Some events are worth travelling for and the skiing run by Disability Snowsport at Chill Factore in Manchester is definitely one of them! It was a pretty nasty journey over the Pennines in the morning with torrential rain and I had expected a few families to drop out due to the weather and it says a lot for this event that none did.
So what can you expect? On arrival, we were lucky enough to be reserved a seating area space just outside the skiing where we could wait our turn and watch through the window. When it was our turn, the ski instructors would come out, introduce themselves and then help the families through the set up process and into skiing.
Set up consisted of standing on a machine with no shoes or hat and pressing the appropriate buttons to tell it how good a skier you were (or not as in my case!) then waiting for a print out. This print out was then taken around the corner where you could hire boots with a stop on the way of you needed a top up of warm clothing! It is best to bring your own clothing to save time but there was plenty available if needed on the day.
The boots are part of the package and designed to clip straight onto the skis. They were very study but not always easy to get on! There must be a knack but I’m not quite there yet myself. This is where the instructors helped out as some children needed a little bit of time adjusting to this bit.
My son and myself sneaked into the first spot bright and early so that we could be there to meet and greet the families after our go. Little Hiccups had our own designated area cordoned off for us and each of the standing ski slots was 1 hour long. Just long enough to learn the basics of skiing which included how to get up the slope and back down again (hopefully without falling over) and more importantly how to brake at the bottom. After the very basics it progressed to side to side skiing, little ski hops and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes THEN a little ski hop on the way down the slope. You go higher and higher up the slope and the ones that have obviously done it before or had a better sense of balance than me could move to the top or even onto the main area of the slope.
And what about the Sit-Ski? We had this progressing at the same time as all the stand up skiers so had the privilege of seeing some of the absolute joy of the children’s faces as they are whizzed down the slope. Each Sit-Ski took two instructors which is why there were less slots available. The child is safely strapped into a seat and are taken up to the top of the slope with the instructors via the ski lift. They then experience the wonder of skiing and are taken down the slope with the instructor controlling the Sit Ski to a parent waiting at the bottom. We’ve not had a child yet that hasn’t enjoyed it.
So if you are reading this, thinking whether you should give it a go or whether or not your child will do it. The answer is a resounding yes! Every child, even the initially reluctant ones, that came that day gave it a go. The team at Disability Snowsport really couldn’t have been better if they had tried. They were patient, professional, kind and understanding. As always, we try to be flexible in our events and know that even the best prepared plans go awry. The team took this in their stride and the instructors were always prepared to take a family through a little earlier or later as needed. They adjusted slots to give children time to adjust and they helped parents get their children ready and it was these efforts and this team that made the day the success it was.
This year Chill Factore also kindly donated us use of a spare room to keep our Mobile Changing Unit (MCU) in for the families to use. And get used it did so very glad we had the space available to use it. It was also used to help change some of the less mobile children into the ski suits so it was very useful to have on the day. So thank you Chill Factore! Sometimes its the little things that make the big differences to our families.
Accessibility Info: https://www.chillfactore.com/plan-visit/accessibility/
Disability Snowsport: https://www.chillfactore.com/ski-and-snowboard/adaptive-snowsports/
“What an amazing experience for the kids!!”
“Was amazing! Amazing memories made! Thank you x”
“You guys were brilliant! Thank you so much, girls (and hubby) loved it!”
“It was brilliant! Zara had a great time (me too)! Thank you to everyone!”
“Thanks for a fantastic day,we all had an absolute blast x”
“This little thrill seeker had an awesome morning thanks to Little Hiccups and the Chill Factore. Felix absolutely loved whizzing down the hill on the sit-ski, huge smiles all around, the instructor who took Felix down was lovely and put Felix at complete ease, he can’t wait to go again”
“A huge thank you to little hiccups for an amazing experience. Jack absolutely loved it. Xx”
“Cai has had the most amazing day today!!! Thank u so much for making this possible for us #NoLimits also huge thank you to Jamie he was amazing with Cai. Without him and his amazing personality and friendliness Cai would have never gone on the sitski”
“Our first ever hiccups event and we LOVED it so much! The girls had so much fun and all the staff, helpers and families were fantastic and very welcoming. Thank you very much xxx”
“Fun on the slopes at the Chill Factore today thanks to Little Hiccups and Disability Snowsports UK.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! It was touch and go whether Oliver would actually get in the sit ski. Once he did he loved it. Thank you for yet again providing everyone with an amazing opportunity. Love seeing my babies being able to enjoy these experiences.”
It was an amazing experience, one that I never imagined for Emily. Thank you to all the fantastic instructors for making the impossible possible.”
“Thanks so much little hiccups we have all had an amazing time, lovely memories made thanks to you all the staff and the place were amazing with all of us but especially our little beau thank you so much”
“Huge thank you for today, oli loved every second living his best life ⛷️ making special memories”
“Thank you so much little hiccups for allowing us to experience new adventures. We all had an amazing time.”
“WOW!!! That’s all I can say! We had a brilliant time at the Chill Factore, and by the end of the session, both Nathan and I seemed like naturals on the skis. What a confidence booster!!!! We will deffo be up for that again ‘Little Hiccups’, “thank you, for giving us this opportunity! There really are no limits!!!” “
“What a fantastic day and experience for Cameron and the boys. Thanks so much Little Hiccups”
“Thanks little hiccups. The boys had a fantastic time at skiing today xx”
“That was amazing!! Wow!! We had four people helping us. With everything from putting the boots on. Which you have to weighed for! Putting the ski’s on. And walking in the snow. That’s just with us grown ups! We grown ups literally needed help with everything.. they helped us and the kids. Memories were definitely made! Kids did amazing!! They loved it we all did!”
“It was fantastic! Thank you”