Another year is in the books at Challenge Aspen, and we can’t believe how fast it’s gone! We’ve accomplished so much in the last year and we owe it all to our volunteers, participants, staff members, donors, and anyone else involved. From skiing to rafting and everything in between, 2016 has been a blast at Challenge Aspen. We hope you had a great year with us as well!
In no particular order, here’s our top ten from 2016:
We trained 65 people over the course of 4 days! Volunteers learned basics for assisting sit skiers and skiers with cognitive disabilities. In the month of December, volunteers have given over 410 hours of their time working on the mountain assisting participants ski and snowboard, plus an additional 65 hours of office volunteering!
Locals Program – Third Season
In only three years the Locals Program has grown from 3 participants to nearly 20. Dedicated volunteers make this weekly program possible for local skiers who have a disability.
Jeff Pitts, Snow Sports Manager, successfully trained another group of Apprentice Pros!
Disco For Disabilities
Our first annual holiday fundraiser/disco party was a great time! Thanks to all who came out and boogied down for Challenge Aspen!
Chris Bove Memorial Uphill
Last year’s Chris Bove Memorial Uphill was a huge success. We look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s memorial event, February 18, 2017, a Nastar style race and BBQ in honor of Chris Bove!
Challenge Aspen Military Options (CAMO) Continued to Change Lives
A recent participant in one of our Summer CAMO Camps had been minimally physically active after having his right leg amputated below the knee. He had the following to say about his recent experience with CAMO.
“I almost didn’t get on the airplane to come to this CAMO event. If it wasn’t for the guys I came with, I probably would have skipped it altogether.
I’m really glad I showed up!
It’s been a challenge. It’s more sports I’ve done in 15 years – and all in just a few days. I didn’t want to do the ropes course, but after I accomplished that, I was exhilarated and excited for the rest of the activities on the list. After that first day, the prosthetic hurt a bit and my shoulder (where I’ve had multiple surgeries) was hurting too – but a good hurt. The kind that makes you feel alive again.
The second day we hiked at 11,000 feet above sea level. The hike was about a mile and a half to a beautiful, pristine lake. Again, my legs were tortured, but I made it to the lake. It was the goal of achieving what the rest of the team was achieving that pushed me to my limits. I was the last one down but it felt incredible to finish what I started.
Overall, I can’t say enough about this opportunity. I am stoked about going back home and getting into a fitness program. I know I have to lose a bunch of weight but if I want to continue to feel this good, then it’s going to be worth the effort. I want to come back to Snowmass next year a leaner, meaner person ready to take on the challenges CAMO sets forth.”
13th Annual Vince Gill & Amy Grant Gala and Golf Classic
Thank you to everyone who attended, participated, volunteered, and sponsored the 13th Annual Vince Gill & Amy Grant Gala and Golf Classic! We can’t wait for next year. Save the date, July 31 & August 1, 2017!
Park City Marathon
Our Challenge Aspen marathon team trained hard all summer long for the North Face Endurance Challenge in Park City, Utah. In September, they conquered the marathon with smiles and great times! Next year’s marathon is going to be in Iceland! Stay tuned for more details.
Music & Performance Camp
We loved all of the adventures we went on during the Music & Performance Camp! We’re reminiscing to the warm weather right now. The camp was wrapped up with a stellar performance put on by all of the participants, it was great!
Tennessee School for the Blind Retreat
The Tennessee School for the Blind participants came by a few weeks ago to ski, ice skate, and more with us. It was a blast!
Between all of these amazing memories were many more mixed in. We can’t wait to continue making more great memories throughout 2017, and we look forward to the New Year! We hope to see you soon!