Do you like snow? I’ve always been passionate about it. Just hearing that it might snow gets me super excited to experience it again.
Truly, I’ve had this thrill for snow since I was very little, when our whole family troupe would go skiing in Cerler and later in Andorra, in Pal-Arinsal… what great memories!
At first in “el jardí de neu” (the snow garden), and after that with an instructor who taught me the basics of skiing, the wedge, in which you position your skis in a triangular shape, separating the heels and bringing the toes together, hence the name. You use the wedge shape as a brake, which is very important and useful, especially when you get going fast and get stressed out.
At that age, 6 years old or so, I’d also go skiing with my father, who would put me in front of him–me without ski poles–and we would go down the slopes. If I messed up, he could catch me. Sometimes I went down the hills holding my parents’ hands. But, of course, time passes, we grow up, circumstances change, and there were many years that I didn’t go skiing at all.
As an adult, I’ve gone sporadically to Andorra with my aunts and uncles and cousins, on a surprise trip to Vaqueira with Juanjo and my friends Patri and Pablo, and this time, to La Molina.
All three times, of course, we’ve skied with specialized instructors, and that’s what I’m going to share with you here: about adaptive sports, and in this case, adaptive sports in La Molina, in Cerdanya.
This last time, we went at the start of January 2017, and thanks to the Cruyff Foundation, we had a great time skiing with two specialized ski instructors. I was impressed by the chair options available so that people with limited mobility can have the chance to ski too! Even though I have a disability, that doesn’t mean I know about all the possible needs or the adaptive options available to make people’s lives easier, no matter what abilities or disabilities they have. Every disability and every person is an individual, and that’s why it’s important that we make our situation and circumstances more visible, so that the world learns that the label “disability” can’t be used to lump together so many different realities.
All right! That being said, let’s get back to our day of skiing. We had two hours of class early in the morning, from 9 to 11 a.m. It wasn’t a sunny day; in fact, shortly after class started, it was lightly snowing, and by the end, the snowfall was thick and fast! which I loved, as you can imagine.
We were skiing on a green hill, the easiest of all. We started with a shorter slope, which we got to via a conveyor belt, which I have to admit was tricky to get the hang of with skis on! When I was a kid, there were surface lifts for short slopes, which consisted of a bar that went between your legs that then dragged you up the hill.
Once we conquered the basic run, we went to catch the chairlift to try out the whole of the slope. (The chairlifts, by the way, also had adaptations for the skiing chairs I mentioned before.)
The two hours flew by, and Juanjo and I both had a great time and want to repeat the experience very soon. Plus, we each had our own private instructor, so we could each go at our own speed and take advantage of all the benefits of having a teacher all to ourselves.
My dad, the spectator of our runs, made a few videos, and here is one of them so you have an idea of how a blind person can ski with directions from an instructor. By the way, hats off to him for being able to ski backwards!
Don’t you want to try it? What are you waiting for! Now that snow season is starting, it’s the perfect time!
We also tried tubbing tubing, which is where you go down the mountain inside an inner tube, which is addictive. Even though I have video of this, I’ll save it for myself so I don’t destroy your eardrums with my shouts of enthusiasm!
If you want more info about all the activities and services they have in La Molina, here you go: Adaptive Sports
As far as getting to the slopes, we went by car, but here are the details about transport.
Expenses per person per day
- Adaptive ski and snowboarding instructor.
- Ski pass.
- 10€ with disability card.
- Total expenses 2 persons with 2h of class each.