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Ski holiday to Sainte Foy on Friday - disaster so need advice please

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Ski holiday to Sainte Foy on Friday - disaster so need advice please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi

I really need some advice. I booked a family skiing holiday to Sainte Foy a year ago and we leave on Friday - my husband (OK skiier), 2 boys aged 6 and 7 for the first time and me - I was an advanced skier. Sadly last May I had to have a triple spinal fusion that has gone horribly wrong so use crutches, wheelchair or hobble for short distances - I was told I would improve but didn't so in February made the decision to go to Sainte Foy on a sit ski and learn at Milton Keynes. I got the OK from the lift operators at Sainte Foy, resort operators, loaned a sit ski from a charity and got it all agreed in writing 6 weeks ago that everything was fine....that was until on Monday when I was told I wasn't allowed on the chairlifts in a sit ski, the charity loaning me the bob pulled out and so i cancelled my last 4 hours of ski bob lessons in Milton Keynes.

The resort have just come back and said that I can now be carried on the chairlifts as special dispensation as long as the sit ski is licensed for safe use in France but I no longer have a sit ski to use, nor have I had the lessons I need to learn and we leave in 1 week's time - disaster.

The kids are really looking forward to the holiday and are booked into ski school in Sainte Foy for 6 afternoons whilst we are there so we can't drive to a more disabled friendly resort nearby so that's not an option, although we could day trip together somewhere if that was an option. Second option would be to use a ski bike but once I have sat on one of those, I won't be able to walk so once we stop going downhill, how on earth am I going to get to the chairlift - I had thought about taking my crutches onto the slope but as they have no grip on the bottom, I think I might just fall over and hurt more - I almost need to fit a "claw" or something to put on the bottom of them to get some grip. I tried to hire some outriggers to push the bike along on the flat (like crutches for disabled skiers but with a metal gripper on the bottom when not in ski mode) but apparently Ski Set can't get hold of any.

It will break my heart not to be able to see the kids ski and they don't want to go without me being able to see them.

Sorry, not looking for sympathy, just ideas on what we can do. I am kind of hoping that there is some obvious solution to my problem that I haven't thought of - I am so devastated by what has happened having thought it was all sorted that I don't think I can think straight.

Does anyone have any ideas on how we can make the best of a bad job - I really don't want to disappoint the children and not go but....

Please help and any ideas (however mad) will be appreciated, thank you.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
lucillapaull, so sorry to hear your plans have gone so awry. I'm afraid I can't offer much advice other than to say that you can buy metal spike grip things that fit onto the bottom of walking sticks or crutches and fold up when you don't want to use them. No idea about the logistics of going properly onto the slopes with them and a ski bike, but we have a guest here this week who has one on a walking stick and it has enabled him to walk around so he could watch the action on the nursery slopes - he was not actually trying to go down slopes himself though. I hope someone can offer you some good ideas and that you and the kids get the holiday it sounds like you really deserve.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
lucillapaull, re. the ski bike option, it is 100% downhill right onto all of the Sainte Foy chairlifts. There is only one significant flat spot in the resort, which is the traverse across to the Marquise chairlift. This could be avoided simply by not using that lift (shame though, it's a nice long blue which would be good to learn on). You can walk on crutches to within about 20m of the first lift. With a bit of help from your husband, you should be able to get yourself to the lift (ditto for any "last few metres" onto the other lifts).

If you can source a sit-ski anywhere in the valley, I will help you get it to Sainte Foy (I have a Landrover 110, shouldn't be a problem).

I will try to put a call out to instructors I'm friendly with to see if anyone specialises in adaptive skiing and might have any good leads.
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Thanks for the ideas - do you know what these spike things are called to put on the bottom of crutches/walking sticks and I will do a search.

As for carrying a sit ski over, that wouldn't be a problem as we are driving down - it would be just getting hold of one that is licensed and then also an instructor who could come to Sainte Foy - even if it was just once or twice in the week - we arrive on the Saturday.

Thank you x
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
lucillapaull, they look a bit like these... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Stick-Mud-Ice-Grip/dp/B002XKZUKA/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t?tag=amz07b-21
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I've just spoken to a friend in Tignes and I'm reliably informed that ESF Tignes teach adaptive and therefore have a stock of sit-skis. They would probably come down.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thank you. Have just bought the walking stick tips from amazon - I didn't even know they existed! We tried the La Rosiere Handiski instructors and they refused to come down - it is school holidays so they are too busy. I will get my husband to call the ESF at Tignes directly and see if they would come - I think they also teach adaptive skiing at Les Arcs as well so will try there too as i think that's just down the road as well.

Feeling a little more positive that it is not impossible to go, but any more ideas still gratefully received xx
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
stevomcd, lucillapaull, they have a big adaptive centre in La Plagne at Aime 2000 if you can get something there we will get it over to Sainte Foy if that helps .......
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
lucillapaull, email the pisteurs. They may well take you to a specific location by snowmobile and enable you to walk around for a bit seeing your kids and then pick you up again. They would do this where we are in Switzerland.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Did you know there is a Disability Snow Sports Forum on Snowheads? Someone on there may be able to help.
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewforum.php?f=44
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Pitching a few things into the discussion here for you.

1) The pisteurs in St Foy are super helpful so give them a call - they may be able to help.
2) Oxygene ski school in La Plagne are a specialist sit ski centre and may be able to help with both instructor and sit ski.
3) Try calling the ESF here in Val d'Isere and enquiring about the availability of Philiippe - he is a sit ski specialist and VERY good at what he does.
4) Get back in contact with both the DSUK staff at MK and Hemel Hempstead and see if you can get in a session or two before you go as it is school hols next week and instructors are likely to be booked up.
5) 'Licensing' and stuff like that... normally that is not the issue - it is more is there a competent person (e.g. instructor) who can take a person on the lift using a French registered sit ski.!

If works comes to the worst then you may have to consider travelling up to Tignes / Val each time you want to sit ski - about 20 mins door to door so not that far.

Good luck.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hi lucillapaull,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time organising this.

I would second Steve's advice about Oxygene ski school - they have a comparatively large number of sit ski clients and have both sit skis and skilled instructors who would be able to help. Oxygene have a branch office in Val D'Isere too so it is quite likely they would be willing to teach in Sainte Foy. If you prefer an english speaking instructor ask for Jenny Yates.

I would strongly recommend lessons out in resort, rather than just having a go for yourself, even if you have had some lessons in the UK. As I am sure you are aware sit skis work differently, although your skills will be transferable. Most ski schools will run sit ski lessons which include your husband so he can learn how to lift the ski when getting on chairs etc whilst you practise your skiing.

Snow bikes aren't suitable if you have mobility problems as you have to get on and off them at regular intervals, they are very "jolty" and you have to get onto the chair lift upright, carrying the bike.

If you can't find an instructor who can teach in Sainte Foy my advice would be to see if you can cancel the ski school booking for the kids in Sainte Foy, and re-book for the lessons in Val D'Isere. That way you can also book adaptive skiing lessons with the sit ski included in Val D'Isere and the whole family can ski together. The liftpass is more expensive than for Sainte Foy because the domain is bigger but the pisteurs and lifties are used to sit ski users.

As Steve Angus says, it is only 20 mins door-to-door in your car which might save a whole lot of hassle.

Good luck and I hope that you find something!

Best wishes,
Heather
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Dear all - I cannot tell you how much better you have all made me feel - I was in total despair at such late changes to confirmed plans and now there is a bit of hope. Thank you from me and all of my family

Lucilla
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi lucillapaull, A company/charity called Impossible Dream rent sit skis (link below). I'm a sit skier and have skied in France and have never been asked for licenses etc. In fact I've skied all over the place and never even heard of licensing.

http://www.impossibledream.org.uk/skiBobs.html
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
lucillapaull, Sorry I can't offer any advice but I hope everything works out for you and you and your family have a great holiday; as miranda says - it sounds like you really deserve it x
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
lucillapaull, I can't help for the area you are going to but just wanted to wish you well, and that you all have a wonderful time. It sounds as though you do now have some options. This is another example of the collective power of SnowHeads knowledge and their willingness to share it and help someone. Well done all Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
There was a big bus from Handisport Lyonnais in Sainte Foy today, could be worth checking them out: http://www.handisportlyonnais.com/

I would have had a chat and asked a few questions for you, but the bus was pulling out when I saw it!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I don't have any advice but I just wanted to wish you all the best. I hope something gets sorted and you get to see your children ski and do some yourself.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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lucillapaull wrote:
Dear all - I cannot tell you how much better you have all made me feel - I was in total despair at such late changes to confirmed plans and now there is a bit of hope. Thank you from me and all of my family

Lucilla


Best wishes from me too snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It would be great for sitski thing to work and it was bad luck you had problems with your spine. However don't take this wrong way but things could be a lot worse. If you have 2 healthy kids there should be very little that could possibly "break your heart"

It should be possible for you to enjoy your holiday if on this one occasion you don't get to ski, because your famliy are enjoying it. And they will enjoy it if they see you are happy for them.

So quit the anxiety as they will pick up on it and it will affect them. If you don't get to sitski it is not really such a tragedy. Look forward to a beautiful week in the mountains with the people you love, be positive you will enjoy no matter what. It really would not be worth having a domestic because the sitski doesn't work out for you and everyone ends up unhappy.
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patricksh, the OP has asked if anyone could give her suggestions on how to organise sit skiing and getting around in Sainte Foy at very short notice. Whilst she has provided some background to her predicament in order to help people help her, she has not asked for your totally unwarranted opinion on what she should or shouldn't feel about her current disability - let alone her family relations of which you know nothing at all - and I don't think the instruction "don't take this the wrong way" does anything to change that.

lucillapaull, like lots of other people reading this thread, I really hope you're getting somewhere with sorting it out.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thank you miranda, you are quite right he knows nothing about me or my family - when things like this happen to a young family, it affects us all in ways that people like patricksh have no idea. I am an incredibly positive person and am doing my best to overcome my problems with the help of my family - actually, the kids don't want to go unless mummy can come on the slopes with them and see them ski - hence the urgency of trying to sort something out, not just for me but for them too.

A lovely chap in Les Arcs has offered to help, but that's an hour away from Sainte Foy, so we are trying to sort something out for Tignes at the moment - I can get lessons but not a sit-ski to go out with the family once the instructor is happy with my ability - but we are still trying.
xxx
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
lucillapaull, Hope everything works out for you and your family Smile
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
lucillapaull, Les Arcs is much, much less than an hour from Sainte Foy.

To get to the Villaroger lifts is only about 10 minutes drive. To the funicular in Bourg Saint Maurice is 20 minutes drive (direct lift to Arc 1600). To drive up and park in Arc 1600 takes about 40 minutes.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
lucillapaull, Snowheads is very slow at the weekend so hopefully you will get lots more helpful posts tomorrow
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I can't help, but I hope you find a solution.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
miranda wrote:
patricksh, the OP has asked if anyone could give her suggestions on how to organise sit skiing and getting around in Sainte Foy at very short notice. Whilst she has provided some background to her predicament in order to help people help her, she has not asked for your totally unwarranted opinion on what she should or shouldn't feel about her current disability - let alone her family relations of which you know nothing at all - and I don't think the instruction "don't take this the wrong way" does anything to change that.


+ 1
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
lucillapaull, It might be a pricey option - and of course it might not be suitable for you, but as another idea could you hire (and join your family on the slopes) on something like a snowmobile for at least a few hours?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Megamum, I'm sure lucillapaull really appreciates your effort to come up with a solution - and she did say "however mad" - but I've just had visions of parents snowmobiling over the nursery slopes shouting encouragement to their kids in the ski school like the support cars in the Tour de France Laughing

I did actually do something slightly reckless yesterday - given that I have a knee injury - and got the chairlift up the hill, having arranged for a nice liftie to snowmobile me from the top of the lift to the park and back so I could watch the local freeride competition. It was just one of those days when I felt the need to get up the mountain and take stock of a few things but possibly wasn't the most sensible of ideas (although no harm was done and I felt a lot happier for having got up there). It does show pisteur willingness to get you where you want to be if they can but I'm pretty sure it's only the licensed lifties who would be able to snowmobile on the ski pistes.

It sounds like lucillapaull 'just' needs to source the equipment now having sorted the lessons, so fingers crossed the whole family can get out together.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
miranda, excellent Laughing I'm pleased you got up there.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
miranda,
Quote:

I've just had visions of parents snowmobiling over the nursery slopes shouting encouragement to their kids in the ski school like the support cars in the Tour de France Laughing


we get that at our sailing club nowadays, each Mirror dinghy seems to have the most enormous rib following it around.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
miranda, Laughing Well I kind of had visions of snow mobile maybe able to deliver the OP to a mid point on the mountain maybe to a mountain bar from where they could watch the passage of several slopes that their kids might be using with their dad and then return later. In VT there were places that would take folks on a snow mobile, though I don't know where they went on them, mind you sometimes there are even hotels positioned on the mountains so they must have some way of getting folks to them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
lucillapaull, I don't know much to help but I do know the Lions do great things for getting people skiing and I have regularly seen them taking people sit-skiing at Castleford Xscape. I really hope you get skiing and going with the kids, I understand why you want to be there with them (even though I am not a mum I work with a lot of kids) and also from a kids point of view my mum, despite being awesomely supportive, used to be very busy with work and does not ski so she did not see a lot of my achievements which is such a bummer if you're a kid! I hope you all get to slide and be proud Very Happy
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lucillapaull, I can't offer any further advice, but I do hope you get sorted. If it is a help for the future, there were a lot of sit-skis in Serre Chevalier over the last couple of weeks. Far more than I have seen in the past. I know some were the British Paralympians, but most were just ordinary folks enjoying the snow.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
worthy of a bump
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You'll need to Register first of course.
I was just thinking what a wonderful response from snowheads, and this just shows how a site like this can really pull together.....then i read the post from patricksh!!! oh well suppose theres always got to be one!!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
iskar, hmm yes Laughing

lucillapaull seems to have come up against a brick wall on this, according to thread in Disability section Sad
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Lou, strange isnt it. I would have thought this was something relatively easily sorted through SH?

Does anyone have any suggestions for other ski web sites that lucillapaull can post on? Or to make things easier - as Im sure she's busy trying to get packed, can those of you who use other ski forums please post a link to this thread? I dont use any other ski forum, I waste enough time on here Laughing if you do link to another site maybe mention it on here so we know which sites have been done?
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
This is worth a cross post - I don't know is watching which thread http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=88105#2016931
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