La Plagne, France, March 2007

We set off in the early hours in the morning for the long drive to the Alps. Driving is the best option when there is so much kit to take out. With 6 of us in the van it was a bit cramped but made the whole thing a lot more economical.


We arrived in the resort and headed straight for our apartment. This turned out to be the best thing about the resort in terms of accessibility for wheelchair users. It was recommended to us by Ernalow, the ski company that we booked with. Les Hauts Bois in Aime 2000, La Plagne was very easy to get around. It is very close to the piste and also has a swimming pool, sauna and steams rooms. The apartment was also easy to get around and the bathrooms were adapted for wheelchairs. So definitely recommended if you have wheelchair users in your group, whether they are skiing or not.


Tudur's lesson began on the Monday morning. A daily lesson of about 2 hours had been arranged for the week. We hoped that by the end of the week he would be getting down a slope by himself. Unfortunately this was not to be the case. Tudur found it extremely hard to balance in the chair that he was using. The instructor tried using an extra strap around his waist but it did not help. (see the video on the homepage - La Plagne Part 1 - First Lesson).


At the end of the week Tudur did not have the confidence that he would ever be able to ski by himself due to his level of injury - paralysed from the chest down. This means that he can only use his shoulders to shift his weight and stay balanced.


This was a disappointing end to the week. But it ended on a high for Tudur when the instructor took him on a tour around the resort in a different ski chair. We all went bombing down the piste, we couldn't keep up with Tudur and the instructor most of the time. At the end of the run the instructor took Tudur down the boarder cross track and the halfpipe!  (see the video on the homepage - La Plagne Part 2 - Adrenaline Rush).


Read next story - Planning the trip to Risoul, France, 2008

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