For the fourth year in a row, Sacramento, California, ophthalmologist Dr. Christain Serdahl has partnered with the nonprofit Society for the Blind to host Blind Ski Day, giving people with vision loss a chance to hit the slopes. Last week, a group of vision-impaired skiers headed to the mountains near Lake Tahoe for some fun in the snow.
An avid skier himself, Serdahl wants to share his love of skiing with others and says it’s inspiring to see people learning to ski despite not being able to see. “People learn remarkably quickly, even with severe degrees of blindness, how to get down the mountain with proper instruction,” he says.
Skiers are partnered with volunteer guides, who ski backwards in front of the vision-impaired skier, leading them and giving voice cues to help them down the mountain. “I’ve got somebody keeping me safe,” says participant Samantha Adams, who’s back for her second year. “There’s a relationship there. There’s trust, but I’m moving myself. I’ve got control.” Serdahl says the trip was a big success and they’re already making plans for next year’s Blind Ski Day.