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36th Annual Adaptive Learn to Ski Event

January 16, 2017 - January 20, 2017

Adaptive Learn to Ski Event Returns to Beech Mountain

Mark your calendars! We’re excited to welcome back the amazing team that has helped this event to grow and affect the lives of more individuals than ever before.

36th DS USA SPARC Adaptive Learn to Ski Event

January 16-20, 2017

Event History:  This is the oldest adaptive ski clinic being the first of a group of national instructional clinics started by Disabled Sports USA which in its history was known as National Handicap Sports (NHS).  The Atlanta Chapter of NHS assisted to develop the first clinic in 1981 and continued with it through 2004.  The clinic is now run as a cooperative effort amongst programs all interested in the benefits of sports for individuals with disabilities with Beech Mountain Resort continuing to be our host with help from the Costin family whom we are especially grateful.  The sponsors of this event donate to bring together the instructors, equipment, and resources necessary to teach skiing/snowboarding to individuals with disabilities in the southeast region.

Sponsors:  We wish to thank all of our friends and sponsors for the DSUSA SPARC Beech Mt. Adaptive Learn to Ski/Board Event including:  Beech Mountain Resort, Disabled Sports USA Chapter – SPARC of Chattanooga, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center Innovative Recreation Cooperative Program of Knoxville, Ft. Sanders Foundation, Carolinas Rehabilitation Adaptive Sports and Adventure Program of Charlotte, Warfighters Sports Project, Beech Meadows Ski Shop, and the Pinnacle Inn. Over $80,000 of adaptive equipment is brought to the event so we can provide a multitude of snow experiences for the participants.

Instructors:  The instructional team for the event is from all over the US and all PSIA Adaptive certified instructors with over 80 years of combined experience.  The instructional team includes individuals from:  Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Alpine Meadows Adaptive Ski Program, and Cataloochee Adaptive Program. The team is composed of experienced instructors in monoski, biski, twin ski, 2, 3, & 4 tracking, slider, visually impaired and snowboard instruction.

Participants: The participants come from all over the southeast region including:  NC, SC, GA, TN, MS, AL, and FL.  Ages range from age 4 to 70+ with a variety of diagnoses to include: brain and spinal injured, amputees, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental delayed, spinal muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, visually impaired, and a whole host of other neurological and orthopedic challenges.  We are supportive of our military and work with veterans and active military in our region.  We try to focus on family and have families participate in the event as much as possible.  The motto of DSUSA is, “If I can do this, I can do anything,” inspires many to give alpine sport a try.

Gene Baron Award: Each year an award is given in honor of Gene Baron who was an amputee who skied at Beech Mt.  He was very supportive of teaching individuals with disabilities the sport of alpine skiing.  His efforts, energy, and love of snow skiing are an inspiration for many at the clinic. He passed away while at the world’s disabled event in Colorado.  In his memory, a lifetime achievement award has been given each year to an individual or entity involved in helping with the event with Beech Mountain Resort being a proud recipient of the award.


Schedule of Events:


Monday, Jan 18th   

  • Noon – 5 PM Volunteer Safety Training Beech Mt. Resort 
  • 6:45 PM – TN BBQ at the Pinnacle Inn

Tuesday, Jan 19th 

  • 8:30 AM – 4 PM Lessons 
  • 6:30 PM  Turkey & Ham Pot Luck at the Pinnacle Inn

Wednesday, Jan 20th 

  • 8:30 AM – 4 PM Lessons
  • 6:30 PM Italian Night at the Pinnacle Inn

Thursday, Jan 21st

  • 8:30 AM – 4 PM Lessons
  • 6:45 PM Instructors Appreciation Banquet

                 Gene Baron Award Presentation

                  Stonewalls, Banner Elk

Friday, Jan 22nd

  • 8:30 AM – 4 PM Lessons


Registration Process:  

Due to the popularity of the event, we do a first come first available slot for lessons until we are full and then a waiting list is started.    We usually are full in two weeks from release date.  How to apply?  All candidates will receive an email blast within the same timeframe so you must contact Al Kaye, event coordinator at [email protected] to be put on the email application email blast.  Applications are released in late November once all instructors are secured.  Lessons are based on availability of type of lesson which includes equipment, scheduled request, and instructor availability.  The quicker the response to the email blast, the better chance of being able to attend the clinic.  An email will be sent stating that receipt of application has been received.   A final confirmation of first lesson time and day will be sent out by Al Kaye so travel reservations maybe made.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Al @ 865-331-1353.


Skier  & Volunteer Responsibilities: 

All participants (skiers, snowboarders, & volunteers) will be registered with DSUSA SPARC Chapter for the event.  There are additional releases that need to be completed once accepted into the clinic done at Beech Mt.  This is for all persons affiliated with the clinic even those who do not participate in lessons on the mountain.  The goal of the event is to promote adaptive snow skiing and snowboarding in the region and for all to have a great experience in a safe environment.  All participants (students, volunteers, instructors, and alike) on the mountain are required to wear a helmet and listen to their assigned instructional staff member for safetyIndividuals that decide to ski while not under scheduled lessons are not the responsibility of the clinic.  If clinic staff sees violation of skier code of conduct for safety, lift ticket will be pulled and ski patrol notified.  We are guests of Beech Mt. Resort so we expect all to reflect this in their actions. Skiing/Snowboarding volunteers will need to be reviewed and approved by a clinic instructor prior to being allowed to help with a lesson.



January 16, 2017
January 20, 2017
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Beech Mountain Resort
1007 Beech Mountain Parkway
banner elk, NC 28604 United States


Beech Mountain Resort