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Help needed - ski boots and disability

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was approached last night by someone I don’t know particularly well, but the, “You go skiing don’t you” always gets full attention. Not a simple problem. It seems that this person’s daughter (aged about 9 or 10 as far as I know) wants to go on the school skiing trip next year to Les Arcs. The problem is she was born with one leg a lot shorter than the other and to remedy this has had a foot amputated. She is apparently quite used to having an artificial lower leg and foot and is a keen ice skater and has a good sense of balance. What I was asked was whether I thought she would have problems getting a ski boot on the artificial foot. Apparently the foot is fixed with no ankle flexibility.

My immediate response was that it would be pretty difficult to get a standard 4-buckle boot on in those circumstances. Presumably they are taking a school ski package and would be picking up boots in resort. My second thoughts were that this girl should have the chance to go skiing and that there must be a way round the problem, so I undertook to investigate and seek advice.

I have thought about possibilities like getting hold of a rear-entry boot and getting the back taken off, but I really don’t know enough about it. Surely there is a simple way of getting this girl skiing. Anybody any ideas?

BTW I’m off skiing from the 11th to the 18th of April, so no response from me doesn’t mean loss of interest. I appreciate not being able to see the extent of the problem makes it difficult. I haven’t seen her myself, but I know that she is currently a shoe size 2. I guess she will have grown by next season, but does that mean she will have a larger prosthetic then too? Any advice or experiences would be appreciated
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Today there are many prosthetics with releasable and adjustable ankle articulation. Her parents should be banging the heads of their local trust to look at what’s available to give her a natural movement with energy ‘store and release’. Not just for skiing.

I’ve an acquaintance who boards (better than me) with a carbon lower leg from http://www.ossur.com/ he had a spare with a ‘Switch’ bale bolted to it and just clipped in to ride. Cool

I wish her all the best. . . just had a thought, have a look at the winter Para Olympics site. . . hmm… not a lot of info there I’ll do some digging and give Matt a call. He’s in another time zone, so it’ll be much later tonight.
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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?
Thanks Masque, I suspect the solution might have to be a boot rather than a prosthetic though.
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This site might be able to help but god knows how much they'd cost!

http://www.dalebootusa.com/index.html?

This picture below shows what they can actually do!

http://www.dalebootusa.com/feedback.htm?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Chris,

http://www.uphillskiclub.co.uk/

http://www.bscd.org.uk/

the above two sites are ski clubs for the disabled. I'm sure someone there would have the expertise to advise the person concerned.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Strolz are similar to Daleboots and also make boots for handicapped people.

http://www.strolz.at/english/gesamt.htm

Look under Boots / Othopaedics
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I've emailed my original post to uphillskiclub thanks.
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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!
I'm just reminding everyone about this as I will have to report to her Mum on Wednesday. I think I will go and borrow a pair of size 2 boots from my local ski shop (White Mountain) and get more details on the extent of the problem.

Anyone got a pair of old size 2 rear entry boots kicking about? I still think that might be the answer.
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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.
Chris Bish, well this is of course just the sort of thing that the Ski Club (so tempting to write SCGB just to annoy....) should be able to sort out.

The physio department at RNOH suggested contacting the British Amputee & les Autres Sports Association (BALASA) . Tel 0120 449 4308. I have just phoned them. The lady who answered did not know about skiing, but thought she could find a contact and suggested your friend phoned them.

I have here beside me a pair of Salomon SX Team boots size 21 (took me ages to work out they were UK 2.5: Salomon site not very helpful). Any good?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Jonpim, Are they ex-Rosie and surplus to requirements? I guess they are rear-entry. If so it could be just the thing. I'll talk to her mum on Weds and get back to you. The girl in question goes ice-skating so she must be able to get some sort of boot on.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes Chris Bish, ex-Rosie and ex-Tom. Rear entry, smart black with bits of yellow, and in need of a new home.
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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.
Jonpim, I see you are online today. If you get the chance, could you have a look at those boots and consider the possibility of getting into them with a non-flexing prosthetic. I would hate to raise hopes in Jody if I am utterly wrong about them beng easier of access. Thanks
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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
Chris Bish, this Canadian site http://www.disabledskiing.ca/technical.html gives a list of contacts about technical aspects of skiing for people with disabilities....you could try emailing one or two of the contacts to see if they've got any advice.

That said, when we were in Sauze D'Oulx in March the World Cup for people with disabilities was in progress....amazing stuff!! The guys with prosthetics only seemed to bother with them for racing, the rest of the time they had them stuffed in their back packs and used one ski and adapted poles with little skis on the bottom (probably got a proper name for them?). Maybe this would be a better way to go if she hasn't got any flex in the ankle?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hhmm, ok, can we come at this from the other angle - 2 amputee skiers i know both prefer to ski without their prosthetics, using outriggers (and both ski very high end stuff these days). Has this been though about as an option? I understand she might be sensitive to be seen wihtout her leg, but the actual skiing might be better that way? Just a thought.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sorry homphomp, just read your message more fully. Yes, you mean "outriggers".
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Chris Bish, there is clearly more than one way of skiing after amputation.
If you want to continue with getting a prosthesis into a boot, I think it could well be possible. I have just stuffed a standard Set-Square wrapped in newspaper into the boot with ease. Not exactly the same as a prosthetic foot, but not far off.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Brilliant idea Jonpim, you obviously have yje mind of a scientist, which is just as well in the circumsatnces. And many thanks to everyone who has taken an interest. After lots of thinking and consultation I have come to some conclusions which I am very willing to be challenged on, but are probably these....(see how certain I am!)

This little girl must get the chance to go skiing with her school party. It's the first time the school has done this and they are all going to be beginners. This is a "bog-standard" state school by the way, but a nice one. My son went to it.

Jody will want to be inconspicuous and just like the other kids. i.e queueing up in the hire shop with all the other kids for ill-fitting and knackered miniature skis and boots.

The best prospect for her will for her to be able to take with her boots she is sure will fit and she can get her prosthetic foot into. It's a below knee amputation remember and she does everything else as normal. She goes ice-skating for example.

She might not like it, might not ever go again, so minimal expense or fuss is required.

On this basis, if parents of 10 year old girls wll agree (only a son to my name) is that she is as normal as possible and joins in with the others. Ergo, the best bet is to do a deal with Jonpim, for the boots and give that a try.

I spoke to her step-father last night and told him of our progress and suggested the going rate for a pair of boots would be around £20. Would that be reasonable?

Advice or comments always welcome.
snow conditions     
 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?
If Jonpim's boots are the wrong size Chris I'm sure I could persuade herself [url=http://www.skicardiff.com/photos/pictures/Pic_9_8.jpg]
the boss [/url] to lend a pair to Jody for the trip (yes folks - our dry slope hire kit is almost all rear-entry Exclamation )
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Chris Bish, I think you've got it sussed. Of course she should be given the opportunity to go & be treated as normally as possible. In fact she can even be a bit smug, cos she will have her "own" boots & all the other kids will have plebby hire ones! I'm sure a kind generous chap like Jonpim ( Very Happy ) will do you a good deal on the boots. If not, we'll have whip round!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alan Craggs, You boss looks similar in layout and general specifications to mine! Scary aren't they!

Thanks for the encouragement Ski Bunny, I appreciate you endorsement of my interpretation of how young girls might think.

Alan Craggs, again. Thanks for you offer. Do you think I am right that rear entry are easier to get on?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Chris Bish, well you really got me by the short-and-curlies: how can I ask for any dosh? The snowHeads hoards would rip me limb from limb. No, the boots are all Fiona's (or whatever her name is), but a donation towards the postage would be appreciated. When do you want 'em?

(PS: I think rear-entries are definitely easier to get into).
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Chris Bish, yes, they are very easy to get on and off - and on cold mornings when I've almost broken a foot trying to get into my Technicas I sometimes wish I still used them!
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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!
Jonpim, We are not dealing with poor people here. Her family run a pub and can and will afford fo pay the going rate. I just don't know what it is! Thanks all.
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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.
Jonpim, Not intentionally keeping radio silence on this one. I just have to make sure I am doing the right thing. I spoke to the person organising the trip last night and she is happy with my ideas. I will next see the parents of the person involved on Weds. BTW when I mentioned the situation to Clive in White Mountain he thought that snowblades might be easier for her at the "snowplough" stage. Any opinions anyone?
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Chris Bish wrote:
Jody will want to be inconspicuous and just like the other kids
So, if all the other kids are on Blades then Blades will be fine, but she wont want to be on Blades if she is the only one.

I have asked about for the right reward for the boots: it seems your friend has an elder daughter of 18 yrs. She'll do. Tell the delivery man to leave her in the garage if I am out, and remember to include full instructions.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Not expert enough to add an opinion;would just like to wish all concerned my personal best.The above merely confirms that the skiing community is one of the best groups of people you could wish to meet.
Chris,Alan,Jonpim and all;very best of luck.But most of all,every success to the little girl.She's going to love it Little Angel
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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.
I finally got the chance to go to my local last night and deliver the ex-Rosie ski boots to Jody's mum who took one look at them and said, "Yes, she'll be able to get those on." Looks like a happy ending then. Thanks to all who helped with this. It will be very worthwhile I promise you, and might even dent my resolve to have nothing to do with school ski trips!
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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
Chris Bish, Don't be too rash now... A French teacher friend of mine came back from a week's break in Les Orres with a group of 16/17 year olds in early April having come close to murdering the entire motley crew of "lazy, cocky, disobedient, thoughtless layabouts...." (French equivalent)

As I told him at the time, at least it was during term time, and he was paid!
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Ahh i like it when a plan comes 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:
PG, I'm sort of tempted to stay in the area. They are at Les Arcs from 1st April. My wife will have to be back at work by then, as she is a financial manager and that's her busiest time, but Jon and I could stay on to encourage the littlies. Is your flat booked for next Easter yet? Just thinking out loud.

Thanks for the appreciation Nadenoodlee, . Jonpim deserves a round of applause!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonpim, this is for you

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chris Bish, both the studio and flat are free at the moment.
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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?
PG, Thanks for the info. I'm currently in careful negotiations re next Feb Half term and 3V, which should be simple. Kitzbuhel at Christmas is done and dusted. Ski holiday number 3 always needs a bit of arranging, especially as I have given no thought whatever to a summer holiday for this year yet!

Priorities! Mad
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