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Portland State University (PSU) and Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) at Mount Hood Meadows

Skiing is one of my favorite activities on earth and I had the good fortune of stumbling into a program about five years ago that lets me share that passion with people who might not otherwise be able to partake. It’s called adaptive skiing, which is a catch-all phrase for all of the equipment and modifications that have been invented to allow people with disabilities to slide down the slopes like the rest of us. I started with the program based out of Eugene called Alpine Adventures and worked on occasion with their partner organization, based out of Bend, called Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS). Since moving to Portland about a year ago I’ve discovered another great program run by the Shriners Hospital up here. But as great as the Shriners program is, it’s only available to patients of Shriners hospital, leaving a huge population of Portland skiers and boarders, or wannabe skiers and boarders, without a viable alternative. Fortunately, there are some dedicated individuals trying to get a full-fledged program going on Mt. Hood to serve what is no doubt a huge and underserved market.

As part of that development, I got to volunteer with OAS at a single day/ pilot event they held at Mount Hood Meadows to get some Portland State University students up on the slopes. I had the good fortune to take a few runs with Gabe Rousseau, a rockstar skier who just so happened to have a documentary camera crew following him around. University of Oregon journalism student Seamus Dean was following Gabe for a student project and, along with some classmates, produced this amazing video profile of him. I even made a few appearances in the video as the only assistant wearing a backpack. That backpack held my camera and equipment that allowed me to capture the photos you’ll see below the video. If any of this piques your interest, scroll down to the end of the blog post for contact information for all of the organizations. Feel free to get in touch with me, too, if you have any questions.

 

And here are my photographs from the day:


If you live in Oregon and are interested in getting involved in any of these programs, either as a volunteer or a participant, contact the following people in the following cities:

Bend: Jeremy Fox – Program Director with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) at http://oregonadaptivesports.org 541.848.9390 or oasbend@gmail.com

Portland: Erik Luvaas – Recreational Therapist at Shriners Hospital (Participant must be a Shriners patient; volunteering is open) 971-544-3304

Eugene: Carly Schmidt – Adaptive Recreation Programmer at the Hilyard Community Center http://www.eugene-or.gov/recadaptive 541.682.8837