"It is my ambition to be able to ski on my 80th Birthday, 23rd February 2004. Having skied since my 12th birthday, this would make a thrilling FINALE to 68 years on the slopes"...
~~A short history of my skiing life... I started at the age of 12 in Germany. After immigration to Britain in 1939, because of the war the opportunities were few. I hired skis and tried the local park in Glasgow, eventually going to the Scottish mountains youth hosteling with Norwegian instructors.
~~In 1968 I discovered my first skibob (Swoboda) in the Cairngorms, Scotland. Took to it immediately, but did not meet another skibober for 5 years !! I was completely self taught.
~~In 1973 I discovered the Skibob Association of Great Britain during their National Week in Austria and saw different kinds of bobs and methods of riding. In 1974 I became an instructor with the SAGB.
~~From than on I bobed in Scotland and the Alps every winter. My wife Ingrid and our two daughters joined in. We know the following resorts: Scotland: Davos/Klosters, Verbier, many resorts in Tirol- Austria, Dolomites - Italy, 4 Vallees- France, Sierra Nevada - Spain, Taos - New Mexico.
~~I have tried the following bobs: Wildcat, Downhill, All Plywood, C6 - all from Brenter. Flachsman- Swiss, Stalmach- Austria, Jafca - British, Keeda/Kempf - German.
~~In 1989 I was asked to work with BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Servicemens Assoiciation). For 12 years we took these courageous young men on rehabilitation courses to the Oetztal in Austria, this has enhanced my retirement immensely. It is a privilege to be associated with such a caring organization. Eventually I became their Instructor in Chief. We trained many young men and now have an excellent pool of instructors, themselves limbless, so they can pass on their skills. I resigned in 2002 and we are very fortunate that they have invited Ingrid and I to celebrate my 80th birthday on the beautiful slopes and glaciers of Soelden. I am a very lucky chap!
~~In March 1995 we had a Skibob World Cup in Scotland under FISB rules with many European countries taking part. It was great fun, a good ambiance, and even snow !! We have all seen many changes over the years. Skibobing in Europe had its heyday in the 70's/80's. We are now a small minority but we are seeing a small rise in popularity. Many more resorts now grant permission to use their lifts. •
Note: We hope to have a report from Henry's 80th birthday ride, stay tuned...