2016 was a great year for Unlimbited Adaptive in terms of skier days, and community outreach.
The trailer was on display at the Flathead County Fair where we met a lot of new friends and got to demonstrate the skis and other adaptive gear to people who were interested. We got a few new hockey players as well.
We also were at one of the most fun events in the valley, the Care Farm Challenge with the trailer and the cooling / misting station. It was a huge hit and we'll be back again this year for the 3rd time. Can't wait.
Get your tickets for your chance to win this gently used, coin operated Jack Daniels branded commercial pool table.
There are only 2500 tickets available for this unique and fun prize. One ticket has 1 in 2500 chances to win. Get the 5 for $20 deal and your chances increase to 1 in 500. Those are great odds.
Proceeds from the raffle go to support the Unlimbited Ski Program.
The Unlimbited Snowsports program has a lot of new gear and fundraiser thank you gifts thanks to our Sponsors.
We now have twelve Sportshieldz extreme impact helmet liners, three Pret Helmets, two ski mojo ski braces, and two snowboards from 540 Snowboards as well as thank you items from Tundra Gear, Waxd Laces, Original Ski Balm, Master Fit, Hele USA, Red Feather Snowshoes, GoggleOutlet, Red Planet Sounds, and Team Patriot.
A HUGE THANK YOU!!
I've been getting info on a lot of great new items and programs that need help to be produced.
In addition to the ones I run here for Unlimbited programs and the SocialArchitect.com general fundraisers, other groups and issues can use some love too.
Vets-Help.org is planning a Veterans Reintegration Center at Rockingham Motor Speedway. The goal is $25,000 to start the housing and other projects.
A great new Wheelchair Accessible Drift Boat. I don't know what a drift boat is for but it sounds fun.
Criptaedo is a self defense program for people with disabilities.
If you have a fundraiser you want included here, let me know and I'll check it out. If it fits what I do and is something I can support, I'll add it and spread the word.
Snowshow was SO MUCH FUN. The Finlandia party was a huge blast, we hung out with Toby and Jacqueline from Deviation Snowboards, John Supon, his awesome dog Bud, Cynthia and a few hundred other very happy people in the hotel bar.
I met ski royalty Klaus Obermeyer and showed off my coat from 1996 that still looks brand new. Good for me, bad for them :) they gave us a nice bag and some gators. And a stack of Be Like Klaus patches. If you want one, send me a note.
For the majority of skiers, 100 days a year seems like an incredible season. For those with a few screws loose, 200 seems like a good amount of sliding for the year. Well Kevin and Kevin (K2) hope to set out for an insane season and are chasing 300 days on snow from November to November. While some question their snow addiction - saying they will "get burnt out" - the Kevins just smile, laugh and say bring it on. Freezing cold, snowing, blowing, flat light, the end of the day is usually a smile, a beer and a "hell year, we got to ski today!"
Skiing 300 (or more) days in a season has been done before - so what makes this different, or special, or worthy of being filmed? Part of it is the joy of skiing - and the telling of the story of an endless winter. 2 guys who's first love is sliding on snow and the story of chasing the high that comes along with an epic day amongst the best of friends (whom they just met on the lift). Some of it is showing what it takes to get to a 300 day season. not all days will be pure joy on the hill - skiing through sickness (cough - hung over) and possibly injury and the events in life that just happen that can easily prevent achieving this goal.
First run trailer sponsorships - from $1500 - unbeatable exposure and good vibes, your sponsorship brings new skiers to Whitefish Mountain Resort for ski lessons from the SnowSports center with equipment rental, lift tickets and maybe even some lunch while getting your name in front of the thousands of skiers in the Village area.
Custom Gifts personalized, custom printed gifts, housewares, socks, metal murals, for your home or office. Save 10% on all custom items, use code UNLIMBITED
This summer Vets Help and Team Patriot officially opened the Montana location and partner program. This allows us to issue tax deductible receipts for donations to support all aspects of Unlimbited and Team Patriot programs including scholarships, trailer program, housing, employment, Veteran's reintegration, emergency response, community and civic participation and economic development.
While Team Patriot and Vets Help operate in numerous states, all funds raised in Montana stay in Montana - unless they're for the trailer expansion program, in which case they go to the next one in line, where ever that may be. The current trailer in funding is designed for the hand cycle program operating in Santa Clarita California under the management of Domonic Corradin at www.extremeabilities.com.
If you'd like to make a donation, please make your check payable to Vets Help MT, PO Box 5090, Whitefish, MT 59937 or you can donate online at www.teampatriot.org
The Unlimbited Guide to Adaptive Skiing has moved to it's new permanent home at AdaptiveSkiing.net
Please check it out if you're looking for new gear, places to ski, clubs or other adaptive skiing info.
If you're linking to the old guides here, please update them to the new site. If you send me a 336 x 280 banner (in a ski related industry) I'll put it in the rotation for 25,000 unrestricted impressions as a thank you. That means you can target your ad as you normally would, not just a run of site type display.
In a word - FABULOUS!!
January 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm.
We brought the trailer to the cul-de-sac at the middle of Chair 9 run where Bruce, Rick and Bane from Ski School were waiting.
Starla Hilliard-Barnes, Shannon and Eleesiah came a few minutes later and we were off.
She totally got it and by the end of the lesson was skiing pretty much independently. You can see by the slack in the tethers that she was in control of her ski and her speed. Bruce was there to help if she needed it, but she didn't.
The scholarship was raised here on the fundraising page and was covered by FIRed Up Heated Apparel, Di Davis Photography, John Bystra and Cynthia Pacheco.
Pics are here!
At the end of June I went to the Care Farm Challenge in Kalispell with a case of water bottles donated by Team Patriot. It was packed with competitors and so many spectators that we took turns at the road directing traffic to get everyone in. The bottles were a big hit and we're invited back next year so YAY US!!
Next up on the events list was the 24 Hours of Flathead bike race. Almost 50 riders registered and PAID to ride in a 24 hour mountain bike relay for medals and prizes to support adapted sports. We were way out in the west valley and the wind was so strong I had to roll up the awning and tie all the banners to the trailer with zip ties and cables. I did better than The Flathead Fat Tires team though. Their tent went flying across the park with one of their guys holding on to it where it crashed into a crumpled mess. It took 4 more to hold it down so he could get out.
The trailer arrived at the end of June, all pretty and clean, and ready for it's important job of creating access where ever we can.
Overall I'm happy with it although there are some issues caused by the manufacturer having good intentions but no background in access or ADA building codes. The extra cabinets they "gave" us blocked the space for the automatic platform on one side. That being done, they removed the only table in the unit, and didn't move the fridge back into the space they made useless by the cabinets, making the door completely inaccessible. Not being disabled themselves, they didn't realize their "accessible" trailer didn't have any accessible entrances. But they DID put up a nice little blue crip symbol.
All is not lost though, it's mostly fixable with a roll up door at the back and an outside ramp, we can use it. Bathroom bars are being custom made so that issue is addressed as well. Needless to say, those issues are addressed in the other trailers :)
Summed up for those in a hurry - fun! For everyone else, the details:
The trailer arrived in June, all pretty and clean, and ready for it's important job of creating access where ever we can. There are some issues caused by people with good intentions that think those good intentions don't have to be supported by knowledge. It's a spectacular example of what happens when people who don't have direct experience get involved without thinking and I use it as a teaching tool when I explain why nothing about us without us is always the bottom line. If it's for crips it MUST be BY crips. No exceptions.
I love the Paralympics. Not only for the competitions but for the promotion that comes from it and the positive changes we get to enjoy, even if it's just for a little while.
So much has changed since the shameful actions of the Sinful Six in Atlanta in 1996 when some companies declined to sponsor the Paralympics and then added insult to injury by refusing to release their sponsorship rights to other companies who did want to participate. Now we're seeing ads featuring recognizable athletes with strong back stories from known brands and not only are they exciting, they're inviting and insightful - making people interested on a deeper level.
The SIA SnowShow in Denver, CO was two full days of crazy ski gear window shopping, connecting and product sourcing.
I saw and tried all sorts of winter / ski gear from gloves and coats, base layers, goggles, cold weather masks, to helmets and technical socks.
I met some new people and connected with some companies for marketing and product development.
One company in particular that has me really excited is Toronto based FiredUp Technology. They make infra-red heated gloves and jackets and they're planning on making some gloves and coats with the heating technology that are specifically for wheelchair users and outrigger users.
I'll post pics and updates as I get them.
CES was MASSIVE, just gigantic and I didn't get to all the halls, or even all the buildings. Next year I'm planning for a longer stay.
The range of products that are accessible and useful to us (either accidentally or on purpose) is HUGE! Bluetooth technology applications alone are life changing. The Reviews section has some of the new things that were being shown and more are coming all the time.