Challenge Aspen springs into action | AspenTimes.com

Challenge Aspen springs into action

Naomi Havlen

A large group of visually impaired and blind children from Kansas City was part of a busy spring break week for Challenge Aspen.

The 14 students, ranging in age from 10 to 18, are spending a week in Aspen learning to ski with Challenge Aspen instructors. As part of the Kansas Kids Ski Spectacular, the group of young people also have the opportunity to soak in the Glenwood Springs hot springs pools, have dinner at the Woody Creek Tavern and go on sleigh rides at the T-Lazy-7 Ranch.

Kayla King, 14, is almost a seasoned pro on the slopes, having taken the trip to Aspen four times before.

“Skiing is a way of freedom for me, a way of reaching your goals and having fun,” she said. “It’s believing and having confidence in yourself.”

The group came to Aspen with nine chaperones, three of whom are visually impaired. They met on Snowmass Mountain Wednesday morning for a round of lessons with the instructors.

Alyssa Frierson, 12, is skiing for the first time this week.

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“It’s so much fun and much easier than I expected,” she said. “The wind feels good on my face. I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Sarah Williams, program director for the nonprofit Challenge Aspen, said much of the week-long camp is completely run by volunteers.

“These kids are great – a real pleasure to work with,” she said, “thanks to all of our wonderful instructors, volunteers and sponsors for making it possible.”

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