A day at Chill Factore on the Sit-Ski
I’ve read and used the Little Hiccups hashtag #nolimits in tweets and facebook posts before but it wasn’t until Emily was heading up the giant ski slope at the Chill Factore that it really hit home. I would never have imagined Emily could do something like that. But thanks to Disability Snowsport UK this was really happening!!
The journey over from Leeds had been busy and wet and I had got a little flustered but, once we got inside and were greeted by Miriam and the wow of the slope, I felt myself relax.
First job was to make Emily comfortable. She likes to test the facilities wherever we go! Little Hiccups had brought the mobile changing table and the Chill Factore provided a room so we were able to change her in comfort (we just did a 2 person lift from the wheelchair to the table and back).
We went back to the waiting area to soak up the atmosphere and the excitement was building. Jack was enjoying himself out on the slope.Emily was next so we made our way into the centre. I had completely underestimated how cold it would be! Minus 4 – I know, cold at a ski slope… who knew!!? I’d wrapped Emily up in warm trousers, jumper, coat, hat and gloves but more layers would have helped. The hat couldn’t be worn because of the helmet but thankfully Linsay had a warm blanket we could use.
We donned our boots from the rental area and wrapped up before going through to the slope. Just inside we transferred Emily from her wheelchair to the sitski and once she was strapped in and comfortable we left her in the capable hands of the DSUK instructor. (I can’t remember his name but he was great all the way through, constantly checking that Emily was ok and that we were comfortable with everything).
We made our way to the foot of the slope. It was very busy and you had to be aware of wobbly learners on one side on the learner slope, more experienced skiers emerging from the big slope and the ski lift continually moving on the far left. It was a leap of faith to let Emily be taken up the ski lift and a extremely ‘heart in mouth’ watching her first descent!! But what’s life without a few risks? And I’m sure Emily enjoyed the sensation of butterflies in her stomach and the buzz of adrenaline.
On her second go she was apparently flapping her arms in excitement at the top and had lots to say for herself at the bottom! The third and final go she followed a more direct route (less winding) as I grinned from ear to ear!
After that we decided she was getting too cold and too excited to go again, so we took her out.
It was great to enjoy a hot chocolate and chat with other Little Hiccups families. I felt very proud sitting next to my little thrill-seeker Emily as we watched Rosy and Mick on their first ever skiing lesson.
Thanks Little Hiccups, Chill Factore and Disability Snowsport UK for a truly unforgettable family day out!!