Adaptive Snow Sports

Our Mission

Massanutten – Adaptive Snow Sports (MASS) exists to support persons of ALL ages and abilities by providing quality adaptive snow sports instruction (skiing, snowboarding, x-c skiing/ski touring, snowshoeing) and adaptive snow sports trips.

Our Commitment

Recognizing the important therapeutic benefits of adaptive skiing, snowboarding, x-c skiing, and snowshoeing, Massanutten – Adaptive Snow Sports (MASS) provides leadership, programs and specialty therapeutic services to educate, to challenge, and to inspire our clients to improve their fitness and overall quality of life through active participation in winter sports. With almost 4 decades of continuous service, what differentiates Massanutten – Adaptive Snow Sports (MASS) from other local and regional programs is: (1) our unparalleled experience serving individuals with a wide diversity of disabilities; (2) our broad scope of educational and rehabilitation – programs~projects~events; (3) our guiding core values and operational ethics; and (4) our commitment to safety and service.

Our History

Therapeutic Adventures, Inc. has developed a unique and integrative approach to instruction using: our IndependencePlus Model, our adaptive Circle of Courage model, and our Adaptive Outdoor Skills Mastery System. Through our comprehensive approach to teaching, coaching, guiding and mentoring, we embolden our adaptive students/clients to set goals and to strive for functional independence. Our belief that ALL persons learn and benefit by being provided with opportunities to develop self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-reliance – has provided Therapeutic Adventures, Inc. with a proven framework for success. TA supports individuals and families, helping them to make positive lifestyle choices in the environments where adaptive sports and outdoor adventure activities are offered and enjoyed.



Adaptive Guides |                  PSIA                  | National Ski Patrol

Our Adaptive Snow Sports Disciplines

MASSANUTTEN – Adaptive Snow Sports (MASS) takes great pride as the South’s first full-service adaptive snow sports program. An important therapeutic experience, thousands individuals of all ages have successfully received specialized adaptive snow sports instruction and guide services at our resort.

Starting with the basics, our Adaptive Snow Sports Mastery System® follows a progression, allowing you to achieve your most advanced level of independence as quickly as possible. Course content is organized so each successive instructional session picks up where the last one ended with no overlap or gaps. Throughout your experience, you will develop a variety of new skills designed to compliment many therapy goals. Our programs for school aged children can be designed to compliment many special education goals.

Our instructors are trained to follow the PSIA Adaptive Teaching Model ©. Moreover, instructors also make use of other valuable progressions and instructional adaptations as defined by Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), Hal O’Leary’s internationally recognized Winterpark Handicapped Skiing Program, and PSIA’s Child Centered Skiing – the American Teaching System (ATS) © for Children. We believe in our approach to teaching adaptive alpine skiing, snowboarding and other adaptive snow sports because it works!


Tracks to Independence

2 TRACK SKIING

Two Track – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. Generally these individuals ambulate (walk) independently without the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). Two track skiers generally have two points of contact with the snow and ski standing upright on two skis. If and when it is appropriate, the use of one or two handheld poles will be introduced to assist with achieving desired skills. Two track skiers may or may not require the use of other specialized adaptive equipment to provide support to the lower extremities and help control the skis (i.e ski-bra-tip device, spreader bar, etc). A partial list of those who would use 2- Track methods includes: persons with developmental disabilities, blind/visually impaired, traumatic brain injury, etc.

3 TRACK SKIING

Three Track – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright on one (strong-non-impaired) leg. Generally these individuals ambulate independently with or without the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches). Three trackers – ski standing on one ski while using two handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch). The handheld outriggers provide the second and third points of contact on the snow, assist with static and dynamic balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic skiing movements. A partial list of those who would use 3-Track methods includes: persons with lower extremity amputations, or congenital limb deficiency, and post-polio syndrome.

4 TRACK SKIING

Four Track – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently or with minimal assistance support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. Generally these individuals ambulate (walk) independently with the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). These individuals may or may not also use other assistive aides such as orthotics or braces to help them walk. Four track skiers are able to ski standing upright on two skis while using (a) two handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch) or (b) a modified walker with skis attached, thus providing four points of contact with the snow. This equipment assists with static and dynamic balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic skiing movements. Four track skiers may or may not require the use of other specialized adaptive equipment to provide support to the skis they are standing on (i.e ski-bra-tip device, spreader bar, etc). A partial list of those who would use 4-Track methods includes: persons with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, etc.

SIT SKI

Sit Ski – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who use a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility. The sit ski sometimes referred to as a (pulk or sled) is older technology. It is a fiberglass shell (approx. 4 to 4 1/2 ft. long) with metal runners on the bottom that sits directly on the snow. This equipment has a fabric or neoprene cover, a seat with straps to secure the skier, and a roll-bar. Sit skiers use short hand held poles or a long kayak style pole. Control is achieved by pushing and pulling movements, and by planting or dragging the pole(s) in the snow to create a pivot point to complete a turn, to slow down or stop. A partial list of those who would use Sit-Ski (pulk) methods includes: persons with lower extremity amputations, spinal cord injury (paraplegic/quadriplegic), spina bifida, cerebral palsy, etc.

MONO-SKIING

Mono-Skiing – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals (a) who use a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility, (b) who have strong upper extremities and good torso/trunk balance, and/or (c) who switch or split scheduled skiing time in the mono- ski because they may or may not be able to ski for prolonged periods of time standing up(i.e.. low level paraplegics/MS). The mono-ski is state-of-the-art technology – it consists of fiberglass, plastic or carbon fiber seat/bucket/boot that the skier sits in. The seat, with restraining straps for the torso and legs, is attached to a full length ski with a high load adjustable shock absorber. The Mono-skier sits in the ski and uses two short handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch). Control is achieved by carving the ski and using the outriggers for balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic skiing movements . Persons who ski in the Mono-ski begin the progression having an instructor skiing behind the ski – with a tether strap (nylon safety cord) attached to the back of the Mono-ski. A partial list of those who would use Mono-ski methods includes: persons with lower extremity amputations, spinal cord injury (paraplegic), spina bifida, friedericks ataxia, etc.

BI-SKIING

Bi-Skiing – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals (a) who use a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility, (b) who are not able to ski standing up, and/ or (c) who may or may not have strong upper extremities and/or good torso/trunk balance (tend to be more limited). The Bi-ski is state-of-the-art technology – it consists of fiberglass, plastic or carbon fiber seat/bucket/boot that the skier sits in. The seat, with restraining straps for the torso and legs, is attached to two full length or shorter shaped skis with a high load adjustable shock absorber. The bi-ski also has an optional fixed outrigger that can be attached to limit the radius of the turn and help keep the ski balanced in an upright position. The Bi-skier sits in the ski and uses zero, one or two short handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch). Control is achieved by using body movements to help carve the ski and, when possible to use the outriggers (hand held or fixed) for balance as well as to help to achieve desired dynamic skiing movements. Persons who ski in the Bi-ski almost always require having an instructor skiing behind the ski – with a tether strap(nylon safety cord) attached to the back of the Bi-ski.(some exceptions apply). A partial list of those who would use Bi-ski methods includes: persons with lower extremity amputations, spinal cord injury (paraplegic or quadriplegic), spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injury etc.

Guiding Blind / Visually Impaired

Guiding progressions in Adaptive Snow Sports utilize a variety communications techniques, assistive technology and instruction to help the individual become aware of their ever- changing environmental surroundings. In addition to orienting the individual to their environment, guiding techniques assist persons to achieve functional independence through the use of verbal, auditory, tactile and proprioceptive cues. Throughout the course of this unique partnership between the guide and blind/visually impaired client, all efforts must focus on developing a strong trusting relationship with a foundation that includes mutual respect, safety, fun, and common goals. A partial list of those who would use Guiding methods includes: persons who are blind or visually impaired, stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc.

SNOWBOARDING

Snowboarding – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. These individuals generally ambulate independently, and may or may not use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). Candidates for snowboarding are able to maintain upright standing balance on a snowboard and have the ability to (independently or with minimal assistance) get themselves up from the from a sitting position in the snow. If and when it is appropriate, the use of one or two handheld outriggers may be introduced to assist with achieving desired skills. A partial list of those who would use Snowboarding methods includes: persons with developmental disabilities, blind/visually impaired, traumatic brain injury, amputees, etc.

NORDIC ~ X-COUNTRY TECHNIQUES
Nordic Telemark (stand up skiers)

Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. Generally these individuals ambulate (walk) independently with or without the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). These individuals may or may not also use other assistive aides such as orthotics or braces to help them walk. Generally, use of one or two handheld poles will be introduced to assist with achieving desired nordic telemark skills. Nordic telemark skiers may also use (a) one or two handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch), thus providing four points of contact with the snow. This equipment assists with static and dynamic balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic nordic telemark skiing movements. Nordic telemark skiers may or may not require the use of other specialized adaptive equipment to provide support to the skis they are standing on (i.e modified trombone, spreader bar, etc). A partial list of those who would use Nordic Telemark (stand-up) methods includes: persons with amputees, mild cerebral palsy, blind/visually impaired, traumatic brain injury, hearing impaired, developmental disabilities, etc.

Nordic Touring – (stand up skiers)

Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. Generally these individuals ambulate (walk) independently with or without the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). These individuals may or may not also use other assistive aides such as orthotics or braces to help them walk. Generally, use of one or two handheld poles will be introduced to assist with achieving desired nordic touring skills. Stand up nordic skiers may also use (a) one or two handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch) or (b) a modified walker with skis attached, thus providing four points of contact with the snow. This equipment assists with static and dynamic balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic nordic skiing movements. Stand up nordic skiers may or may not require the use of other specialized adaptive equipment to provide support to the skis they are standing on (i.e modified trombone, spreader bar, etc). A partial list of those who would use Nordic Touring (stand-up) methods includes: persons with cerebral palsy, blind/visually impaired, traumatic brain injury, etc.

Nordic Touring (sit down skiers)

Instructional progressions are used for those individuals (a) who use a wheelchair as their primary means of mobility, (b) who have strong upper extremities and good torso/trunk balance, and/or (c) who switch or split scheduled nordic skiing time between stand up and sitting methods because they may or may not be able to nordic ski for prolonged periods of time standing up(i.e.. low level paraplegics/MS). The nordic sit ski is state-of-the-art technology – it consists of a lightweight metal, and/or fiberglass seat that the skier sits in. The seat, with restraining straps for the torso and legs, is attached to two full length nordic skis. The Nordic sit-skier generally uses two short poles to help push through the snow. Persons who ski in the Nordic sit-ski may from time to time have an instructor skiing in front with a harness to help pull the ski in difficult terrain. A partial list of those who would use Nordic sit-ski methods includes: persons with lower extremity amputations, spinal cord injury (paraplegic), spina bifida, traumatic head injury, cerebral palsy, etc.

SNOW SHOEING

Snow Shoeing – Instructional progressions are used for those individuals who have the strength to independently support themselves, to balance, and to coordinate movements while standing upright. Generally these individuals ambulate (walk) independently with or without the use of assistive aides (forearm crutches, walker, etc.). These individuals may or may not also use other assistive aides such as orthotics or braces to help them walk. Generally, use of one or two handheld poles will be introduced to assist with achieving desired snow shoeing skills. Persons who snow shoe may also use (a) one or two handheld outriggers (forearm crutches with skis attached at the base of the crutch) or (b) a modified walker with skis attached, thus providing four points of contact with the snow. This equipment assists with static and dynamic balance as well as helping to achieve desired dynamic snow shoeing movements. A partial list of those who would use Nordic Touring (stand-up) methods includes: persons with mild cerebral palsy, blind/visually impaired, traumatic brain injury, hearing impaired, etc.


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