5th annual All Mountain Adaptive Ski Camp draws variety of skiers to Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

5th annual All Mountain Adaptive Ski Camp draws variety of skiers to Steamboat

Darin Cuskelly rips down a run at Steamboat Ski Area on Wednesday during the third day of the fifth annual All Mountain Adaptive Ski Camp. The event attracted nearly 40 adaptive skiers to the slopes.

— The third day of the fifth annual All Mountain Adaptive Ski Camp was to get under way at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning with a breakfast at the Bear River Bar & Grill at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

But when the designated hour came, only a few event bigwigs and several bleary eyed campers had made it.

"I'm not used to skiing all day," Craig Kennedy, one of the camp's main organizers, admitted a little later. "This will be the third day. I'm tired."

It was definitely a slow start, but only an hour after most of the campers finally let go of their snooze button fantasies, it was hard to tell, and the nearly 40 disabled skiers and 30 family members and camp volunteers were swarming up and down the slopes of Mount Werner.

The camp is the product of a collaborative effort among the local STARS program, Adap­tive Adventures and Craig and Andrea Kennedy's Steamboat-based Access Any­thing.

Again the camp brought skiers from near and far.

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Local adaptive athlete Re­­becca Shephard slipped away from her job at Yampa Valley Medical Center's sports medicine department to cut a few turns with fellow mono skiers.

Logging 40 to 50 days on the mountain a year since she moved to Steamboat Springs four winters ago, she's plenty familiar with what the ski area has to offer.

And she's pretty sure it doesn't get any better than the adaptive camp.

"It's fun getting together with other mono skiers," she said. "The camaraderie really is the best part. Everyone has different experiences but similar experiences. These are my favorite days of the season."

If Shephard represented the "near," the "far" was well-represented, as well.

Tom Everett, a 19-year-old from Spokane, Wash., was jonesing for more snow, la­­menting his inability to rip up the powder that was impossible to find Wednesday.

He made up for that with a fiery-eyed attack at every spot of moguls he could find.

"This is my first camp. It's nice to get around other guys doing the same thing and get some instruction," he said. "It helps me push my limits to see what other guys do. I really like the steep stuff, bumps."

Spokane might as well be Hayden compared to where other camp participants were from.

Australian born and now a resident of the tiny European city-state of Andorra, Peter Scorgie had two knees replaced, and his doctors forbade able-bodied skiing. Rather than bend the rules, he picked up a sit-ski. The only problem, he said, is finding other mono-skiers in the mountain country of Andorra.

"Over there, I'm the only one skiing around on a sit-ski. There are a couple of guys in another valley, but I've only seen them once or twice. So it's fun to come here and mix with the other sit-skiers," he said.

Fiona McCormack, meanwhile, attended the Steamboat camp for her second consecutive year, traveling from Ireland.

"Everything here is just so easy. They're all so much help, from the instructors to the ski lifts. I'm learning loads," she said. "In Europe, it's not as accessible. This hasn't caught on as much. Everything here's so easy, and I just have so much fun."

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