Columbia Valley is home to the world’s only rental Eskaip


By Steve Hubrecht
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A suitable cross-country ski sled will be available for public use in Invermere this winter

The world’s one and only Tessier Eskaip adaptive cross-country ski sled is ready for its first rental winter, right here in the Columbia Valley.

The $ 6,000 premium recreational equipment was brought to the valley by the local nonprofit Recreation Adapted (RAD) Society.

Getting the Eskaip here is just one of many initiatives by RAD Society Founder Tanelle Bolt to help close the gap in leisure services for people with reduced mobility who live in or visit the valley. . “I was amazed at how light it was (the Eskaip) and how easy it was to assemble,” Bolt said. the Pioneer. “I felt like it wasn’t heavier than a slide.”

The Eskaip will be housed this winter at Revolutions Mountain Gear store in downtown Invermere, with Revolutions owner Cam Mclellan offering his store as a “focal point” from which people can rent the sled.

“You can take it out when you want to cross-country ski. I haven’t had a chance to go out and try it myself yet, ”said Bolt, who was far from the valley when she spoke to the Pioneer. “But I’m excited, very excited, to come back and give it a try. I’ve never been on a suitable cross-country ski that feels really safe and supports me, but that’s exactly what it should do. This one has a higher backrest than most adaptive cross-country skis, and it has brakes, which most adaptive cross-country skis do not have. It really allows a lot more participation for a person with reduced mobility. “

The Eskaip is double ridden, both skis being attached to the rig. Tessier launched the Eskaip on the market last year and Bolt explained that the company has already sold several of them, but only to individuals. “So it’s the only one, anywhere on the planet, that you can just get on and out for a ski. After you signed the waiver and paid for the rental, of course, ”Bolt said. “I already have a waiting list of frequent visitors to Columbia Valley just waiting for the chance to come and try the Eskaip.”

The Eskaips arrived in the valley with key grants, as well as fundraising efforts from RAD. Bolt heartily thanked those who supported RAD for this initiative and the company’s other efforts, as well as Mclellan for hosting Eskaip.

Bolt, who uses a wheelchair, founded the RAD Society several years ago after first discovering the gap in recreation services for people with disabilities. “Of course, there is a lot of suitable recreational equipment you can buy, but it is very expensive and it can be very difficult to get suitable equipment to try before you buy. So there is the gap: You are forced to pay very large sums of money for equipment that may or may not work well for you. You don’t know if it works for you until you make the purchase. If you don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around – and most people don’t – it becomes a problem, ”she said. “That’s what we’re trying to do with ARD. Give people the chance to “try before they buy”, so to speak. And give people who don’t want to buy, or can’t afford to buy, the chance to still get out there and recreate themselves when they’re in the Columbia Valley.

“We’re different from other organizations in that few other adaptive societies or organizations focus on recreation as a whole. There are different adaptation companies dedicated to skiing or snow sports, another for cycling, another for surfing, and still others for golf, etc. They are always specific to a single sport, ”added Bolt. “We are the only one that I know of who focuses on a wide range of recreation, winter and summer. And one of the few that allows you to just show up in town, see a poster or story in the newspaper, call a phone number, and then be able to head to suitable recreation equipment later in the day. same day. It just doesn’t happen elsewhere.

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