Making the Mountains Accessible for All
2/3/23 | By Kinsey Love, Digital Marketing Manager
Wasatch Adaptive Sports works to make outdoor recreation accessible and affordable for all needs.
This winter has been one for the books with some of the deepest snow on record at the ski resorts. Many people enjoy getting up to the mountains to enjoy the beauty and various winter sports. However, for some with physical limitations mountain recreation can be very exclusive.
Wasatch Adaptive Sports, or WAS, is a non-profit organization based at Snowbird Ski Resort and works to make outdoor recreation affordable and accessible for all adaptive needs. In 2022, they created over 4,000 experiences for people with limitations to enjoy the outdoors. They strive to make a community without barriers so anyone can have the opportunity to recreate outdoors.
WAS focuses on providing opportunities for biking and skiing. They offer over 50 kinds of skis and over 100 types of bikes to fit various needs.
“This equipment is very expensive and can be cost-prohibitive for many with adaptive needs who want to enjoy the outdoors,” says Eileen May-West, a program director at WAS. “That’s why partnerships matter and why we appreciate the support of Altabank.”
At their Snowbird headquarters, they offer experiences on equipment like a bi-ski which is a seat with two skis, a mono-ski, which is a more aggressive ski with a seat or a snow bike that allows you to sit while you ski. All needed equipment is provided for students when they come for a lesson.
“At the heart of the Wasatch Adaptive Sports' mission is our supporters like Altabank who share our commitment to serving local children, adults, and veterans with disabilities and their families through outdoor recreation,” says Elizabeth Kimball, Executive Director at WAS. “By working together to ensure Utah's world-class recreation is accessible and inclusive, over 96% of students report improvements in mental and physical health, as well as improved quality of life. We are thankful to the Altabank community for amplifying our mission.”
Many of the patrons who participate with WAS say they never thought they would be able to experience the mountains or winter sports again but WAS offers them the feeling of speed combined with the beauty of the mountains. Due to support from partnerships and great volunteers, there is no cost to nearly all of those who participate with WAS.
“My favorite part of being involved in this program is the family atmosphere that exists and the community that is found here,” says May-West. “We always have a lot of fun!”
No matter the disability, Wasatch Adaptive Sports offers safe and exciting outdoor recreation experiencing for all needs and abilities. For more information about the programs that WAS offers or for questions about scholarships, visit www.wasatchadaptivesports.org.
Author: Kinsey Love is the Digital Marketing Manager at Altabank. She specializes in content creation and strategy and enjoys all activities you can do in the mountains.