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Benefits of Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

Adaptive snow sports enables skiers and riders with disabilities to participate in the sports and enjoy being outdoors. Besides being fun it also has health benefits such as working on skills like balance and coordination. If you are able to propel yourself with poles or outriggers, it can also provide a cardiovascular workout.

Getting out of the house and into the fresh air and sun can improve your Vitamin D levels, social skills, and mental health.  From first timers to more advanced levels, lessons can be tailored to each individual's ability with the goal always of providing as much independence as possible.  


Adaptive snow sports can be enjoyed by those with many disabilities including ASD, ADHD, Blind/Low Vision, Deaf/Low Hearing, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, PTSD, Anxiety and Limb Loss.

Types of Adaptive Skiing & Snowboarding


Mono and Bi-Skiing 

Young Girl Bi-Skiing

Mono-skiing is for athletes that sit while skiing and who have significant problem standing and balancing while in motion.  These standing and balancing issues may be caused by physical trauma, neurological issues and neuromuscular diseases and these individuals may use a wheelchair, a cane or walker.  Mono-skiing utilizes a bucket style seat with a single ski underneath it. An individual uses handheld outriggers for balance, requiring strong arms and good core strength and trunk balance. Individuals who have lower limb impairments and have reasonable trunk stability and balance use mono-skis.


Bi-skiing is also for athletes that sit while skiing, who use a wheelchair or have difficulty walking even when assisted by crutches, canes or walkers. Bi-skis utilizes a bucket style seat with two skis underneath it.  A bi-ski can be skied independently like a mono-ski using the same type of handheld outriggers or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using fixed outriggers and tethers (reins attached to the back of the bi-ski). Skiers turn by either moving their head and shoulders or by using handheld outriggers.

Stand Up Skiing 

2 Track Skiing 

For athletes who are able to balance on two skis as they are learning. Two track skiing is our most common type of lesson and it means that when skiing you only leave 2 tracks behind you - you don't need adaptive equipment such as outriggers* for balance. Adaptive equipment may be used to support such as ski-pal, barber pole, tethers.

3 Track Skiing 

Three-track skiing is stand-up skiing using one full-size ski and two handheld outriggers* for balance/support, giving the skier three points of contact with the snow. Individuals with one typical leg and one leg with an above-knee amputation typically use this method of skiing. Three-track skiing requires strong leg and arm strength and may not be for those who have weakness in their remaining limbs.

2 Track Young Skirt using Ski Pal Adaptive Tool

4 Track Skiing 

Four-track skiing is a good choice for an individual with two legs and arms, natural or prosthetic, who is capable of standing independently or with aids for support or balance.  They will ski using two skis and two hand-held outriggers* for balance and support, giving the skier four points of contact with the snow. The Snow Slider is another option for 4 Track Skiing,

* Outriggers are metal forearm crutches with ski tips on the ends, some having adjustable brakes to aid with balance if necessary

4 Track Skiing - Young Boy using Slider Tool with Coaches

Vision Loss/Blind 

Individuals with vision loss or blindness are usually two track skiers or snowboarders. They use concise and focused verbal instructions with their coach or partner to be able to ski or snowboard. Alpine skiing and riding techniques are used to help them gain the skills needed.

We work with multiple ranges of visual acuity from limited depth perception, peripheral or tunnel vision, to legally blind or total loss of vision. 

Hearing Loss/Deaf   

Individuals that are deaf or have hearing loss are both skiers and snowboarders.  If an individual uses cochlear implants in daily life they may choose to use both, only one, or none when on the mountain because of fit of helmet and background noise. Summit Adaptive has volunteer ASL interpreters available to schedule if needed.  

Low Vision Student with Adaptive Coach and Guide


Snowboarding evolved from skateboarding and surfing.  It involves descending the mountain while standing on a snowboard where the rider's feet are strapped into a set of mounted bindings. Snowboarders wear softer boots that fit into the mounted bindings. Adaptive equipment such as the ski pal or tethers can be used with snowboarders.

Low Vision Adaptive Snowboard Student and Coach
Adaptive Snowboard Lesson
Young Deaf Skier 1st Time Ski Lesson with Two Adaptive Coaches
4 Track Skiing - Young Skier using Slider with Adaptive Coaches

Lesson Information for the 2024-2025 Season at Ski Sundown will be available soon.
We offer two types of lesson packages for skiers and snowboarders, see details below: 
- Individual 
- Multi-Lesson (5 week package, called Summit Explorers for weekend packages and Club Summit for midweek packages).  

After you complete the Participant Registration Form, and once lesson reservations are open for the season, the next step will be for you to call Ski Sundown's Welcome Center at 860-379-7669 ext. 211 to reserve and book your lesson or program.  We encourage you to complete the Participant Registration as soon as you are able so there are no delays. 

Individual Adaptive Lesson Package


  • 2 ½ hours of private instruction (includes time for equipment fitting)

  • Adaptive and/or standard ski or snowboard equipment

  • Lift ticket

  • Handicap parking is available on the left and right of the main footbridge entrance.

You can also purchase a lift ticket for one person accompanying adaptive lesson participant.


Weekends: Saturday and Sundays 9:30am & 1:00pm


  • Monday & Wednesday 3:00pm & 5:30pm 

  • Thursday 3:00pm 

  • Thursday 5:30pm reserved for special programs or by request only

  • Midweek mornings & midweek holidays by request


Individual Lesson Package Prices


  • 2 ½ hours

  • Price: Midweek: TBA Weekend: TBA

For ages 4+. Any skill level. Includes 2 ½ hour private lesson, adaptive and/or standard ski or snowboard equipment, and lift ticket. Handicap parking is available.


  • Price: Midweek: TBA, Weekend: TBA 

Valid for all lifts when accompanying lesson. Limited to one participant.

Maximum of 5 Individual Lesson Packages per participant/season, additional requests will be placed on waitlist.

Multi-Lesson Adaptive Program Packages

OFFERED WEEKDAYS (Club Summit) & WEEKENDS (Summit Explorers):

  • 2½ hour semi-private lesson scheduled over 5 weeks for approved Summit Adaptive Sports skiers.

  • For ages 4+. Skiers and Snowboards* (*by special request). Includes rental and adaptive equipment, if needed.

  • Students will enjoy learning and skiing in a more independent setting, guided by adaptive instructors.

Summit Adaptive Scholarship Program

Summit Adaptive Sports is pleased to offer scholarships to veterans and those with financial need.  They are made possible by grants and generous donors.  Scholarship applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis until our scholarship funds are depleted. If you are interested in applying please complete a Scholarship Application (in addition to the Participant Registration Form) and our independent review committee will contact you.  The Scholarship Application can be found in our How to Participate section. 

Club Summit Weekday Program

2024 -2025 season information will be available soon.






Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb 5
Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25 Feb. 1

3:00 pm - 5:30 pm; 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm; 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm.  Evenings: Special Programs or by request.  


Midweek Morning Lessons and Midweek Holidays by request.   





Feb. 12, 19, 26 Mar. 4, 11 
Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 Mar. 6 
Feb. 8, 15, 22, 29 Mar. 7  


3:00 pm - 5:30 pm; 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm; 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm. Evenings: Special Programs or by request

Midweek Morning Lessons and Midweek Holidays by request.   


  • 5x 4 hour lift pass & lesson: TBA

  • *Passholder lesson: TBA

*Season passholder or midweek 12-week passholder

Summit Explorers Weekend Program




2024 -2025 season information will be available soon.


Jan.  6, 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3 
Jan.  7, 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4 


9:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
9:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm





Feb. 10, 17, 24 Mar. 2, 9 
Feb.  11, 18, 25 Mar. 3, 10 


9:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
9:30 am - 12:00 pm; 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm


  • 5x 4 hour lift pass & lesson: $510

  • *Passholder lesson: $450 

*Season passholder or midweek 12-week passholder



Your Responsibility Code 

Skiing and snowboarding are dynamic, fluid sports of motion in a winter environment that requires constant awareness and judgment by skiers or snowboarders to overcome the inherent risks of the sport. Ski Sundown is committed to skiing or snowboarding safety and expects all skiers or snowboarders who choose to ski or snowboard at Ski Sundown to follow Your Responsibility Code listed below and other posted rules and regulations that are designed to make a visit to Ski Sundown a great experience for everyone.

  1. Always stay in control. You must be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

  2. People ahead or downhill of you have the right-of-way. You must avoid them.

  3. Stop only where you are visible from above and do not restrict traffic.

  4. Look uphill and avoid others before starting downhill or entering a trail.

  5. You must prevent runaway equipment.

  6. Read and obey all signs, warnings and hazard markings.

  7. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

  8. You must know how and be able to load, ride and unload lifts safely. If you need assistance, ask the lift attendant.

  9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.

  10. If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.

Have Questions?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at 

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