When posed with the question, “Is it really possible to get through snow in a wheelchair?,” most people would say no. Heck, I use a wheelchair, live in Minnesota and almost agree. But clever workarounds do exist, and some of them are fun.
One of these is the Ziesel, an extreme wheelchair that easily conquers snow. It’s been all over the news this year, and we have seen all-terrain wheelchairs before (they cost a huge sum too; between $10,000 – $20,000), but what makes this all-terrain wheelchair a bit different is its sheer size.
This chair can take you over any snow bank — and then some. While it definitely isn’t something you can bring inside, making it not very practical, its power when it comes to snow and ice cannot be denied. Check it out.
Manual chair users can go a lot further in the snow with a pair of Wheelblades, an add-on that allows the two front caster wheels to glide right through snow that’s not too deep. Watch them in action.
For a low-cost way to get through snow in a pinch, chains do the trick, but can’t be brought inside. I can’t tell you how many nondisabled people have told me to put chains on my wheelchair, although generally this technique isn’t used much anymore. However, chains will get you through the snow. Watch a man who claims to be the wheelchair tire chain inventor
Helping out when it comes to shoveling the snow is also possible if you use a wheelchair. There are tons of workarounds for this chore. A quick search on YouTube shows both quadriplegics and paraplegics getting in on the act. Some add a shovel to the front of their power wheelchair like this guy, while others use a manual all-terrain chair, like the Renegade, to plow. Watch a very hardcore paraplegic plow his driveway with his own muscle power
And to prove we can indeed be friends with the snow, here’s a video of Jared, a shirtless young man with cerebral palsy who lives in Texas, seeing snow for the first time. He gets out of his chair right in the middle of his driveway and makes snow angels. While the leg part of his angel may not look the greatest, you gotta love this guy’s desire to get out in the snow and play. Watch him make a snow angel.
There you have it — with a little bit of creativity and hard work, getting through the snow as a wheelchair-user is completely possible. It may not be as easy as walking, but if you get the right gadget or attitude it’s actually more fun.
How do you traverse through snow as a wheelchair-user?