Alpine Skiing

Want to remain active in the winter? Hit the slopes! Like handcycling, Alpine skiing is a very popular adaptive sport. Adaptive skiing enables skiers to access all types of terrain you might experience on the mountain: glide down green circles, carve on blue squares and rip down black diamonds. Adaptive skiers use special equipment mainly consisting of a bucket (for seating) attached to a frame with a special shock (to act as your knees) attached to either one or two skis while holding outriggers for balance.


Monoskis – Monoskis are intended for people who have limited to full trunk support and to be used to ski independently. These have one ski attached the the frame underneath.

Biskis – Biskis are intended for those who have limited mobility of their upper body and whom would not have the capacity to ski independently (some could be used independently in the right circumstances). A Biski has two skis attached under the frame. The considerations listed above also apply for biskis.

Four-Tracking – Four-Tracking is a reference to the 4 points of contact on the snow for incomplete, standing paras and other mobility limiting impairments: two skis and two outriggers. Often standard skis and boots can be used with the aid of long outriggers held by the skier in each hand.

Tetra-Skiing – Tetra-skiing is the brand name for an equipment configuration that allows high-level quadriplegics with limited mobility below the neck to participate in skiing. It can be operated using a joystick or a “sip & puff” mouthpiece, with a varying levels of independence depending on skill level.

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Things to Know

  • Transferring – One can independently transfer into the equipment themselves with different variations, however asking for help should always be encouraged if needed. 
  • Abdominal strength – Based on what abdominal and chest function you have will determine your fit in your seating bucket and how aggressively you can ski. The bucket should fit just like a ski boot would for an able bodied skier. Different back heights and abdominal/chest straps can be added as needed.
  • Equipment choice – There are different types of monoskis out there, with adjustable settings, different heights off the ground and loading styles for chairlifts. Depending on your injury level and skiing style there is something out there for everyone. 
  • Comfort – the most important. This is a cold weather experience. Know your body, make sure you are warm enough, do not take any chances.

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