Crystal Ski launches ‘Adaptive’: ski holidays for the disabled

Crystal Ski is passionate about working with Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) and since spring 2009 has raised more than £60,000 for the charity. Last season 22 Crystal Ski managers gave a week of their time to travel to resorts and help DSUK give disabled skiers and boarders the chance to experience a winter sports holiday. Their experiences, together with the expertise of DSUK, have led us to launch adaptive ski holidays for those who wish to travel independently with their family or/and friends.

The Crystal Adaptive programme offers a selected range of resorts and accommodation across Europe and the USA. We’re working with adaptive ski schools which provide specialist tuition and equipment for both beginners and advanced skiers.

DSUK are working with our in-house specialist team to provide the expertise needed to answer any queries around equipment hire, tuition, accommodation or the resort itself.

Simon Cross, managing director Crystal Ski said: “Our Crystal Adaptive programme is mainly aimed at independent minded people who have been on group trips before, but we also cater for beginner skiers. We offer the whole package to make sure disabled skiers can enjoy a fully accessible and enjoyable ski holiday.”

Fiona Young, CEO Disability Snowsport UK: “We are very excited to be working  with Crystal Ski. Our partnership will open exciting new avenues for the disabled community and their families to access snowsport holidays. Together we are breaking down the barriers and proving, as our charity founder said thirty years ago ‘Why shouldn’t there be a wheelchair at the top of a mountain?

Winter Park, USA

Winter Park offers fantastic skiing and the USA National Sports Centre for the Disabled is based there (23,000 lessons are provided annually for disabled people). The third largest ski area in Colorado, Winter Park is also conveniently located just 1hr 30min hours from Denver airport. Equipment available to hire: mono, bi or sit-skis, should you not have your own equipment. Reduced lift passes available through ski school. Beginner skiers will not find better instructors anywhere.

Recommended Crystal Adaptive accommodation: Fraser Crossing 4*

The hotel is situated in the heart of the village and just a short distance from the ski lifts and adaptive centre. There are studios as well as one and two bedroom apartments providing full wheelchair and disabled facilities.

La Plagne, France

A high altitude resort, La Plagne with over 400km of piste, is a renowned French ski destination not least because of the wide variety of skiing on offer. Resort staff are very friendly and are happy to assist anyone with a disability – particularly when getting on and off the ski lifts. The ski school Antenne Handicap provides adaptive tuition and reduced priced lift passes are available through the ski school. Equipment available to hire: mono, bi or sit-skis, should you not have your own equipment.

Recommended Crystal Adaptive accommodation: Hotel Terra Nova 4*

Set at the foot of the slopes, the location of the Hotel Terra Nova offers skiing to and from the front door with the green run just by the front door and a blue run just next to it.

Villars, Switzerland

A charming and authentic Swiss resort, Villars offers a great range of skiing for all abilities. The Handi Concept ski school caters for disabled skiers and the team of ski instructors are very accommodating. Villars itself is a fantastic resort with a great range of restaurants and some very lively bars. A range of equipment is available to hire should you not have your own.

Recommended Crystal Adaptive accommodation: Eurotel Victoria 4*

With several wheelchair accessible rooms on the ground floor, set right in the resort centre and just a few minutes from the Roc d’Orsay gondola, this hotel is an excellent choice for a Crystal Adaptive holiday.

Schladming, Austria

A popular destination for major snow sports events, Schladming has a diverse array of skiing and highly commendable amenities. The ski school Freizeit PSO provides tuition for all types of skier abilities, with lessons, equipment and lift pass packages available for 2 or 4 hours per day, dependent on your requirements.

Recommended Crystal Adaptive accommodation: Hotel AQI 3.5*

AQI is a modern hotel just opposite the main Planai gondola and is also just a short distance from the resort centre. Large, fully wheelchair accessible rooms with adapted facilities as well as the bar and restaurant are all on one level making it easy for those in a wheelchair.

Sestriere, Italy

Home of the 2006 Winter Paralympics, Sestriere has many amenities that make it a preferred resort for Crystal Adaptive holidays. The runs are long and varied making trips up in the lift more worthwhile. The adaptive ski school Free White provides tuition and equipment for all types of skier abilities and reduced lift passes are included in the price.

Recommended Crystal Adaptive accommodation: Hotel Lago Losetta 3*

This hotel was actually used by participants during the Olympics and ticks all the boxes in terms of accessibility. All rooms and bathrooms are fully accessible and the hotel has an accessible bus, which can take you to and from the resort and slopes.

Reservations: 0871 231 4074; www.crystalski.co.uk/disabled-skiing

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