Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS) runs skiing and snowboarding programs for persons with a disability at Grouse, Seymour and Cypress Mountains. VASS makes the mountain experience accessible to all. VASS is a registered non-profit society (89254 2168 RR0001), operated by a dedicated group of volunteers, which includes an active Board of Directors, program coordinators, instructors and administrators.
What began as the brainchild of Sue Hamilton and Val MacMillan, local physiotherapists working with amputee patients who saw an opportunity to share their passion for skiing, has grown and flourished over the years into the Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS) program we know today. We have been offering adaptive programs at Grouse Mountain since 1974.
We welcome students of all ages and disabilities, utilizing adaptive equipment and/or specialized teaching techniques to maximize a person’s independence on the snow. To meet the needs of its members, VASS offers programs from beginner to advanced, which include snowboarding, sit ski, stand-up skiing and advanced adaptive ski racing. We are also piloting a snowshoe program in 2021.
Our instructors are trained to use the adaptive equipment and specialized teaching techniques. They must successfully complete the Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) instructor certification, which utilizes the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance and Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors certification methodology. VASS is affiliated with BC Adaptive Snowsports (BCAS) and Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS).
VASS is supported by Grouse, Seymour & Cypress Mountains. We are funded through community partnerships with local businesses, clubs/foundations, private donations and fundraising initiatives. Please contact our fundraising committee for further information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Beginner: Most programs are available to beginner skier/boarders who want to get out and have some fun on the slopes. Whether you have never skied before or only get out from time to time, most of our programs are geared to your level. These programs are open to all who want to learn the fundamentals of skiing/boarding or who wish to improve their skills.
Intermediate: Most intermediate skiers and boarders can attend any of the above lessons. The only specifically scheduled intermediate course is the Thursday Night Sit Ski at Grouse.
Advanced: If you are a long-time skier or rider, who feels comfortable and confident on the slopes, we are offering the following: Tuesday Night Advanced Ski at Cypress.
Racers: These are courses for skiers who wish to compete at provincial, national and/or international levels. Often skiers have been directed into these programs after having participated in another program. This year the Race Program runs on Thursdays and Saturdays. Racers must be able to attend BOTH sessions each week.