Skiing with my pilot in Isola 2000
Last weekend I went skiing! Yes, I really went skiing! In France the government does very well in offering all different kinds of accessible sports for disabled people. Accessible Skiing is one of the many choices!
The Tandem’Flex (by TESSIER) is a bucket seat construction on a metal frame which is directly fixed onto skies. You can rent a pilot (who has a certificate for skiing with the Tandem’Flex) and the material on the date and in the ski resort of your choice for free – and there you go! I rented my pilot Véronique via www.handiski06.com.
As location I chose Isola 2000, which is a nice ski resort in the French Alpes-Maritimes department not far from Nice. Luckily the sun was shining on that day, it was not too cold for me and the sky was as blue as it can only be on the French Riviera.
My pilot Véronique and I met at 2 pm in front of the Ski School of Isola 2000. Thanks to the help of my boyfriend, it was easy for me to install myself in the Tandem’Flex. I was quite surprised by the comfort of the bucket seat. Almost like in a relaxing chair! My excitement grew from second to second. I impatiently watched my pilot fastening all the safety belts.
After two more security checks, Véronique and I started right away skiing down the blue piste! The first sensations of sliding down the hill, combined with the sound of creaking snow, made me feel so happy that I could cry! It’s been such a long time since I last went skiing as a child. What an awesome feeling!
The slope led us down to the ski lift. While I was asking myself how on earth it would be possible to take the ski lift in this thing, my pilot did some adjustments to the Tandem’Flex and suddenly the whole seat construction automatically lifted itself to an upright position in order to safely take the chairlift. Getting on the ski lift’s bench felt a little bumpy and for a second, I wondered if I would survive this ride. Okay, I have to admit, at first I was indeed very scared that I might fall out of the chairlift! But those worries quickly faded away when my pilot explained how the security features work.
Once arrived on top of the mountain, the Tandem’Flex gently switched back into its skiing position. Véronique clicked her ski boots into the bindings and we took the ski slope for beginners. On our way down we stopped to watch some grass-eating chamois. I could hardly concentrate those little fellows, as I just wanted to ski on! The fast and slalom parts were my favorites! Véronique even took the red slope with me, which was of course much steeper than the blue one! I’m a big fan of all Alpine skiing disciplines, especially downhill… Speed is everything to me! I wouldn’t have stopped riding the Tandem’Flex, if the rental time hadn’t gone by so fast… !
During the 2-hour-tour I felt like a Queen on her throne and sometimes even like Lindsey Vonn. So many kids and other skiers were staring at me in this extraordinary vehicle! I had so much fun experiencing the snow and enjoying the unique feeling of riding down the slopes of Isola 2000. What an adventure!
If you get the chance to try out wheelchair accessible skiing, do it! I can totally recommend it for wheelchair users.