GRAND COUNTY, Colorado — A group of 21 combat-wounded veterans tried out nordic skiing at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center last week and it was an overwhelming success.

Denver 7 reports the veterans were provided with equipment and professional instructors who were ready to teach them skate or classic style skiing. The day was organized by the nonprofit Semper Fi & America’s Fund, which helps injured and ill veterans become involved with sports and benefit from the physical and mental benefits.

Semper Fi & America’s Fund’s manager of sports programs, Cami Gage, said Nordic skiing is an excellent sport for the veterans because it’s quiet and is out in nature. Nordic is also a great activity because it is adaptive for folks with all different abilities.

Injured Marine veteran Steve Bultje was one of participants who came out to ski. During his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2011, he was struck by an IED, which eventually led to his foot getting amputated. Prior to this trip, Bultje had never tried snow skiing or any snow sports. He was super impressed with his instructor and had a great day on the slopes:

“The instructor just really drilled the fundamentals, got us into some more advanced stuff and was there for us. Anytime I had a question, she was answering me, helped me out, doing a little bit of adaptations here and there to make sure everything’s safe and comfortable for me. But just really helping us get that confidence built up.”

Cheers to everyone who participated. If you’d like to support Semper Fi & America’s Fund GO HERE:


Stunningly spread out over 5,100 acres of rolling meadows, aspens, and spruce forest, YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch is both a relaxing family retreat and popular outdoor playground in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

In addition to our world-class Nordic Center with 82.5k of groomed trails (perfect for skiing in the winter and biking in the summer), we offer affordable accommodation and dining options, dozens of complimentary activities every day of the year, and a spectacular alpine setting next to one of the top ski resorts in North America.

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