The Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham

Adaptive Sports Foundation 2015 Hartman Race
Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown, Courtesy of ASF

Windham Mountain in the northern Catskills is known for hosting the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), a well-regarded program that allows children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities to experience the joy of snow sports. Last Saturday, ASF held its first-ever Awareness Day to spread the word about the organization’s vital work.

Headquartered in a dedicated 7,200 square-foot lodge with its own equipment shop, ASF’s 240 volunteer instructors donate more than 20,000 hours per year adding up to more than 4,000 lessons, with 3,500 of those during ski season.

In addition, since developing the Warriors in Motion® program 13 years ago, more than 1,500 wounded veterans and family members have used ASF’s services.

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Coming Home to Windham

I arrived at Windham on Sunday morning delighted to find six inches of fresh snow waiting for me on the slopes. After grabbing the first chair, I skated along the ridge and made a quick descent down The Wall, a short double-black diamond headwall that connects to Whistler below.

new snow at windham

I stopped to admire the picturesque view of the Catskills on a perfect bluebird day, and I thought back to the weekend less than five years ago when my addiction to skiing was born.

In January 2013, my girlfriend (now my wife, Rachel), suggested that we spend a weekend skiing. I’d never tried the sport, but I loved exercise and was looking for a way to overcome the seasonal depression that plagued me annually during the dreary, gray days of northeast winters.

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Windham: Get ’em Going

My kids don’t exactly object to getting out of bed early. It’s more like they’re incapable of functioning without precise guidance before 8am. Each insulating layer requires new instructions. Putting on socks does not, apparently, imply that shoes should follow.

In spite of this, we made good time up the Thruway on Sunday. We arrived at Windham, parked, grabbed our gear and jumped on the shuttle bus. I left the kids to boot up while I got our lift tickets.

Junior made it to Hunter’s opening day with me, but Sunday was my 10 year old’s first day of the season. He’s stepping up to a longer pair of skis this year, so we got on D-lift, a fixed grip triple to start out mellow. The little grom did great but I noticed he was skiing really slowly.

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