Ski for Light weekend in Craftsbury - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ski for Light weekend in Craftsbury

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CRAFTSBURY, Vt. -

Heather Berg geared up Saturday to join 24 other skiers on the snow. It's an opportunity she doesn't get often as a blind skier.

"After 38 years of never really feeling like I belonged anywhere, I found a family here," Berg said.

The New England Regional Ski for Light nonprofit had made this weekend possible for blind skiers every year since 1977. Experienced Skiers become the eyes out on the snow and build confidence in their partners.

"You have to describe the terrain, uphill downhill, left, right. There's a lot of verbal conversation and communication with your blind skier," said David Fisk of New England Regional Ski for Light.

"Our ski guide is a tool just like we would use our guide dog or our mobility canes or our smart phones. Our ski guide fills that need when we're skiing," Berg said.

Berg joined Ski for Light in 2012 and says it's not just about skiing. She says it's about building relationships and facing challenges.

"The biggest challenge is to be able to trust another individual and to know that you're going to be safe and that you're going to be able to communicate," said Marie Hennessy of New England Regional Ski for Light.

The 3-day weekend trip is one of many organized by Ski for Light. But all of the getaways have one common goal.

"One of the mottos of Ski for Light is if I can do this, I can do anything. So it is a great confidence builder," Fisk said.

"I can go fast and I can have a really good time," Berg said. "That's something that when you're blind or visually impaired you don't often get a chance to do. It's spectacular and it's really special and we would not be able to do it without the guides."

For Berg, and many others, skiing and snowshoeing here in Vermont is more than just a day on the snow. It's what she calls a vacation from being visually impaired.

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