- 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 February 4th for guide training, but my schedule won’t allow me to get there that early. Is this a problem?
- I live in the Granby 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 Denver Airport on my day of arrival? At what time should I plan my return flight on Sunday February 12th?
- If I cannot arrive in Denver in time to take the SFL bus to Snow Mountain Ranch, or need to schedule an early morning return flight on Sunday February 12th, how can I get to and from Snow Mountain Ranch?
- What is the altitude of Snow Mountain Ranch?
- Could the altitude of Snow Mountain Ranch cause me any problems, and if so, what can I do to minimize them?
- Will rental cross country skis be available at Snow Mountain Ranch?
- 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?
- I have heard that alcohol is not allowed at Snow Mountain Ranch, which is the YMCA of the Rockies. Is this true?
- 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 Snow Mountain Ranch for those who wish to participate?
- 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?
- I would like a multiple 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 Snow Mountain Ranch to tell them what I want?
- May I arrive at Snow Mountain Ranch a day or two before the event starts?
- 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, 2016. 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, 2016, 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, 2016 you will receive a refund of fees paid minus $25. If you cancel from December 2, 2016 through January 29, 2017 you will receive a refund of fees paid minus $100. If you cancel after January 29, 2017 no refund will be given. In the event of a major medical or family emergency causing you to cancel after January 29, 2017 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 February 4th 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 Granby 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, 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 each day, or shortly after, and be available until mid to late afternoon. You will also be invited to participate in the late afternoon and evening activities and programs that are an integral part of the SFL experience. 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. For local guides, the three available options are:
- All 20 meals during the entire SFL week
- The opening night and banquet night dinners plus all six lunches during the week
- The opening night and banquet night dinners
If you are going through guide training, Saturday evening dinner plus breakfast and lunch on Sunday will be provided to you at no cost.
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: You should schedule your flight to arrive in Denver no later than 1:30 pm on your arrival day, and not schedule your return flight for earlier than 10:00 am on Sunday February 12th. Your event fee includes the cost of charter bus service between the Denver airport and Snow Mountain Ranch, at designated times. You will need to arrive in Denver by 1:30 pm to take the last bus to Snow Mountain Ranch at 2:30 pm. The first bus will depart Snow Mountain Ranch at 6:00 am on departure day, February 12th, and should arrive at the airport by 8:30 am. If you schedule your return flight for earlier than 10:00 am you may not make your flight if weather is inclement, causing the bus trip to take longer than planned, or the airport is congested when you arrive.
Question If I cannot arrive in Denver in time to take the SFL bus to Snow Mountain Ranch, or need to schedule an early morning return flight on Sunday February 12th, how can I get to and from Snow Mountain Ranch?
Answer: If you need to arrive late in Denver you will need to take the Home James van service to Snow Mountain Ranch at your own expense, or make other arrangements that meet your needs. Home James operates 11 trips daily from the Denver airport to Snow Mountain Ranch, at a one-way cost of about $80 per person. To learn the exact Home James schedule, and to make a reservation on their van, call (800) 359-7503 or visit their website.
There is one other alternative that you should consider. If you must arrive late in Denver, consider changing your schedule to arrive one day earlier. Stay at one of the many hotels at the Denver airport and take the SFL bus the next day. The advantage of this plan is that it would allow you to more gradually adjust to the Colorado altitude. The Denver airport is about 5,200 feet in altitude, while Snow Mountain Ranch is considerably higher (see next question for details).
If you wish to depart the Denver airport earlier than 10:00 am on Sunday February 12 please remember that the SFL charter bus will not get you to the airport in time for an early-morning flight. You will want to check with Home James to determine if their scheduled service from Snow Mountain Ranch to the Denver airport will meet your needs. If not, your options will be to rent a car, or alternatively plan to leave Snow Mountain Ranch on Saturday via Home James, and couple that with an overnight stay at a Denver airport hotel or a departing flight on Saturday.
Answer: The altitude of Snow Mountain Ranch is 8,750 feet (2,667 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 Snow Mountain Ranch 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: Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center has waxless cross country skis, poles and boots available for rent at a cost of $60 for the week, or $10 per day. 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 Snow Mountain Ranch 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 are allowed alcoholic beverages in your room and the SFL meeting rooms. There will be a special SFL Lounge set up in the Indian Peaks Lodge for socializing and enjoying an “adult beverage”.
Answer: There is a City Market supermarket/pharmacy and an adjoining liquor store just outside of Granby, about 6 miles away from where we’ll be staying. Scheduled shuttles will be arranged throughout the week to take folks to do some light shopping .
Answer: You will be able to use your credit card for most of your incidental expenses during the week. An exception will be expenses incurred in the SFL lounge, where we will be able to accept only cash due to the restrictions of the special use permit that allows us to operate the lounge. In addition, 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 on property.
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 Tim McCorcle near the start of the week to learn the situation for this year.
Answer: Tentatively, yes, before breakfast stretch groups will be offered at Snow Mountain Ranch from Monday through Friday mornings, for those wishing to participate.
Answer: No. Ski for Light and Snow Mountain Ranch have a contract that requires payment for every person who occupies a room. We pay by the person, not the room.
Question I would like a multiple 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 or persons for the week.
Be aware that if you have requested triple or quadruple occupancy, and there are not enough people with similar requests to fill the room, you will be placed in a double occupancy room, and you will need to pay the higher double occupancy event fee.
Answer: No. All communications between Snow Mountain Ranch and Ski for Light attendees must be through the various SFL coordinators. One reason that SFL gets a good package price from Snow Mountain Ranch 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 Snow Mountain Ranch.
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.
- Triple and quadruple occupancy is not available for those arriving early, unless all of the people who will be in the room for the full event week also arrive early.
- 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, 2016. 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 Snow Mountain Ranch you may have to make your own private reservations for early days at a different hotel in the area.
The incremental charge for early arrival at Snow Mountain Ranch should be included with your event payment due by December 1, 2016. If you have already submitted your payment for the basic week when you make plans to arrive early at Snow Mountain Ranch, 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: 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:
(206) 522 5850 (H)
Mobility Impaired Participant Application Coordinator:
(602) 504 3521
Instructor/Guide Application Coordinator:
(443) 794 6154 (C)
Other Attendee Application Coordinator:
(847) 337 1539