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‘Snow Blind’: One Skier’s Impact as Founder & Guide for the Braille Mountain Initiative

Imagine what it's like to be a ski guide. Now imagine what it's like to be a blind ski guide — your job is to share the stoke in helping other blind skiers enjoy the backcountry.

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Tyson Rettie was living his dream of being a ski guide. Then, he lost his vision. For many, backcountry skiing and guiding would move to the backburner, but not for Rettie. He started working in the ski industry at 19, so skiing and guiding were his life. He went from being a ski guide to needing a ski guide, and having to learn how to adjust. But not too long after, Rettie was back on skis.

Shortly after, in 2020 Rettie founded the Braille Mountain Initiative to inspire the blind and low-vision skiers to experience the backcountry.

A skier from Canmore, Alberta, in a green jacket skiing down a powdery pitch between two trees
A Braille Mountain Initiative participant and skier, Spencer Allen, skiing; (screenshot/Valhalla Pure)

“It’s tough, because the feeling I’m always searching for is not the feeling of blind skiing, but a feeling of normal skiing,” Rettie tried to explain in the film. If that explanation confuses you, just watch — see and listen to how Rettie skis and how he articulates what skiing does and means — and then you’ll get it.

Snow Blind premiered at the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Festival, and played at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, Whistler Film Festival, and more.

Runtime: 11 minutes

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