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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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ampskier

Skiing: one leg or two?

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Heather asked me today about skiing one legged. (see my post "a rather interesting day") and it got me to thinking...

For an AK amputee the question is fairly simple. Some have tried to ski two legged but it's very difficult. So basicly one leg is your only option (it's not as hard as it looks.)

Get a good instructor who has experence with adaptive skiing (Esp. "3-track") and go for it!

For the BK amputee it's more ambiguse. Heather skis with two legs and I used to ski with two legs but I advanced to the intermedate level and just could not get any better. And I'm not alone. Kaz wrote:

I have skied quite a few times with my LBK prothesis. Last winter at Keystone , CL. Pretty steep slopes!

I can manage the intermediate slopes without much hassle but occasionally there are extremely steep 'patches' that i just CANNOT ski down . Off come the skis --) off i go marching down the hill. It's extremely infuriating as i just can't manage those sharp turns.

Sounds to me like she had the same problem I did. I went to one ski with outriggers and my skill just skyrocketed!

Skiing is fun! The proof? Tickets cost $59 at Squaw (where I work) and lots of people happily pay it! (It's only $15 for disabled skiers but you have to ask for the discount). What you should do is check out your local adaptive ski school (Try Disabled Sprts USA or DSUSA in the US). Talk to the experenced instuctors there and HAVE FUN!!!! :lol:

Eric

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Hi Eric!

Thanks for sharing that interesting piece of info. So advancement is possible but by skiing with one leg?! Hmm! What are outriggers ? I'm not too keen on the idea of skiing one-legged. Doesn't that put too much pressure on the one knee? Where is the stability? I'm sure it's also possible with two legs (for BK amputations) it's just finding that certain technique. The skiing season here is over so i have time to investigate that one, :)

Karen

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Sorry ampskier...I just asked this same question on the other posting....but if you have ANY other advice, please offer it!

Judy

Utah, greatest snow on earth...

LBK

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As a bilateral BK who has skied in the past, hopefully I can provide some insight. I should state, though, that I have not snow skied in a few years.

From the adaptive equipment, the ones I used were outriggers and a ski-bra. Outriggers are little ski tips attached to Canadian crutches. A ski-bra is a piece of metal that attaches to the tips of the skis (attached to the prosthesis) and holds this together. When I was taught at Winter Park, CO (which I highly recommend) they chose the necessary equipment and I progressed from there.

I was able to ski and excell (with many funny stories) using my normal walking prosthesis. Although I did break one years ago (still skied the rest of the day, though).

I think the main question about skiing ability and one leg or two would be how well the leg is attached to the body. Ideally one should talk with their prosthetist for a correct evaluation. Skiing requires two main aspects: a good suspension and good rotational control. One wants the suspension when sitting on the chairlift and one wants rotational control for quick turns (and control of them).

For myself, the supercondular suspension was adequate enough with support from the outriggers so that I did not need joints&corsets. However, each person is different. I also was aided by being a bilateral because I could push (and thus lock) my knees together....thus gaining the control through hip rotation. However, a unilateral might have issues with this because it likely is painful to bump a good leg into a prosthesis. With the ski bra, I did not have to worry about the ski's separating, but I did put a ball on the bottom of the loop to keep it from coming apart.

So, since each amputation level is a different legnth, shape, and ration of bone/soft tissue, I would suggest discussing the aspect of skiing with your prosthetist while providing him or her your insight as to what you want to do. Unfortunately, some aspects for skiing might be cumbersome in walking, so multiple legs or a happy middle ground between the two may need to be reached.

Hope this helps, although it does not answer the question with a definitive yes or no answer.

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I'm not a skier on any level but there are websites out there that can show you what is available and maybe give you an idea of what you might like to try :)

White%20Pass%202000%20Jen%20Bault.jpgMcKenna-mono-ski.jpg

Ski for all

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I think there must be divine intervention telling me that I CAN ski next winter....after having this long discussion online yesterday morning, with eric and others, discussing all aspects of being an amputee skier, my family and I went to a Grizzlies hockey game last night and as we were heading to our seats we passed just three of the hundreds of booths that were set up around the stadium...one was a contractor, selling house lots, one was for the military, recruitment,and the other was for a group I have heard of locally, their whole purpose is to get amputees/disabled people active. I had received a flyer from them in the mail, about ski clinics this year, but was too much of a new amputee this year. Tucked the info away, for next year....then got to talk to two great guys, in person, last night, at this booth! Struck me as funny, that having this long discussion online, then finding these guys last night (who were in wheelchairs and had been skiing THAT DAY, had the goggle tan to prove it!) both in the same day...think I will get on those slopes before it is over!

I will post a picture when I hit this goal.....

Judy

LBK

Utah

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Eric, one main question I forgot to ask....if you are not skiing with your prosthetic on, how do you get from the bottom of the hill, back to the lift line?....is riding the lift different/getting back up the hill? Just trying to figure it out!

Judy

LBK

Utah

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Getting around on the flats (like lift lines) is a little harder on one leg. But you simply balence on one foot and push with your flip skis up. When you're standing you can use the riggers for balance.

If you're going to ski one legged you need A strong good leg. Because I've been skiing so much this winter my left leg is now about 4 inches larger than my right. My left leg is so much stronger than the right I have to be careful or I'll walk in circles.

Eric

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Eric, I was talking to a a guy at my church who skis almost every day in the winter too, and he said he uses some type of mono ski, and he has two good legs! I quizzed him about lift lines too... but was thankful YOU told me how amps are supposed to do it! Maybe I have found a ski partner for next winter!

Judy

Utah

LBK

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Found this article with Heather talking about skiing :)

Heather article

HM-ski.jpg

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