- When is my payment due?
- Is my payment refundable if I have to cancel and not attend the event after I have paid?
- Is financial assistance available for attendees who need such assistance?
- The application for guides says that all first and second time guides need to arrive at SFL on Saturday January 20th for guide training, but my schedule won’t allow me to get there that early. Is this a problem?
- I live in the Reno or Tahoe Donner area and would like to participate in the SFL week as a guide. What options are available for me?
- At what time do I need to arrive at the RenoAirport on my day of arrival? At what time should I plan my return flight on Sunday January 28th?
- What is the altitude of the Nugget and Tahoe Donner?
- Could the altitude of the Nugget and Tahoe Donner cause me any problems, and if so, what can I do to minimize them?
- Will rental cross country skis be available at Tahoe Donner?
- If I select the standard diet option for the week’s meals, can I switch to the pescatarian option or one of the gluten free options on those nights when I decide that the other options look better, or vice versa? If I don’t like the looks of any of the options can I just ask the wait person to bring me something else?
- Is there a store nearby where I can buy snacks or other items to have in my room?
- Will I be able to use my credit card to charge purchases that I make during the week?
- If I bring my guide dog to the event, will someone be available to walk and relieve the dog for me while I am away skiing?
- Will before breakfast stretch groups be offered at the Nugget for those who wish to participate?
- I would like a double-occupancy room but don’t have anyone in mind with whom I could share a room. Can someone help me find other attendees in the same situation and put us together in a room for the event?
- I have a special request regarding my room and my meals. Should I just call the Nugget to tell them what I want?
- May I arrive at the Nugget a day or two before the event starts?
- If I arrive a day or two before the event starts, can I crash in the room of a friend who is already checked in, without either of us having to pay anything extra?
- Is there someone I can contact with additional questions?
Question When is my payment due?
Answer: Full payment of your event fee is due by December 1, 2017. Payment instructions will be sent to you after you are admitted, and you can pay by check (preferred) or credit card, on line only.
If you have told your Application Coordinator that your payment is “in the mail”, but it hasn’t been received by the due date of December 1, 2017, you will be putting SFL in the difficult situation of having to either cancel you out, or make non refundable payments on your behalf. Please don’t force us to make this decision, get your payment in on time.
Answer: If you cancel on or before December 1, 2017 you will receive a refund of fees paid minus $25. If you cancel from December 2, 2017 through January 13, 2018 you will receive a refund of fees paid minus $100. If you cancel after January 13, 2018 no refund will be given. In the event of a major medical or family emergency causing you to cancel after January 13, 2018 the President may authorize a refund of fees paid minus $200.
Answer: Ski for Light recognizes that some prospective visually-impaired participants, mobility-impaired participants and instructor/guides may not be able to attend the annual SFL event without financial assistance. Stipends to partially defray the cost of attending are available in such situations, under the following guidelines:
- The amount of assistance provided will be based on the applicant’s demonstrated financial need, the applicant’s total cost of attending the event, including travel costs, and the funds that SFL has available for such assistance
- Visually- and mobility-impaired participants are eligible for assistance only if they have not previously attended an annual SFL event, or have attended only once before
- Assistance is not available to applicants who request a single room, or to applicants who do not reside in the United States
- Attendees who are receiving financial assistance may arrive early at the event hotel only for guide training or other official SFL business, or with the prior approval of the Applications Coordinator. Failure to comply with this provision will result in forfeiture of the stipend
Question The application for guides says that all first and second time guides need to arrive at SFL on Saturday January 20th for guide training, but my schedule won’t allow me to get there that early. Is this a problem?
Answer: Yes, it is a problem, for two reasons. The first is the safety of our blind and mobility impaired participants. The communication and guiding skills needed to safely guide such skiers are unique to the SFL program and have been developed over the 40 plus years of the program. They are proven and necessary skills that you must be taught by certified SFL Guide Trainers before you can be matched with a skier.
The second is liability. Quite bluntly, we cannot pair you with a blind or mobility impaired skier without knowing from our own observation that you can do so safely. So even if you have guided in your regional program for years, or have other comparable experience, you must go through our guide training program at the beginning of the event.
Answer: If you live in the Reno or Tahoe Donner area and are an experienced classic cross- country skier we welcome your participation as a guide during the SFL event. Before you apply, however, we want to explain some aspects of the SFL program that are probably different from what you may have experienced with other events for which you have volunteered in the past.
First, you should be aware that the Ski for Light International Week is much more than a learn-to-ski program. The totality of the program includes 250 or more people from all over the world joining together for a full week of programs, activities, and skiing. Nearly all attendees stay at the same event hotel, and participate in a group breakfast followed by meetings of guides or participants each day, skiing for a good part of the day, then afternoon and evening programs, socializing and activities, including a group dinner. The result of this total program is that attendees form bonds and friendships with many others, and discover that a disability does not need to be a barrier to accomplishing goals, both on and off the snow.
What this means for local guides is that you cannot be part of the total program if your only involvement is coming to the ski area each day and guiding. We ask, therefore, in order to make you more a part of the program, that you attend at least two group dinners at the event hotel, the Sunday evening opening dinner which includes the announcement of guide/skier pairings for the week, and the final Saturday evening banquet. You may, of course, join the group for other meals at the hotel, and for lunch at the ski area each day.
Next, at SFL each guide is paired with a single visually or mobility impaired skier for the entire six day event. This week long pairing is necessary to form the bond of trust and communication clarity that are so important to a visually or mobility impaired skier skiing safely and enjoyably during the week. This means that you will need to be able to commit to guiding all six days of the event. You will need to be able to meet your skier at breakfast or the ski area each morning, and be available until mid to late afternoon.
Next, as a guide who is new to SFL you will need to participate in the guide training program on Saturday evening and Sunday at the start of the week. Even if you are a very experienced guide we require that you attend these training sessions for reasons of legal liability.
Last, at SFL every attendee, able bodied or disabled, pays the expenses of their participation in the week.
Ski for Light realizes that if you live at or near Tahoe Donner it may not be practical for you to travel each morning and afternoon to the event hotel near Reno. SFL also realizes that you may already have a season trail pass for Tahoe Donner, an expense which is covered by the registration fee paid by all others.
With all of the foregoing in mind, the following six registration options are available for guides not staying at the hotel this year. Please note that if you are attending guide training at the beginning of the week, you are also invited to the opening Saturday evening dinner before guide training begins, and lunch at the ski area on Sunday, both at no cost to you.
- If You Have A Tahoe Donner Season Trail Pass
- $110 – includes opening and closing dinners, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
- $200 – includes opening and closing dinners, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, all six lunches at Tahoe Donner, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
- $475 – includes all 19 meals from the opening dinner through the closing dinner, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
- If You Do Not Have A Tahoe Donner Season Trail Pass
- $200 – includes trail pass, opening and closing dinners, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
- $290 – includes trail pass, opening and closing dinners, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, all six lunches at Tahoe Donner, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
- $565 – includes trail pass, all 19 meals from the opening dinner through the closing dinner, transportation to and from the ski area if needed, and all afternoon and evening programs and activities
If none of these options fits your schedule or wishes, please consider applying as a Worker-Bee for the week instead of as a guide.
Answer: On your day of arrival you will want to land at the Reno Airport no later than 4:00 pm. This will allow you time to retrieve your luggage, take the free Nugget shuttle bus to the hotel, get checked in and find your room, and make it to dinner at 6:30 pm.
The Reno Airport is only ten minutes from the Nugget. The Nugget shuttle bus departs hourly, at thirty minutes past the top of the hour, from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm, from just outside the baggage claim area. They use both a 14 passenger van and a 28 passenger van, both lift equipped.
On your departure day, the Nugget shuttle departs on the hour, starting at 6:00 am, so you should be able to make a flight at 8:00 or later.
Bear in mind that shuttle service by the Nugget is first-come, first-served, and they do not accept reservations. Other means of transportation such as taxi cabs are available if the shuttle schedule does not work for you.
Answer: The altitude of the Nugget is 4,413 feet, or 1,345 meters. The altitude of the Tahoe Donner Nordic Center is 6,630 feet, or 2,021 meters.
Answer: If you are not accustomed to high altitude you could experience some problems at first, commonly referred to as “altitude sickness”. But there are a few proven things you can do to avoid or minimize the effect of such problems. You should know that altitude sickness can affect anyone, no matter what age or fitness level, so it is not a matter of physical condition. Visitors from lower elevations may notice shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, headaches and/or nausea. This is because at the altitude of Tahoe-Donner oxygen is approximately 45% less dense than at sea level, and there is 50% to 80% less humidity.
To alleviate these symptoms, we recommend the following for the first two to three days of your visit:
- Drink plenty of water (64 ounces daily)
- Get lots of rest and do not over exert.
- Avoid heavy meals.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Answer: The Tahoe Donner Nordic Center has waxless cross country skis, poles and boots available for rent, at a cost that is to be determined. They accept cash or credit card for your rental fee.
Question If I select the standard diet option for the week’s meals, can I switch to the pescatarian option or one of the gluten free options on those nights when I decide that the other options look better, or vice versa? If I don’t like the looks of any of the options can I just ask the wait person to bring me something else?
Answer: The answer to both questions is no. Our contract with the Nugget specifies that only four meal alternatives will be provided at each meal. The restaurant orders food based on the number of each type of meal that we have told them will be needed, so if you switch your selection meal by meal someone else will end up with a meal they do not want and/or cannot eat.
Answer: You can buy snacks and other items for your room in the hotel gift shop.
Answer: You will be able to use your credit card for most of your incidental expenses during the week, at both the Nugget and Tahoe Donner. An exception is that any remaining residual portion of your event week fee will need to be paid by cash or check, not via credit card. An ATM cash machine is located in the Nugget lobby.
Answer: In some years one or more of the Guide dog schools send people to SFL to assist with dog walking and relieving. This is not within the control of SFL however, and there is no guarantee that such help will be available this year. Check with Krista Erickson near the start of the week to learn the situation for this year.
Answer: Tentatively, yes, before breakfast stretch groups will be offered at the Nugget from Monday through Friday mornings, for those wishing to participate.
Question I would like a double-occupancy room but don’t have anyone in mind with whom I could share a room. Can someone help me find other attendees in the same situation and put us together in a room for the event?
Answer: Yes, the SFL Housing and Registration Coordinator will endeavor to match you with another person for the week.
Answer: No. All communications between the Nugget and Ski for Light attendees must be through the various SFL coordinators. One reason that SFL gets a good package price from the Nugget is that they know that they do not have to deal with upwards of 300 people individually. They deal with just a very few SFL people. Please direct all of your questions to your Application Coordinator, not to the Nugget.
Answer: Some SFL Guides and participants like to arrive a day or two early in order to visit with friends. Some people also like to arrive early to acclimatize to the altitude. You are welcome to arrive early if you wish, but please be aware of the following before making such a decision or making travel plans:
- There are no event activities for you to participate in until Sunday evening, the official start of the SFL week. While there will be board and event committee members, Guide trainers, and many first and second year Guides at the hotel and ski area, they are there to do all of the many things that have to be done to get ready for a successful week. You may join the official group for meals, but apart from that you will be pretty much on your own until Sunday evening.
- Arriving early will cost you more money. Call your Application Coordinator to discuss the pre event rooming and meal plan options, and the cost of each.
- Those in a double-occupancy room who arrive before their roommate may have to upgrade to a single room for the pre event days if no roommate is available for them.
- Almost everyone arriving before their roommate for the week will have to change rooms on Sunday, when the week begins.
Reservations for early arrival must be made with your Application Coordinator by December 1, 2017. We will try to accommodate requests received after this date if at all possible, but if rooming and meal lists have already been submitted to the Nugget you may have to make your own private reservations for early days.
The incremental charge for early arrival at the Nugget should be included with your event payment due by December 1, 2017. If you have already submitted your payment for the basic week when you make plans to arrive early at the Nugget, the incremental payment should be submitted as soon as the reservation is confirmed by your Application Coordinator. The fees for early arrival are subject to the same refund policy as other event fees.
Answer: No. Ski for Light and the Nugget have a contract that requires payment for every person who occupies a room. We pay by the person, not the room.
Answer: Yes, if you have additional questions about the Ski for Light week please contact one of the coordinators listed below.
Visually Impaired Participant Application Coordinator:
Mobility Impaired Participant Application Coordinator:
Instructor/Guide Application Coordinator:
(443) 794 6154 (C)
Worker-Bee, Companion and Guest Application Coordinator: