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Adaptive Programs at Vermont Ski Areas

Lindsey Harris, an instructor with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, enjoys some turns with student Aaron Berry. (Photo by Chip Allen)

Inclusivity is an important part of the mission for Vermont ski areas. Adaptive programs and partnerships at these areas make the mountain experience available for all.

Sugarbush Resort
Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen is home to Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, a nationally recognized organization that empowers people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming regardless of ability to pay. Vermont Adaptive is currently in the middle of their Home Sweet Home Campaign to build a new permanent home at Mt. Ellen with a fully dedicated facility connected to the Mt. Ellen Base Lodge.

Sugarbush also partners closely with other adaptive sports organizations like High Fives Foundation, Flyin’ Ryan Foundation, and Kelly Brush Foundation. The resort hosts several events with these organizations throughout the winter, including the ever-popular High Fives Fat Ski-a-Thon each spring.

Pico Mountain
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment and they’re headquartered at Pico Mountain. Vermont Adaptive offers ski and snowboard clinics at Pico, where Vermont Adaptive instructors teach lessons for all ability levels.

Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain Sports School offers adaptive ski and snowboard lessons for all ages in partnership with the Bart J. Ruggiere Adaptive Sports Center at Stratton.  This renowned southern Vermont program creates opportunities for families to enjoy snow sports regardless of age or their cognitive or physical disability. The Bart Center offers instruction for abilities ranging from first-timers to aspiring competitors using the latest in adaptive technology and teaching techniques. Certified instructors offer half-day and full-day lessons at Stratton Mountain with sessions geared toward each individual’s goal. The focus is on safety, enjoying the outside, having fun and building self-confidence through athletic achievement.

Stowe Mountain Resort
Skiers and riders of all ages and varying abilities can benefit from instruction with an adaptive professional from the Stowe Ski & Snowboard School. Our trained coaches assess, equip and teach students with disabilities in a one-on-one setting. This allows each student to be coached according to their specific needs, abilities and learning styles while optimizing their skiing or riding experiences. Stowe offers adaptive lessons for two, three and four track skiers, snowboarders, bi-skiers and beginning to advanced mono-skiers. In addition, if you need the assistance of a blind guide or help getting around the mountain as a bi- or mono-skier, our adaptive coaches are ready to help.

Mount Snow Resort
Adaptive Sports has a long history at Mount Snow with its annual Adaptive Sports at Mount Snow Winterfest charity fundraiser along with our Kids of Courage event which brings out more than 70 children who have the opportunity to feel the thrill of sliding on snow. Throughout the winter, Adaptive Sports at Mount Snow provides more than 700 adaptive lessons and is home to the Bluebird Special Olympic Ski and Ride team.

Bolton Valley Resort
Bolton Valley Resort is partnered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, which provides sports and recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities. True to its mission for over 20 years, they have helped thousands to gain a greater measure of self-esteem, more independence, and the ability to enjoy the outdoors. Bolton Valley’s partnership with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports has aided them in their mission to help those of all ages cross over physical obstacles and break through social barriers that prevent equality and feed discrimination and prejudice.

More info here:

Bromley Mountain
For the past 17 years, the Bart Adaptive Sports Center, in collaboration with Bromley Mountain, has offered private adaptive ski and snowboard lessons to people with disabilities using the latest in adaptive equipment and PSIA techniques, ensuring their students have the best opportunity for success! In addition, all Bart Center volunteer ski and snowboard instructors are trained to work with people that have a cognitive and/or physical disability under the direction of a PSIA certified Education Staff member. In addition, those with a disability can purchase Bromley lift tickets at a discounted rate (50% off retail). Interested in adaptive lessons? Schedule a 2-hour lesson with the Bart Adaptive Sports Center at 802-824-6849.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort
The Smugglers’ Notch Adaptive Program (SNAP), offered by Smugglers’ Snow Sport University, has successfully operated both Winters and Summers since the mid-1990’s. Offering services for all persons with special needs, the professionally trained staff with the SNAP program find fun and safe ways to customize communication and instruction to share the wonders of snow sports with everyone, whether new to outdoor Winter activities or experienced snow sports enthusiasts. This program sells out year after year due to the extraordinary experiences offered. Insider’s tip: the best times to book are mid-January and the month of March. SNAP professionals are proud to fundraise, train, and accompany a group of students to the Special Olympics Winter Games each March! Because of this, space is expected to fill up very quickly during the dates of March 22-24, 2020. More info:

Suicide Six Ski Area
Suicide Six is proud to have worked with Vermont Adaptive since its inception, as well as being proud hosts for 10 years of the Special Olympics of Vermont.

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