The smiles are obvious as the wind races past the goggles and fleece of the overjoyed skiers and snowboarders. The riders glide effortlessly atop the snow at Durango Mountain Resort as volunteers keep a protective eye on their students. The folks at the Adaptive Sports Association thrive on providing a positive ski environment and teaching the fundamental skills of the sport to people with disabilities. In addiiton, the program also helps increase self-esteem and provide a positive body image for its students. The Adaptive Sports Association was founded in 1983 by Dave Spencer and has grown to include more than 200 volunteers who generously contribute more than 15,000 hours each year. To volunteer or to donate funds, please call the Adaptive Sports Association at 385-2163.

Hanna Martens, 8, a Unified Partner with the Special Olympics, volunteers her time to ski with a disabled partner throughout the winter.

Richard Siegele gets a smooth ride down the hill as volunteer Pickle Herring controls his speed.

Adaptive Sports volunteers mingle at the base as skiers get their gear ready. Adaptive Sports volunteers and skiers load the Columbine lift on Saturday.
Pickle Herring, left, and Will Harjes get Richard Siegele comfortable on his ride up the hill.

Whit Mir gets his gloves on as he prepares to get on the mountain below the Graduate lift.

Joe Miller, skiing solo, perfects his skills during his 10th day on the mountain. Saturday provided a picture perfect day for all trail users at DMR.
Joe Miller, left, waits with Lynn, Chuck and 10 year-old Cole Martens at the top of the Nastar Race Course as a skier begins the descent.
Whit Mir, left, and Adaptive Sports snowboard instructor Brett Rickerman ride up the Graduate Lift at Durango Mountain Resort last weekend. / Photo by Todd Newcomer.





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