snow. The week starts off with many friends seeing each other for the first time since the prior SFL event, and with many new lifetime friendships being made. The following six days will boast lots of fun on the trails, and spirited off-snow events in the late afternoons and evenings.

The week will wrap up with the Olav Pedersen Race/Rally and an evening awards ceremony, both of which really highlight the magic of Ski for Light, culminating with the accomplishments that many thought were unreachable a mere and all-too-short week earlier.

The popular afternoon special interest sessions will be back, too. These display a broad range of impressive talents and experiences of members of the SFL family. Topics could include better ways to use our electronics, ski waxing tips, exciting travel adventures, or an unbelievable accomplishment of a fellow SFL friend. The evening entertainment is being worked on as we speak, and may boast detective work, dancing, wild rides, and talented cowboy poets. The all-time favorites- the Silent Auction and Norway Night– will be a given! If you have been thinking of coming, or if you are just now hearing about Ski for Light, I invite you to what many first-timers (guides and skiers alike) have called “an experience of a lifetime!”

Many participants leave their first event eager to return the next year to improve their new-found skill and to re-unite with friends they’ve met the previous year. If you’ve never been on skis before, not a problem. We offer technique sessions for beginner and intermediate skiers. Also, the two-year stipend restriction for skiers is being removed again this year. As an intermediate or better Nordic skier who is interested in becoming a guide, SFL will open up a whole new world to you.

Guiding at SFL will give you the unique satisfaction of passing on your passion for the sport to someone who otherwise would not experience the thrill and freedom of gliding over the snow. If you feel apprehensive about knowing how to guide, no need to fear: SFL provides a training video, a training manual, and a day of interactive instruction on skis prior to the start of the week. For our veteran guides who would like a brush up training session, we are excited to again offer a refresher class.

SFL will cover the cost. Stay tuned for details. I also want to extend an invitation to those who want to be a part of this amazing family, but not on the snow. Of course, I’m talking about the volunteers, often referred to as worker-bees.

They are very dedicated to the SFL organization, are an essential part of making the event go smoothly, and are dear friends. Applications for skiers, guides, and volunteers will be available later in August at www.sfl.org. Single and double rooming options will be available on a first come, first served basis. So, get your plans made for an exciting and unforgettable week at Snow Mountain Ranch! I sense a pent-up eagerness for a fantastic and long overdue SFL reunion! We are looking forward to having a great time with everyone both on and off the Colorado snow!!

By Michael Evelo

Here’s what I can say for sure: Our Ski for Light community is strong. We’ve conquered unexpected challenges before, and if we stick together, we can certainly overcome this one.

I hope more of you will consider contributing short videos or audios to our “SFL Well at Home” series, accessible in the following ways:

  1. via Facebook: www.facebook.com/pg/SkiforLight/videos/?ref=page_internal
  2. via our website: https://www.sfl.org
  3. via YouTube (coming soon): www.youtube.com/channel/UCGgaioekoncKk0iqGtyOOUg/about

 

 

Looking Back at the 2020 Ski for Light Event

Photo Memories

Many people who attended the SFL 2020 event in Wyoming have posted individual photos as well as photo albums to the SFL Facebook page. Click here to view photo’s and keep up with SFL happenings.

2020 Race and Rally Results

View or download the 2020 Olav Pedersen Race and Rally results (MS Excel format) from the 2020 event.

Media Coverage

 

General  SFL Event details

  • 25% of attendees are first-time skiers, and on the final day, you have the chance to participate in a 5km rally and a 10km race.
  • You can read Metro member’s accounts of the event by accessing the ‘articles’ link on this page.
  •  For more information click here to go to the SFL site..

    Speed of Light guide training programme

New training tool this year for new and returning guides: an eight-minute video supplement to the Guide Handbook, which illustrates essential Nordic skiing skills like diagonal stride, full and half-snowplough, herringbone, and lane changing.

If you’ll be a guide at SFL 2020, even if you’ve been with us for many years, take some time this week to review the handbook and watch this video. You’ll be glad you did. And we invite all our participants, as well as anyone just curious as to how all thisworks, to check it out at the following link.

https://www.sfl.org/pubs/SFL-training.mp4

 

 

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