No matter your background or ability, the sensation of skiing or snowboarding down a snowy slope is one of the most invigorating feelings a human can hope to experience. The vistas, the fresh air, the sensation of harnessing gravity to control your descent down a mountain...it’s enough to leave you breathless and feeling vitally alive.
The folks at Common Ground, in partnership with Beaver Mountain, believe in spreading that joyful feeling to everyone, regardless of any challenges they may be facing. Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, based in Logan, Utah, has a mission to provide invigorating recreational opportunities outdoors for youth and adults with disabilities. Adaptive equipment, support, instruction, and the community fostered by the organization enables anyone to participate in these enriching and motivating experiences in nature.
In partnership with Beaver Mountain Resort and the Seeholzer family, Common Ground is now proudly offering adaptive skiing and snowboarding lessons out of their new digs, the 3,600 square-foot AMK Foundation, BIO-WEST Adaptive Center. Just two winters old, this facility adjacent to Beaver’s main chairlift, Harry’s Dream, was made possible through generous donations by small businesses, private donors, and the donation of the land by the Seeholzer family who owns and operates Beaver Mountain.
"The community’s enthusiasm about this new facility is overwhelming," Says Amie Hansen, Special Event Coordinator for Common Ground, “We offered 400 ski and snowboard lessons last season with our new building. We plan to nearly double that volume with an estimated 700 lessons this season.” The positive impact on the community around Beaver Mountain helps draw families closer together. Says one parent of an adaptive skiing student, “We moved from California and found this smaller, slower-paced community; I don’t know what I’d do without the support of Common Ground."
The people who work here and the employees of Beaver Mountain are what make it so special.
Where formerly the Common Ground students gathered in the main ski lodge at Beaver Mountain, students can now more easily access the newly constructed lodge with an entry ramp. A comfortable lounge, flickering fireplace, sparkling kitchen, ADA restrooms, and a spacious south-facing patio greet the athletes as they enter. In addition to serving as a base camp for families, instructors, and adaptive skiers and snowboarders, the adaptive center will offer year-round programming for nature workshops, hikes, canoeing and horseback riding.
It’s difficult to put into words the powerful experience of watching an adaptive skier or snowboarder reach a new goal or exceed a perceived limitation. My experience volunteering with Wasatch Adaptive Sports at Snowbird has given me a new appreciation and gratitude for all that skiing can provide. It’s amazing to see the work that Common Ground is doing on the slopes of Beaver Mountain.
To support their expanding programming, Common Ground is hosting the first annual Hunt the Beav fundraiser in March of 2019. Hunt the Beav will center around an action-packed weekend of food, fun, games, live music, a tailgating party, and a scavenger hunt. Teams may join in the hunt, earning points for every clue they find while skiing or snowboarding around Beaver Mountain. There will also be a highly coveted Golden Beaver hidden somewhere on the mountain. All proceeds will benefit Common Ground and their mission to enrich lives through outdoor experiences.
After the hunt, attendees can enjoy a culinary expedition around the mountain to sample chocolate-themed delicacies, catch free live music, and enjoy a special day in the mountains. To learn more about Common Ground, their programming opportunities, or to volunteer, head over to their website or stop on by and say hello in the new AMK Foundation, BIO-WEST Adaptive Center, just east of Harry’s Dream chairlift. Don’t be a stranger, come on up and ski the Beav!
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