In Defense of Skiing Alone

When Harvey declared that he was done skiing alone, I felt a post of my own forming in my head. Skiing solo is one of life’s great pleasures. I wouldn’t consider giving up skiing by myself any more then I would give up skiing itself.

no one around

One time this spring I found myself driving up the Thruway, skis and boots in the truck, with literally no idea where I was going. I reached out to a couple skiing buddies to see where they were headed but I was pretty ambivalent about finding a ski partner. One guy was at Plattekill (not on my MAX Pass), one was at Whiteface and another at Killington (both too far). I think I was subconsciously looking for reasons not to meet up with anybody.

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I’m Done Skiing Alone

When I was a little kid living on a farm, I’d play by myself in a big tractor tire that served as a sandbox. I developed a reputation for playing alone. “Harvey doesn’t need playmates, he’s happy all by himself!” It wasn’t true, down inside I didn’t like it, but I didn’t know myself well enough to push back.

“Trust me, this opens up down below.”

As I got older, I got more proactive. In high school, I joined the cross country team and made best friends for life. Twenty five years after that, I discovered skiing, and it took me another two decades to learn the lesson all over again, in a new setting. A single life-changing event twenty years ago — a solo backcountry ski tour — delayed my embrace of this lesson.

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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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