Snow skiing is one of the most adrenaline pumping activities to do in the winter. Just ask Anthony Bartl, a C1 quadriplegic, as he shares his about his first snow skiing experience post-injury in Falls Creek, Victoria located in Australia.
“But when it incorporates a high level spinal injury, an inability to feel or move from my neck down, add the shortcomings of being unable to breathe unassisted or maintain a consistent body temperature, well then I’ve got my work cut out to fulfill my dream of snow skiing.”
Falls Creek is 1,400 meters above sea level. Anthony was surprised when he got to the resort and saw there were people in short sleeve t-shirts in weather that was described as icy cold air. He writes, “Driving in, outside my van’s window, people amble around in t-shirts and shorts. It can’t be too cold I gladly think.”
However, Anthony soon realizes how different the temperature actually is. He describes his feelings being in the cold temperature - “Then like being hit with a sledge-hammer I experience incredible chest tightness! It is as if an enormous, invisible force is bearing down on me.”
Anthony goes to sleep that night and awakens with a new perspective about his surroundings and the adventure that awaits.
“Bright sunshine, blue skies, no wind, a balmy 1 degree and snow everywhere! Seemingly, something magical has happened! Through my window shoveled snow towers metres above my head. Up high from afar, the entire mountain is a complete brilliant, ghostly white!”
Anthony is assisted by Disabled WinterSport Australia into a sit-ski and with help from an instructor takes off on a thrill-seeking adventure!
“(Snow skiing) turns the tables on disability and it sometimes feeling like I am incapacitated. I feel uplifted and exhilarated!”
“It’s a mixture of bumpy and smoothly-graded downhill and flat terrains, I feel the whole euphoric, and thrilling skiing experience. All of a sudden any uncomfortableness becomes a distant memory,” he says.
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