Liberty Mountain was the site of miracles this weekend. One was the snow (all machine-made but superbly groomed) and the other was to see wheelchair-confined children squealing with delight and bi-skiing.
On Presidents Day Weekend, there is an annual event for The Korean American People Disability Association, or KADPA. On Saturday, February 19, 2012, 23 students participated with ages ranging from 4 to 22 years old. They received excellent instruction in the warm sunshine from Liberty instructors who volunteer their time for BRASS (Blue Ridge Adaptive Snow Sports). See their website at brasski.org and help support their work; they just received another “snow sliders” to assist people who can stand to ski, but need to support their weight with their arms or have brain injury or disease that makes shifting their weight from side to side difficult.
Charles and I volunteered as “blockers” to make sure that no one runs into the tether between instructor and student. Charles was particularly pleased to be there because one of the students was a daughter of one his former colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. 18-year old Joanne is making remarkable progress. She took at least 20 fast runs on the sit-ski, attached or tethered to instructor David Penland. It takes great skill and strength on the part of the instructor to load the student and sit-ski on the chairlift, take them off, and guide them on the mountain without losing control. The student helps to control by shifting her weight. Joanne told us the sport is fast, exciting, and scary at times.
There are many more events left at Liberty this season, including Wounded Warrior Weekend on March 2,3, and 4th and Spring Break and Terrain Park Events that same weekend. Springfest and pond skimming are scheduled for March 10 and 11. Come on Mother Nature - give us some cold weather!
When she wasn't skiing, Connie Lawn covered the White House as a reporter since 1968.