HG Winter Program

The Higher Ground winter program primarily focuses on alpine skiing, snowboarding, sled hockey, and Nordic skiing. The goal of this 5-month program is to provide individual instruction that increases the participant’s ability to a level where he or she can enjoy snow sports at the highest-possible integrated setting. Participants learn physical and communication skills to apply at home and school; snow sport goals are also set for individuals in order to track progress throughout the season.

HG serves children, teens, and adults with all types of physical and cognitive disabilities. The program staff of certified recreational therapists and highly qualified ski/snowboard instructors works closely with the Blaine County School District and Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind to incorporate structured lessons as a beneficial recreational activity into their school days. In partnership with Sun Valley Company and other local businesses, HG is able to offer all Blaine Country residents with disabilities a ski/snowboard lease package, a season’s mountain pass, and personalized instruction all free of charge.

register button

winter camp

Photo: Top of Dollar with state-of-the-art adaptive ski equipment.

Program Highlights

34 types of disabilities represented

3,304 volunteer instruction hours

153 participants served for a total of 1,747 hours on-snow

Offering a wider range of trainings to our volunteers and instructors to cover more disciplines of adaptive snow sports

Weekly sled hockey games with local business Smith Optics

Custom online lesson management database that greatly benefits the program

“I am so thankful for this program because I never imagined I would be able to see my son have the opportunity to go skiing.” -Mom of participant

Success Story

Success story

Andreas is a 16 year old boy in remission from bone cancer. He has undergone several sessions of chemotherapy and radiation, along with surgeries replacing bones in his leg with metal rods.

He came to HG in December 2011 as a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation. Andreas, a natural and gifted athlete, was itching to get back into higher level sports, as he comes from a family of professional athletes. His first morning out, Andreas began skiing the bi ski on beginner terrain, quickly progressing to the entire mountain. The last day he agreed to try the mono ski, which gave him a whole new level of independence.