Ski for Light brings winter fun to all

TERRY PEAK, S.D. – The visitors to Terry Peak Ski Area in recent days came from all over, from Rapid City, as far away as Perth, Australia, and everywhere in between.

Volunteers help a disabled skier into a specially designed piece of equipment during the annual Ski for Light event at Terry Peak Wednesday. Photo Date: Jan. 23, 2019.

Volunteers help a skier into a specially-designed piece of equipment.

They numbered about 130, all with visual and physical impairments who have an unbridled enthusiasm for winter snow sports.

Many of these folks would never be able to participate in these sports, but Ski for Light has been changing that for the last 40 years. It’s got Miss Wheelchair America Karen Roy excited for these opportunities.

“Watching people that are blind go down a mountain and having people just tell them move left, move right and then seeing the looks on their faces when they get down that mountain, it’s really difficult to describe, but it’s very heartwarming,” Roy said.

Ski for Light gives these folks the ability to do many wintertime outdoor activities, such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.

“It gives you sort of a passion, a zest for life that you may not have,” Roy said. “Whether you were born with your disability or you acquired it, there’s a lot of things in life that you can’t do, that you can’t participate in. And anything that brings more of that normalcy and that fun back to life is huge.”

Ray Bubb, a member of the Ski for Light board of directors, said that about 175 volunteers are helping with this year’s event, and it’s just as much fun for them.

dnesday. Photo Date: Jan. 23, 2019.

A guide helps a blind skier attach his skis.

“I’ve been with the organization for 36 years now, and it’s just my favorite week out of the entire year,” Bubb said. “And most of our volunteers and guides feel that way. This is just – it’s just way too much fun, it’s a great group of people with just an awesome attitude.”

The experience is about as authentic as it gets and the participants enjoy every aspect of it.

“I like the downhill, I like the speed. So, I wrecked once, which is still kind of awesome, So, just having fun,” said Roy.

During their stay, every participant receives a hotel room in Deadwood, transportation, ski equipment, trail and lift fees, and meals. The total cost is about $500, and through donations, Ski for Light has reduced the cost below $300 for every participant.

However, organizers say that that price is still to high for many people with disabilities who want to participate. For information on how you can help with a financial donation or as a volunteer, visit, email, or call 605-341-3626 for more information.

Categories: Local News, Sports