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Tips for advanced skiers over 50 planning to ski until 80+

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
A while back I started a thread for intermediate skiers over 40 planning to ski well past age 70. There are some really good tips in that discussion. Click here if you are interested. Having become an advanced skier in the last 10 years, I started think about skiing a bit differently in recent years after turning 60.

What advice do you have for an older advanced skier who plans to keep skiing for a long time? I'm thinking well past 70, or 80, or even 90. Do you expect to keep working on improving technique after age 50? Do you plan to ski more, or less? When you ski with others, are they usually younger or older than you are? Are your ski buddies better skiers they you or do they have trouble keeping up?

Here are a few simple tips from Liftopia:

4 Tips For Skiing Over 50

1) Get Modern
2) Get Fit
3) Get Lessons
4) Get Out There
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Well, I'm over 60, and I ski a lot more than I did 10 years ago, mostly because I have a lot more time. I don't work M-F 9-5 anymore, so I can ski most weekdays. I also think my skiing has improved because I've been able to devote a lot more time to it than I could in the past.

For me, the biggest adjustment is one of attitude: if I don't feel like skiing something especially gnarly or demanding, I don't anymore. Call it pulling the 'age card.' I no longer feel like I have to prove anything to anyone -- not that that was ever my sole reason for doing anything like that, but there were times when that definitely figured in. I'll admit it. So if I'm skiing with some of you ladies and I go "another way," consider that a grandmother's privilege. :wink:

That said, even though I am older than many other Divas, I don't feel old. I work out (a lot), stay active, and though I'd love for my skiing to improve, I'm not necessarily obsessed with that aspect anymore. I think I'm more focused now on having a good time and enjoying the day, and letting whatever happens happen.
 
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#3
I'm in a funny spot on this spectrum. I'm 64 and just began skiing last year. I'm still learning, but it's important to take it easy and not push myself dangerously. On the other hand, how do you learn to ski without pushing yourself?

I expect to be a solid intermediate this year, but I will have a lot of opportunities to ski - I'm not working every week day!
 
#4
Well, I'm over 60, and I ski a lot more than I did 10 years ago, mostly because I have a lot more time. I don't work M-F 9-5 anymore, so I can ski most weekdays. I also think my skiing has improved,because I've been able to devote a lot more time to it than I could in the past.

For me, the biggest adjustment is one of attitude: if I don't feel like skiing something especially gnarly or demanding, I don't anymore. Call it pulling the 'age card.' I no longer feel like I have to prove anything to anyone anymore -- not that that was ever my sole reason for doing anything like that, but there were times when that definitely figured in. I'll admit it. So if I'm skiing with some of you ladies and I go "another way," consider that a grandmother's privilege. :wink:

That said, even though I am older than many other Divas, I don't feel old. I work out (a lot), stay active, and though I'd love for my skiing to improve, I'm not necessarily obsessed with that aspect anymore. I think I'm more focused now on having a good time and enjoying the day, and letting whatever happens happen.
TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!
 
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#5
I'm in a funny spot on this spectrum. I'm 64 and just began skiing last year. I'm still learning, but it's important to take it easy and not push myself dangerously. On the other hand, how do you learn to ski without pushing yourself?

I expect to be a solid intermediate this year, but I will have a lot of opportunities to ski - I'm not working every week day!
I'm sure you will be a solid intermediate this year! What takes a long time (at least for me) is to get out of that intermediate stage...... and to be honest my skiing improved once I started skiing with more advanced skiers and got off the groomers. I'm planning on doing a trip this year and actually taking lessons for a change. It's about time as I need a reality check.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
A couple years ago, I saw this video about a 87yo who is a ski patroller at Big Sky. His suggestion was to make friends with younger skiers. The 85yo man I met at Taos last season needed to find new ski friends because his friends were no longer skiing as much. He was still in very good shape. He wife has stopped skiing because of RA but was still happy to spend a month in Taos with him.

http://unofficialnetworks.com/2015/...-patroller-at-big-sky-makes-us-all-look-soft/

My main ski buddy is a bit older but I don't expect him to slow down for at least another 10 years. Now that he's taking lessons, he could be skiing challenging terrain for another 20 years. In his case, didn't start the lessons until he was over 60. He was an advanced skier in high school skiing every weekend at Aspen Mountain on straight skis. That said, I'm always on the lookout for potential travel mates of any age for trips out west. Still have quite a few places on my bucket list.

As for skiing, I certainly expect to continue to improve for a while. When I was 50, I figured that I had 10 years to become as good a skier as possible. My revised thinking is that I could keep improving well into my 70s. My parents didn't slow down until after they were 90. They worked at staying in shape physically and mentally. They were still traveling internationally in their late 80s and early 90s, although only with a younger companion.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
As an older skier, I think it pays to plan for a few laid back ski days during early season to get warmed up. Meaning before the Christmas season if at all practical. Doesn't matter if only at a small mountain (< 100 acres) or half day(s) on groomers only. Obviously better if can go on mid-week, but during early season even weekends aren't too crowded once there is more than one way down from the top. The first week of Jan (after Jan. 2) can be a good time either for a local ski day or even a short trip out west for those with flexible schedules and bigger travel budgets. Can often get lodging deals right after New Year's Day.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
I think the tip that is obvious from this video is that attitude can make a big difference. Have fun. The best way is to have fun with friends who are also of a certain age. Mostly because then midweek skiing is possible on a regular basis. The video is from Whitewater in 2011 and includes a 75yo woman who wasn't about to start skiing groomers only.

 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#10
Another way to find good friends to ski with . . . become a ski instructor. At small local hills, age doesn't make a difference. Being available during busy holiday weekends in Jan and Feb is helpful to Ski School Directors. This article in Seniors Skilling from Nov 2018 has ten good reasons to consider the idea. Happens to be written by a female sports journalist.

https://www.seniorsskiing.com/becoming-ski-instructor-advanced-age/
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#11
For those reading who are over 80, it's never too late find a way to work with an instructor to improve technique. Harvey Simpson was 90 when the following article and video were done in March 2017. Clearly Harvey has the advantage of financial resources that allowed him to pay for private lessons. But starting in 2015 Vail Village Ski School began 3-day clinics designed specifically for seniors that are pretty reasonable, especially for someone with an Epic Pass. The Ski Younger Now clinics are held several times a season and run about $1000 if lift tickets are included.

Vail Daily - March 2017
Skiing better at 90: Vail resident uses lessons to improve his technique

"VAIL — When Harvey Simpson was 80, he started getting nervous about his future as a skier. Realizing that one bad fall could end his days on the snow for good, he made a decision to reduce the chances of that happening by becoming a better skier.

"I decided, in order to avoid that I'd better ski correctly," Simpson said.

Simpson is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He started skiing in New York in 1954 after he got out of the Navy, and he skied hard.

"I used to be wild out there," he said.


These days, he's 90 years old, skiing on two new hips and he resides at the Sonnenalp as their only permanent resident. Skiing as a lifestyle is very important to his goals in longevity.
. . .

Simpson credits Vail ski instructor Gunnar Moberg for improving his technique throughout the years and contributing to that younger appearance on the slopes.

"He's light on the skis, with good rhythm," Moberg said. "He was a wonderful student."

Simpson said he learned by mimicking Moberg's movements.

"Talking to me was not working," Simpson said. "I'd ski behind him about 10 feet … seeing what he was doing as we skied down the mountain, and if I didn't feel right I'd see where he has his hands, where he has his head, his knees and everything else."

. . ."


 
#13
Another way to find good friends to ski with . . . become a ski instructor. At small local hills, age doesn't make a difference. Being available during busy holiday weekends in Jan and Feb is helpful to Ski School Directors. This article in Seniors Skilling from Nov 2018 has ten good reasons to consider the idea. Happens to be written by a female sports journalist.

https://www.seniorsskiing.com/becoming-ski-instructor-advanced-age/
PSIA offers classes JUST FOR OVER 50-- LOL like 50 is old.. Lmao...
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#17
I have to stay in shape I want to SKI FREE....
+1

Now that Bill is 65, I've been paying attention to the prices for senior season passes for the places we go most often.

That makes me think of a tip related to technique. Mileage matters. Doesn't necessarily need to be on challenging terrain either. What does help is to go ahead and ski even when conditions aren't that good. Perhaps not as long if it's icy or frigid or low visibility or generally not as much fun. Stay on trails you know in that case.

When I'm at Alta in April, I usually finish the day going down Lower Rustler regardless of how tired I am or how bad the snow conditions are. Started the habit when there was a cat track (blue) to bail onto when I was pretty much an advanced intermediate skiing 80% on groomers. During late season usually there are few others around in the late afternoon. Sometimes whoever I was skiing with after lunch would go in and I'd take one more solo ride on Collins. As I got better on bumps, I would do 2-4 turns and stop. Later on I learned about absorption and extension so often would mostly traverse slowly for practice. I know the run well, so can always bail to the groomer next to it. One reason I can tell how much I've improved in the last five years or so is that the last couple trips taking Lower Rustler non-stop without much thought is pretty easy, even when the bumps are pretty big. These days, just dealing with the traverse is practice since it's not groomed any more.
 
#18
George Jedenoff is a legend around Utah. He's the oldest member of the Wild Old Bunch. The younger members of that informal group are over 70. Many are snowbirds over 80 from the flatlands who spend the winter in SLC to ski Alta.

Up until a few years ago, Naomi Wain was a regular at Alta Lodge. She was skiing every weekday for 2-3 hours well into her early 90s. She skied in Europe for the first time at age 92. Never slowed down before the day she died at age 93 when attending a music festival.
 

Lmk92

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
George Jedenoff is a legend around Utah. He's the oldest member of the Wild Old Bunch. The younger members of that informal group are over 70. Many are snowbirds over 80 from the flatlands who spend the winter in SLC to ski Alta.

Up until a few years ago, Naomi Wain was a regular at Alta Lodge. She was skiing every weekday for 2-3 hours well into her early 90s. She skied in Europe for the first time at age 92. Never slowed down before the day she died at age 93 when attending a music festival.
I want that to be my story (although I don't want to wait until I'm 92 to ski in Europe!)
 
#20
I want that to be my story (although I don't want to wait until I'm 92 to ski in Europe!)
Naomi was doing Nastar racing until age 90, so I think she didn't want to take the time and effort to travel to Europe. She won her first Nastar medal in the first ever Women Over 50 finals in 1974.

2004 - Naomi won Gold at age 82
https://www.sierrasun.com/news/sports/at-82-age-not-keeping-wain-off-the-slopes-or-out-of-nastar/

Naomi joined a senior ski group for 70+ in her 70s. But only did the one trip to Europe with that group. Flew straight back to Alta Lodge after the trip. Enjoyed the skiing but not the long flying time. I happened to be at a Community dinner table the first evening she arrived so heard stories first hand.