California School for the Blind 500 Walnut Avenue Fremont California 94536 510-794-3800 phone 510-794-3813 fax


"My experiences in cross country skiing."

Jack V.

I first started skiing when I was 10 years old. When I first put on skis  and snow shoes it felt uncomfortable. Going uphill was hard. I always felt like I was rolling down backward. Going down was a lot easier. You had to learn to snowplow. I still couldn't get the hang of it. You had to keep the skis a certain width apart so you wouldn't fall down. I fell a bunch of times. It was very cold when I fell.  When I fell, I had to turn sideways to the hill so I could get up and go again. I tried to get up still facing the hill once but it didn't work very well. I found that out the hard way.  I just started rolling down the hill and I couldn't stop at all. So always face sideways when getting up. It makes it a lot easier.  Trust me.  I had to go with a guide.  He helped me go up the hill. I had to stay to one side to let other skiers coming down the hill pass us.  I had to stay to the right to leave the left side open.  I was nervous the first time.    Even though I was scared the first time I still had a really great time doing it. I would really recommend skiing to anyone who wants to try it.
If anyone who has any questions about skiing come to me and I can try and answer your questions for you. You half to drive  up  there  the night before and stay the night.  It  is worth the drive. You stay up there all day then you drive home when you are done. I couldn't go this year because there wasn't enough snow on the ground.  I have been going for the last 5 years and I have loved it every year.  There is also downhill skiing but I won't go in to that right now.   The disadvantage of being blind and skiing is a lot harder than you think. You have to stay to one side constantly. It is easier if you can see a little.   The guide had me stay in some tracks that were carved in to the snow so I know where the right side is all the time. They had some tracks on the left side as well.  I had to wear a bright orange vest that said blind skier on it. That is so skiers on the left side of me could see I was blind. My guide had to wear one as well. My  guides name was Denny and he was really nice. I would go every February because that's when I could get up there to ski. We would sometimes go in January. It was based on when we could get up there  to ski.

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