Thursday, May 25, 2017

Accessible Trails in Washington State

When I first started using a wheelchair over 10 years ago, I searched around for information on wheelchair hiking.  I found a great book, entitled Accessible Trails in Washington's Backcountry.  I was elated . . .  almost.  The book was published in 1995 and hadn't been updated since.  When I began hiking with the Freedom Chair last year, I once again pulled out this book.  My first excursion highlighted the changes in trails since the book was published and inspired me to a new goal: update the book to match present day reality and capture the information on a website, so as to easily allow for changes and additions. Well, I soon realized that this was a behemoth task, requiring time and attention to detail that I don't even pretend to possess.  So, as a paltry consolation prize, I've compiled a list of wheelchair-accessible hikes in Washington from my own experience and added some links to other resources.  I hope that this information will help other wheelchair hikers in the state, and that readers will share their own recommendations (perhaps even using this blog post as a forum?).

Keep in mind that the idea for this list actually came after many of the hikes, and that I have the memory of a middle-aged person with a chronic disease.  Therefore, it is more than possible that some of the details listed below are not exactly accurate!  Also, the type of wheelchair for which the trail is most appropriate is my own subjective opinion and is accumulative (i.e. anything appropriate for a power chair is also appropriate for a manual chair or all-terrain chair).  Finally, for more information about the hikes, click on the name of the trail to link to a website.  (Really finally -- the formatting function of this application is a mystery to me.  What looks good in the editor is all a jumble in the preview window.  I haven't the patience to figure it out and make it look pretty, so please pretend...)


Jenny's List of Wheelchair-Accessible Hikes in Washington



Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: short
Surface: paved and hard-packed dirt (roots pushing up               pavement in a couple of spots)
Wheelchair: power chair
Views: Puget Sound, West Point Lighthouse, Mt Rainier,                 Olympic Mountains, beach with driftwood,                                     wildflowers
Trailhead: with DMV disabled placard, pick up pass from                Visitors’ Center, allowing you to  park near the entrance to                                                                     the trails                   



Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: 2.8 miles round-trip
Surface: hard-packed dirt, sand dune
Wheelchair:  all-terrain chair
Views: Puget Sound, trees and grasses, birds
Trailhead: North end of parking lot near Visitor Center






Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: 1.4 miles out and back
Surface: hard-packed gravel
Wheelchair:   all-terrain chair 
View: trees and flowers  - azaleas and other rhododendrons when they bloom
Trailhead: central section of the Washington Park Arboretum





Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: about .5 miles (I don’t remember exactly) one-way downhill
Surface: hard-packed dirt
Wheelchair:   manual chair (power chair if conditions are good)
View: big trees in old-growth forest, ending at Lake Washington with views of Seattle
Trailhead: top of hill in center of park



Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: I don’t remember (less than 1 mile)
Surface: hard-packed dirt (sometimes muddy)
Wheelchair: manual chair (all-terrain chair when muddy)
View: Puget Sound, wetlands, over 200 species of birds
Trailhead: parking lot for Merrill Hall at UW Center for Urban Horticulture
Other: free tram tours first Thursday of each month



Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: 1500 feet
Surface: boardwalk
Wheelchair: manual or power chair
View: Puget Sound, swamp, water fowl
Trailhead: East side of Union Bay Natural Area at UW Center for Urban Horticulture



Location: 6 miles East of North Bend, WA off of I-90 on South Fork of Snoqualmie River
Distance: .4 miles one-way
Surface: hard-packed dirt with roots
Wheelchair: all-terrain chair
View: big trees, waterfall, along a river, through a mostly old-growth forest
Trailhead: East end of parking lot at Olallie State Park



Location: Bellingham, WA
Distance: 6.7 miles
Surface: hard-packed dirt and crushed stone
Wheelchair: all-terrain chair
View: through woods, follows coastline, Puget Sound, and San Juan Islands (sporadic)
Trailheads: Donovan Ave. and 10th St. (Fairhaven) and Larrabee State Park at Fragrance Lake Rd. and Chuckanut Dr. (Bellingham)



Location: Pierce County, WA
Distance: 15.1 miles (part of 30 miles of 6 unconnected segments of the old Burlington Northern Railway)
Surface: paved
Wheelchair: power chair
View: along Carbon River, salmon spawning in season, Mt Rainier in distance
Trailhead: four trailheads along the route at East Puyallup, McMillin, Orting, and South Prairie,





Location: Issaquah Alps,WA
Distance: 2.9 miles (not all ADA)
Surface: Hard-packed gravel, hard-packed dirt
Wheelchair: all-terrain chair
View: Woods, ferns, lake
Trailhead: High Point trailhead in Issaquah Alps






Location: Bellevue, WA
Distance: 10 miles of several segments from Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish
Surface: hard-packed gravel, paved (some city sidewalks connect trails between parks)
Wheelchair: power chair
View: Nine city parks, suburban streets, blueberries, lakes, second-growth forest
Trailhead: Weowna Park near Lake Sammamish (we parked at (Lake Hills Farm Fresh Produce fruit stand at 15562 SE 16th St).



 Location: North Cascades Highway near Rainy Pass, WA
Distance: 1 mile each way
Surface: paved
Wheelchair: power chair
View: trees, alpine lake
Trailhead: Milepost 158 on North Cascades Highway (Hwy 20); Need NW Forest Pass to park



Location: Stehekin, WA (Lake Chelan)
Distance: short
Surface: paved
Wheelchair: power chair
View: Rainbow Falls, cinnamon rolls at Stehekin Pastry Company on road down
Trailhead: Take Lady of the Lake Ferry (http://ladyofthelake.com/) from Chelan to Stehekin across Lake Chelan, and then take the accessible shuttle bus (https://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/stehekin-transportation.htm) from Stehekin to Rainbow Falls.  The trail goes from the parking lot to the falls.   Other: You can wheel back on the paved road back down to Stehekin, stopping to sample the giant cinnamon rolls at the Stehekin Pastry                                                        Company (http://stehekinpastry.com), and catching the shuttle bus for the                                            rest of the route.  FYI: the lodge at Stehekin has a wheelchair-accessible                                            cabin   (http://www.stehekin.com/stehekin-shuttle220.html)                      



Links to other lists and ideas about wheelchair-accessible hikes in WA (no personal recommendations here; try at your own risk!):

Wheelchair-accessible trails from Outdoors for All (compiled by two of their participants)


http://www.accessibletrails.com/  (last updated 2014)
https://www.alltrails.com    (must register)

Please share your own recommendations!!!                            





Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Accessible trails

2017 is a year of notable anniversaries.  50 years of life.  20 years of marriage.  15 years of Seattle. 10 years of using a wheelchair.  1 year of hiking with the Freedom Chair.

Hiking with the Freedom Chair
Looking back on my year of Freedom Chair hiking, I feel like many of my previous posts have something in common: they document adventures along hiking trails I'd hoped to be fitting for wheelchairs ... only to have some obstacle impede my passage to the point of needing serious assistance or even forcing me to turn back.

Too narrow to go further










Too rocky to go further

You get the picture!












My Ideal Wheelchair Trail

Perhaps an ideal wheelchair trail


Really, the main criterion for a wheelchair-accessible trail is one that is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Secondary criteria include:
  • a fairly flat trail without a lot of ups and downs, or at least limited altitude gain with minimal steepness (difficult to find in a mountainous area!)
  • a trail that is neither too long nor too short (the exact distance depends upon the hiker)
  • a trail surface that falls somewhere between paved (usually boring!) and full of big rocks
      • an even trail that does not slant to the side (On slanting trails, straight forward motion requires one-armed propulsion, which is extremely tiring, and I prefer not to fall off of the trail -- especially because that usually involves a steep hill).

Ideas for Trails
  • Of course, the ideal would be a trail designated as "wheelchair accessible,"  but those are few and far between.  In addition, they are usually short, paved circuits around a nature center or en route from a parking lot to a viewpoint, so their length and variety is limited.  
  • Also rare, but usually in beautiful locations, are boardwalks through forests and/or swamps (and, to a lesser extent, near beaches).
    Asilomar Beach (CA)
  • Roads (paved and unpaved) can be a good option, through the trick is to find one that is not a war zone of potholes and is closed to cars (even one is enough to kill you).  Gated roads, fire roads, and sometimes logging roads will work.  

Hamma Hamma Campground (WA)
  • Another idea is mountain bike trails (although be sure to look for double-track trails for a wider trail).  
  • Many ski hills open their slopes to mountain bikes in the summer months, so the gentler slopes (catwalks) offer good possibilities for wheelchairs (thanks, Nerissa, for this idea).
  • For some reason, wildlife refuges seem to have good terrain for wheelchair  -- boardwalk and/or level trails.
Tualatin Wildlife Refuge (OR)
  • In recent years, many organizations, including Rails-to-Trails, have built multi-use trails, providing good hiking options for walkers, cyclists, families, and wheelchairs.
Othello Tunnels Trail (BC)

Sources of Ideas
  • The best source of ideas is other wheelchair users and their recommendations about where to hike or not to hike.  If I had more energy, I would start a website with a data base where hikers could search for accessible trails.  Instead, I'll offer my meager contribution in the next post, along with a list of accessible trails I received from an Outdoors for All staff member. I hope others will add their ideas somewhere as well.  
  • Luckily, Google exists.  (As always, use caution, since some links are old or inaccurate).
  • Another great idea is Traillink, the web-based database for Rails-to-Trails, where one can search for trails nationwide -- filtering for many conditions, including wheelchair accessibility! 
  • Other trail databases can also be helpful, although they may not include a filter for wheelchair accessibility (I used to search for "kid friendly" trails on Washington Trail Association's "Hike Finder Map," but it turned out that those trails were only friendly to some kick-ass kids, who were far more agile than I was.

Looking toward the future, I am resolved to be smarter about my trail choices -- mostly.  There is still something to be said about choosing back-country trails based on location, even though that invariably leads to frustration, asking for (and accepting) help, and most probably a quick turn-around.  If anybody reads this and has more ideas, please let me know!  As I mentioned, the best ideas come from people's experience and recommendations.  





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Lake Chelan : seated equalization

One of my favorite things about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) conferences is the following scenario: If you happen to be late to a presentation (as I, unfortunately, am wont to do), you enter when the audience is already seated, and it looks to be a group of "typical" able-bodied attendees.  It is only when the presentation ends and everyone arises that you see the majority of them reaching for canes or walkers, transferring to scooters, or even rolling away in wheelchairs.

Seated activities are great for wheelchair-users for at least two reasons.  1. They are something that we CAN do, in a world filled with things that we can NOT,  and 2. They are activities that we can do together with our non-disabled friends and family.  Sometimes you have to try a little harder to create a seated version of an activity, such as wheelchair-hiking, sitting-volleyball, sit-skiing, etc, and sometimes the activity itself is seated for everyone.  For example, I've heard water sports such as kayaking called "the great equalizer" -- allowing people with mobility impairments to compete and play with non-disabled competitors and friends on a level playing field.  Personally, I always look for a way to be in or on the water -- kayaks, boats, swimming, snorkeling, etc.  This summer I was able to combine two modes of seated activities -- boats and wheelchairs -- in an epic adventure. In this way, I could enjoy the things I love, be a part of an adventure that may have otherwise excluded me, see new areas, and spend time with family members I don't often see.


Lake Chelan (from our campground

The epic journey of the summer centered around Lake Chelan in Central Washington.  I’d long wanted to go, but the season was prohibitively short and complicated – the lake water is warm only in summer, but one runs into crowds, heat, and -- as my brother says -- “Lake Chelan is on fire” (there is usually a significant forest fire near the lake at some point in the late summer).  This year, however, the weather, crowds, and logistics cooperated, giving us a trip to remember.




My husband and my brothers with their families traveled to Chelan, the village at the southern end of the lake, where we rented a pontoon boat.  Rather than take the commercially operated "Lady of the Lake" ferry we opted for the independence of our own boat.  The boat was large enough to fit all 8 of us with our camping gear and my wheelchair.  Although some rental companies didn’t allow their boats to be taken across the entire lake, our company did, and so we did.  We boated and swam for several hours down to the northern end of the lake, where there was a dock for a campground near the outpost of Stehekin.




 (Our campground at the end of the lake)



We camped for two nights by the lake, complete with campfire.  As highlighted in a previous blog, we tricked out our site to be accessible.  On the second day, a wind storm kicked up, reaching 60mph on parts of the lake, explaining why most marinas didn’t allow their rental  boats to cross the entire lake. And grounding us for a day.  We tried to take a hike.  But the trail was too narrow and rocky for the wheelchair, so we had to turn around.



On the last day, we boated a little ways to the backcountry village of Stehekin. Although we did not try it this time, I've read that the village includes one wheelchair-accessible cabin.   The more mobile half of our crew took the back-country bus
to the trailhead and a 2-3 day hike which ended at Cascade Pass  on the North Cascade Highway.  The other half of us took that same (wheelchair accessible) bus up to Rainbow Falls, where we did a short (accessible) hike to the falls, and then we walked down the paved road to the Stehekin Bakery for giant cinnamon rolls.  



The cinnamon rolls provided a good balance to reward even the non-hikers in the group, and the trip back was mainly downhill.  We caught the bus at the bakery for the short drive back to Stehekin, where the boat was docked.  We took the boat back across the lake to the town of Chelan and then drove home to Seattle, where I resumed my life as a disabled person in an able-bodied world.





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hometown Hill: A Tale of Two Parks

Rainbow Crosswalks at Pike & Broadway
Jimi Hendrix on corner of
Pine & Broadway
I live on Capitol Hill – not the home of the nation’s government, but the densely populated
neighborhood on the Left coast.  This area is a haven for alternative lifestyles, coming together around a statue of Jimi Hendrix, rainbow crosswalks, ever-changing restaurants, craft cocktails, and endless bars. 







One of many uprooted (literally) sidewalks
near my house
Capitol HILL

The neighborhood is home to several urban parks, attractive to wheelchair users as well as to the general public.  Of course, as the neighborhood name warns, there is an extremely steep hill to climb to reach the parks at the top.  It is also a place where the sidewalks are so bad that I sometimes go down the streets, even though the streets are terrible!  



The two main parks are a study in opposites.  Cal Anderson Park, named after Washington state's first openly-gay legislator, is an urban park surrounded by apartment buildings, and inhabited by people seeking a spot of grass in the middle of city,  people playing sports on the playfields, and people with nowhere else to be.  As my husband says, every time we visit this park “I just hope that everyone keeps his pants on.”  There is a hard-packed gravel trail around the perimeter, with branches into the center, allowing access to the park’s grass and amenities. There is always a hubbub and excitement, and it's a great location for people -watching while eating an ice-cream cone from nearby Molly Moon's.

Cal Anderson Park
Cal Anderson Park


















Volunteer Park is more sedate.  It is a more traditional park, laced with big trees, home to the Asian Art Museum and Shakespeare in the Park, and surrounded by stately mansions and western views.  As an urban park, it experienced a period of drug deals and other deviant behavior, but it is much more calm and traditional than Cal Anderson Park. There are a few gravel trails winding through the park, allowing up-close encounters with the big trees.  Unfortunately, the terrain is quite hilly and the trails are short, but the big trees and expanses of grass create a tempting escape for an afternoon picnic with a Frisbee or book.

Volunteer Park
While neither park offers a network of trails interesting enough for a dedicated wheelchair hike, both parks offer great picnic and people-watching possibilities accessible to an off-road wheelchair.  Choosing one over the other is simply a matter of your mood at the time.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

(Sit) Skiing


I have friends who live for skiing.  When the first leaf of autumn drops, they immediately turn their focus to snow.  Is it cold enough?  Is there enough snow? Are you ready?  Well, actually, no.   I'm not ready yet.  I love and appreciate the unique offerings of all four seasons.  However, while I do not live for skiing, skiing has been instrumental in defining my life and shaping my place in it.

Growing up, I went skiing with my family a few times each year.  Skiing in Northern Wisconsin is not for the faint of heart, since winter temperatures were never warm and sometimes even below zero.  I’m not sure if it was the cold, the expense, my schedule (gymnastics season was in winter), or my own physical/psychological limitations, but I never became more than a mediocre skier.  After high school, living on the west coast put me in proximity to actual mountains, but – without a car – even a few hours is an impossible distance, so I never graduated from mediocrity.  I loved the adventure of it – especially when trying to keep up with my brothers or Ted – but my sense of adventure was always stronger than my technique.  Still, that spirit and that foundation served me well when trying to learn to sit ski.

As my MS progressed, the loss of mobility wreaked havoc with my sense of identity and place in the world.  Who was I, if not an adventurous and active do-er?  After years of asking this question without answer, I discovered Outdoors For All , a local non-profit organization offering adaptive outdoor activities.  I have since tried some of their summer sports – kayaking, water skiing, and biking – but I started with their most famous program – alpine skiing. 



Powder day!
Learning to sit-ski was one of my best life choices.  Sit-skiing helped to create a new and yet connected sense of identity.  I still recall the day of skiing when Ted told me, “Today you reminded me that you are an athlete.”  Skiing also afforded me a sense of place in my community.  When everyone rehashed their experiences from the slopes, I had stories of my own to contribute.  Once a week for nearly two months out of every year, I belonged to a tribe with shared rituals such as waking up early, hoping for good snow conditions, skiing most of the day, and hitting the pub for an apr├Ęs-ski sharing of stories and drinks.  Finally, I had an activity I could do together with my husband.  We ski together as a team in this unique sport of tandem skiing.  


                                       Christmas Day 2016 (video by Ingrid, while skiing!)

video


Monoski

The sit-skiers who star in Warren Miller films always ride monoskis.  These high-performance contraptions allow the skier to load him/her-self on the chairlift, and to ski almost anywhere independently.  On the downside, it is difficult to balance on the monoski's single ski.  I remember that when I competed on the balance beam in high school, kids watching in the bleachers used to take bets on how many times I would fall (and this was before MS!) ... so maybe a ski requiring good balance wasn't for me!


Mountain Man Biski



I chose, instead, a biski.  With two skis underneath, it is much more stable than a monoski.  Their design allows you to be connected to someone via a tether, so that he/she can assist you with turning and stopping.  Because my muscles can fatigue before I do, I rely on that backup assistance to help me out when I can no long initiate my own turns or stops.  Unfortunately, most biskis are difficult to impossible to self-load, requiring reliance on two able-bodied skiers to help you on and off of the chair lift.  I started with a Mountain Man biski, but I soon switched to a Bi-Unique (I think they fit better for those of us with hips).  I have also tried a HOC and a Tessier: both of these are high-performance machines – they turn on a dime, requiring less effort to steer, stop, and load.  In addition, they have shock absorbers, which is a life-saver when going over bumps and moguls with only your spine to absorb the shock. 



HOC Biski
Tessier Biski



Bi-Unique Biski
Despite these downsides, I prefer the Bi-Unique – perhaps because I learned on it or perhaps because it is lower to the ground.  Although the closeness to the ground means I usually end up with a face full of snow on every run, it also means a shorter distance for a fall, which is, in turn, an amazing confidence booster.  The main disadvantage, which I realize regularly, is the lack of a shock absorber.  I end up in the air quite a bit, and while the experience of launching and flying is exhilarating, the landing absolutely crushes my spine.  Unfortunately, in a never-ending cycle, flying off of moguls increases the speed and lack of control, which increases the number of flights into the air, etc.  Bi-unique has recently developed a model with shocks – the Dynamique – which I can’t wait to try.


Double Black!
I know that some organizations teach sit-skiing by thumbing (holding on to the back of the ski) down an easy slope, and then letting the participant try it independently.  I learned to ski by being tethered, where a volunteer clipped one end of a rope to the back of my ski and then held onto the other end.  As I gained confidence and skills, the tether rope grew longer, and the volunteer’s assistance grew smaller.   Although it takes longer to gain independence in this manner, I prefer it.  There don’t seem to be many straight, easy slopes around Seattle.  Even the green runs seem to involve at least one steep headwall and a slanted run-off, making independent learning difficult.  Also, as I mentioned, my core muscles gradually fatigue over the course of the day, so I appreciate the steering and stopping assistance, as well as the confidence boost provided by having an emergency controller.  In addition, I have skied on some steep hills that I never could have done on my own.  Finally, Ted and I have made tandem skiing into a sport of its own – kind of like doubles’ tennis or synchronized swimming.  In the beginning, I explicitly requested NOT to have Ted as my tetherer; but within three years, both of us mastered our respective skills, and now we ski-dance down the hills (well, except for the not infrequent instances of marital miscommunication!). Sure, it would be nice to ski independently, but realistically it would only be on the easiest of hills for a short time.

I started out at Summit West at Snoqualmie Pass in WA (about 45 minutes from Seattle).  The lodge is quite accessible, but the skiing is limited.  If I could more easily go between the different parts of Summit (East, Central, West, Alpental), there would be plenty of good runs available, but I think that the connections between the ski areas are tricky (relatively flat or lengthy) and not all of the lodges are wheelchair accessible.

Mt Rainier at Crystal Mountain
I then skied for a few years at Crystal Mountain (about 2 hours from Seattle).  It is the home of my favorite run, Green Valley.  At the top of the gondola and the REX (Rainier Express) chairlift is a stunning view of Mt Rainer.  Unfortunately, Crystal's top lodge does not have accessible bathrooms, but the mid-mountain lodge is a great place to stop for lunch without having to go to the bottom of the ski hill.  This lodge has a couple of old wheelchairs that spend all winter in the lodge entry-way.  Of course, these wheelchairs are usually in terrible shape (no push rims, no foot holders, etc) but they allow me to enjoy lunch with friends up on on the mountain.  Crystal offers 50% off of lift tickets for disabled skiers.  There is disabled parking near the main lodge.  It is quite an incline to get from the parking lot to the first floor of lodge.  The first floor of the lodge has accessible bathrooms.   There is an elevator to the second floor cafeteria and chairlift area (this elevator has been known to be out of service, so call ahead).
North Cascades at Stevens Pass

In recent years, I’ve mainly been skiing at Stevens Pass (about 2 hours from Seattle).  Two of the lodges at Stevens have ground floor access and an elevator (which has never been out of service, in my experience), allowing access to the restrooms, chairlift area, cafeteria, and bar/restaurants.  Stevens Pass offers a free companion/guide lift ticket for sit skiers.  The top of the Tye Mill chair lift has a fantastic view of the Cascades.   


A friend told me that Mt Bachelor has a good adaptive skiing program, so I hope to try that later this year.  The jury is still out on whether Mt Hood and Mt Baker would be good sit-ski possibilities.  I know that some of the ski resorts in Colorado and Utah have adaptive ski programs, as do many of the Canadian ski resorts in British Columbia. 

My favorite place to ski so far is Revelstoke, in British Columbia.  They have over 1 mile of vertical, with long, fun, relatively uncrowded ski runs and an adaptive ski program with extremely reasonable prices and the most incredible staff.  They allowed Ted to tether me and provided a great mountain guide/lifter, who we ended up skiing with all of the time.  They helped me get my wheelchair and sit ski up the gondola in the morning and back down at the end of the day.  The lifties were familiar with loading/unloading sit skis on chairlifts.  I hope to go back again later this year.

PVC Overalls
(they don't only come in bright yellow!)
I have been sit skiing and refining my ski wardrobe for about 10 years now, and can offer a few clothing recommendations.  The first is to wear cheap PVC overalls instead of expensive Goretex ski pants.  Especially on the West Coast (Sierra Cement, Cascade Concrete), the snow is so wet that Goretex usually isn’t enough to keep you dry.  Because of the ski design (there aren’t drainage holes in the seats), you end up sitting in a puddle of melted snow and soaked even when it’s not snowing or raining.   Wearing overalls with suspenders ensures your pants don’t fall down or ride down when sitting.  The lack of breathability doesn’t matter, since you don’t use your legs anyway.   And the price is right.  While Gortex ski pants can run you $200 (and don’t keep you dry anyway), you can buy PVC overalls at a WalMart or marine hardware store (this is Seattle) or Amazon for about $20.


A second recommendation is a “turtle” or neck gaiter.  Because sit skis put you so close to the snow, a lot of turns result in snow spraying directly into your face.  To avoid finishing each run with a frozen, snowy face, I recommend a turtle or balaclava that covers your neck and can be pulled up to cover your lower face as well.  Finally, I would recommend the warmest possible boots and gloves, reinforced with hand and toe warmers.  Wind can be brutal on the chair lift or at the top of a run.  Your feet are strapped in and don’t move.   Breathability is less of an issue than heat retention.  In addition, many people with spinal cord injuries have difficulties with temperature regulation.

My new career as a disabled snow-sports fashion model!

Many of the resorts provide volunteers, instructors, and/or rental equipment through their ski schools or a local non-profit organization.  If you own or can rent your own equipment, you are not limited to ski resorts with adaptive ski programs.  In that case, you should look for resorts with wide blue runs (unless you’re really good, of course), chairlifts that take at least three people (you and a lifter on each side), and staff that either has experience with sit skis or a positive attitude about making it work.  And, if you even happen to be in the Pacific Northwest and want to go skiing (either standing or sitting), let me know!