Photo: Skier Marilyn Gerhard and Guides Jake Kamenetsky and Grayson Forsberg Courtesy Photo
The 44th annual Ski for Light International Week will take place from Sunday January 27 through Sunday February 3, 2019, in Granby, Colorado. Ski for Light, an all volunteer nonprofit, organizes an annual, week-long event where blind and mobility-impaired adults are taught the basics of cross-country skiing. The event attracts more than 250 skiers, guides and volunteers from throughout the United States, as well as international participants from several other countries. During the Ski for Light week, each skier with a disability is paired with an experienced, sighted cross-country skier who acts as ski instructor and on-snow guide.
Participants in the 44th annual Ski for Light International Week will ski and stay at Snow Mountain Ranch, part of the YMCA of the Rockies, located near Winter Park. In addition to skiing on ninety kilometers of wide and wonderfully groomed Nordic trails, participants will have the opportunity to hone their auditory laser rifle skills in a biathlon experience facilitated by the United States Association of Blind Athletes, compete in the Olav Pedersen Race/Rally and enjoy many off-snow activities.
After attending her first International Week, fourth-year Ski for Light guide Sarah Eisenberg explained, “As a first year guide, I needed to learn how to communicate and ski safely while guiding a skier. It was not as scary or disorienting as I thought it would be. The trails were well-groomed and the weather was beautiful. I enjoy describing the scenery, condition of the trail, and announcing who and where we are when passing other skiers. The sense of freedom in being able to ski is uplifting!”
Instructor/guides should be intermediate level classic cross-country skiers capable of safely managing their own speed and direction while, at the same time, communicating with their skiing partner. Ski for Light provides a training session for first-time guides taught by experienced skiers and guides prior to the start of the week.
“I Discovered Ski for Light at the 2012 event, and my life changed. Through skiing and the opportunities to work with other Ski for Light enthusiasts, I began to imagine what was possible and spent less time and energy dwelling on what I could no longer do after experiencing vision loss.” Wrote skier Tim McCorcle. After International Week, McCorcle, with guide Mike Evelo, will be competing in the 2019 American Birkebeiner 55k Classic Ski Race representing Ski for Light.
If you have never before attended what many have called “the experience of a lifetime,” please consider participating in the Ski for Light 2019 International Week.