A GUIDE FOR NEW STUDENTS – PARENTS – CAREGIVERS

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS) is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that provides Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) certified instructors to teach people with diverse abilities, 6 years and older, to Nordic (cross-country) ski, downhill ski, sit-ski or snowboard. Mt. Washington Alpine Resort (MWAR) is a huge supporter of the VISAS Adaptive program, providing half price lift tickets and free snowsports equipment from their rental department while students are taking a lesson.

VISAS provides instruction and adaptive equipment for those requiring it, free of charge.

All instructors and students must be members of BC Adaptive Snowsports (BCAS) but for first-timers wanting to try skiing or snowboarding, VISAS offers a “Have-a-Go” Program for a $10 temporary BCAS membership fee which covers a one-time session which includes lift ticket, equipment and instruction free of charge. To have a chance to try more than one snowsport, we offer TWO (2) Have-a-Go days, with the caveat that each day must be a different snowsport downhill skiing, sit-skiing or snowboarding. (Nordic cross country skiing please see the Nordic page)

For more information, go to the VISAS website www.visasweb.ca and click on “Have-A-Go Program”. A $10 fee is charged for each “Have-a-Go” day. Alpine information is also located on the website.

On the day of your “Have-a-Go” session you will need to bring:

  1. $10 cash for temporary membership in BCAS.
  2. Strongly Recommended: it is recommended to dress in layers. Appropriate winter clothing – snow pants, jacket (appropriate for movement in snow), waterproof gloves or mitts, face cover (balaclava, buff, scarf, etc.), toque, ski socks (not ankle socks, for warmth & wicking), long johns – top & bottoms or equivalent, fleece or sweater (layering for differences in temperatures).
  3. Footwear appropriate for travelling between the parking lot and the
    Lodge.
  4. Extra mitts and socks, in case they get wet.
  5. A big lunch, including water, with enough for snacks for the end of the day.
  6. A large bag for carrying extras; big enough to carry extra items at the end of the day.
  7. A caregiver is required to supervise the participant as required at lunchtime and if the lesson is shorter than anticipated for any reason and for signatures, payment, etc.

VISAS Regular Program:

If your child enjoyed their experience in “Have-a-Go”, they are welcome to continue taking lessons with VISAS when they choose, subject to availability of dates and instructors. For this program, the child must have a membership with BC Adaptive Snowsports (BCAS). The $10 for each temporary membership fee for “Have-a- Go” will be taken off this amount. To register – on VISAS website www.visasweb.ca, click on Student on the top menu, then choose book a lesson, scroll to the new student section.

Note: It is not necessary to participate in the Have-a-Go” program in order to join the regular program.

Booking is the same as for “Have-a-Go” except you will need to present your BCAS Membership number (only need to do this the first time each year).

You are then eligible for a half-price trail pass courtesy of Mt. Washington Alpine Resort, free adaptive instruction and free rentals while participating in a VISAS ski lesson.

Trail ticket gives you access to open trails in the Nordic park and upper area. See the Mt. Washington website for pricing.

PLEASE NOTE: If for any reason you are unable to attend on your booked day, Cancel your lesson on the VISAS Portal, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR CAREGIVERS/ PARENTS:

  • Please aim to arrive 30 minutes before your child’s session is scheduled to begin (e.g. 9:30am). First time – allow a little extra time for parking and walking to the lodge. Driving up from the Inland Island Hwy (Hwy 19), follow signs for Mt. Washington.
  • NOTE: The Nordic Centre is off Nordic Way – below the alpine area off. Turn at the first left after the Sunrise parking area.  The disabled parking area at the Nordic centre is off to the left of the main parking area, right by the Nordic building.
  • Check DriveBC for current road conditions from your starting point to Mount Washington Alpine Resort. If the conditions are such that you are not comfortable driving, it’s okay to cancel – but please call Cathe Egan at 250-334-1086 as soon as you know you need to cancel.
  • Have sufficient gas in the car for the return trip. There are no vehicle fueling stations on the mountain.
  • You must have winter tires and carry chains. Have sufficient windshield washer fluid, etc. Be prepared for winter conditions, snow, rain, dense fog, etc. things can change from morning to afternoon when you go to leave.
  • Nordic student meet up is in the lodge towards the back main windows on the left-hand side as you walk into the building, unless arrangements have been made to meet in the disabled parking area.

Make the commitment = Join the team

Contact: Andreas Ruttkiewicz

Click here to contact Andreas via email.
V.I.S.A.S. Racing and Skills Team Coordinator
Tel: (250) 218-7343