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

snowski/swimmouse

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#21
I go to the Crescent Ski Council's race camp at Steamboat every December, getting five full days of excellent instruction to start every season (and it's unbelievable cheap!). Snow permitting, I try to get 1-4 at least partial days in in North Carolina before I go and try to ski 6 straight full days. I want to start every season with the best technique I can since I, too, want to ski many years into the future!
And I'm ~loving~ having a free season pass this year!!!!!
 

Moonrocket

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#22
I’m in my 40s but hope to ski for a good long time.

A few years ago I was skiing all weekend and would be really sore at my desk M-W. I signed up for a lesson and it made a world of difference. I actually ended up getting a private from the head of the ski school since there was nobody else that day of a similar level. It was awesome! I will try and do a tune up lesson or two from here on out just to improve my technique for better longevity. My back no longer hurts after a day of Mary Jane bumps (my calves are a different story).

I have friends who are better skiers than me and I have an 8yo that is starting to rip the big bump runs. So - I need to get better to keep up :-)

In the next year or two I’m hoping to get a second season pass and do a big road trip year- my daughter is close to being an awesome ski partner.
 

SkiBilly

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#24
Big White has "Ladies Day" every Wednesday. You get a 2.5 hour lesson with lunch included for just under $50. They also have "Masters Monday", the same deal but it's unisex and for over 50s. I can go to both now :-)

Not that I'm advanced though. They have all levels. I go into level 4, so I can relax and have fun. I could go into level 5, but I don't do this to be challenged, more for the social aspect. I have a bunch of lessons I bought on an early bird deal to use this season and that's where I can focus on improving technique...I will still start in level four and see how I go though. I'm not very competitive, but I just hate being the worst skier in the group.
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
#25
Big White has "Ladies Day" every Wednesday. You get a 2.5 hour lesson with lunch included for just under $50. They also have "Masters Monday", the same deal but it's unisex and for over 50s. I can go to both now :-)

Not that I'm advanced though. They have all levels. I go into level 4, so I can relax and have fun. I could go into level 5, but I don't do this to be challenged, more for the social aspect. I have a bunch of lessons I bought on an early bird deal to use this season and that's where I can focus on improving technique...I will still start in level four and see how I go though. I'm not very competitive, but I just hate being the worst skier in the group.
Good point about programs for over 50.

I've been taking advantage of the Silver Clinic at Massanutten (northern VA). $40 for 2 hours on Thu or Sun afternoons with an older and very experience PSIA Level 3 instructor. Half the time no one shows up but me. Never more than 2 others. Sometimes he invites an instructor or two to join us, after checking with me. They are usually instructors working towards the L2 or L3 exam.

Also did the multi-week Gold Clinic on Sun mornings a few years ago. Only made it to 4 out of 8 sessions, but at $245 it was still a good deal. Was a great way to get to know a few locals over 50 who ski midweek.
 

SkiBilly

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#26
Both Ladies Day and Masters Monday have had a big price hike! I just checked and it's now $65 plus tax...still a pretty good deal though.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#27
Interesting, I looked for lessons for "over 50" and discovered that there is a 2-hr group lesson available at Liberty (near DC) every Wed morning. Note that it's for any ability level and includes having lunch together with the instructors.

Silver Streak Program - Age 50+
Recapture the thrill of skiing down a snowy slope. Tune up your skills. Get in shape for your next trip out West. Whether you are a beginner or a double diamond skier, we have a class for you. Learn the latest techniques for dynamic turns or step up to a new level of performance. Then relax over lunch with your instructors and fellow Silver Streakers. This group ski lesson is held every Wednesday morning at 10am, beginning January 3rd, and is open to the 'over 50' set. The program with a 4 hour lift ticket is $58, with an 8 hour lift ticket is $62, and includes a two hour lesson and lunch.
 
#28
Gunstock had both women's and 50+ weekly clinics for a good price until this year. They say they are reassessing whether to offer them again next year. I have my fingers crossed.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#29
Gunstock had both women's and 50+ weekly clinics for a good price until this year. They say they are reassessing whether to offer them again next year. I have my fingers crossed.
Definitely a bit tricky in terms of lessons for seniors. My 50+ friend who I met at a Silver Clinic at Massanutten just discovered that it's been discontinued. Apparently last season no one took advantage of it. Both he and I didn't ski much at all due to injury or family issues that meant we didn't ski at Mnut as much as usual.

My sense is that it helps if there is a large enough group of locals like at Loon or folks who just want to get together for social skiing like the Over 50 Bunch in Colorado. Not many want to pay for lessons.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#30
As an almost 50 year old instructor I too find PSIA's cutoff for seniors starting at 50 kind of surprising, but they do have a point that most of us do start to experience changes in vision and other function, even if many of us are still getting stronger physically and better technically. I attended a PSIA Senior Specialist accreditation last winter and found that while much of the focus is probably true, there was an automatic bias towards less active skiers, which in my home resort is not at all the case. I often ski with young city folks who have less endurance and gumption than the seniors I get to ski with that live locally. But ultimately everyone is an individual coming at the sport from a unique place in time.

On the funny side, Jackson Hole has locals' ski groups that meet weekly with a coach. I always thought the "The old dogs" had to be the oldest, but then was invited to substitute coach "the Geriatrics". The senior in the group turned 90 last summer and not one is under 80. They still ski ungroomed black runs on good and sometimes awful days, though poor visibility is often a challenge for most of them. One of the gals in her late 80's always reminds me, "Christina, no stopping OK? No stopping, we go top to bottom Hoback with no stopping", and she means it. (Hobacks are very long, and ungroomed and can be gnarly http://www.jacksonhole.net/blog/top-ten-ski-runs-at-jackson-hole/)

All I know is that every single truly senior skier and boarder out there, whether close by or watched on you tube, is a major inspiration. I hope I have the courage and levity to keep enjoying my favorite sport even when the performance starts to decline. Having friends to share the passion with seems to be the number one challenge and motivation at the same time.
 
#31
Great comments and stories @snoWYmonkey !

All I know is that every single truly senior skier and boarder out there, whether close by or watched on you tube, is a major inspiration. I hope I have the courage and levity to keep enjoying my favorite sport even when the performance starts to decline. Having friends to share the passion with seems to be the number one challenge and motivation at the same time.
Agree that being able to ski with friends, of any age, makes a huge difference. I remember the advice in the video by a long time patroller who was over 80. He said that it helps to make friends with younger folks who like to ski.

I had a good time skiing with a gentleman I met at Taos last year. He is in his 80s. Wife doesn't ski any more due to RA. His former ski buddies were no longer skiing very much. He only skis groomers at Taos, and likes to ski them fast. Originally from the Midwest and has been spending winters in the west for skiing for quite a while. His wife likes the town of Taos so happy to keep him company there for a month even though she doesn't ski any more.

Without my ski buddies, I would not be skiing nearly as much at big mountains. Especially would be doing far less exploring off-piste, which has become great fun in recent years with the help of lessons and more mileage.
 

freckles

Certified Ski Diva
#32
Loved that video, especially the part where he's driving a manual trans in ski boots! I can barely START mine in ski boots... I've got a lot to learn from the masters...
 
#33
Loved that video, especially the part where he's driving a manual trans in ski boots! I can barely START mine in ski boots... I've got a lot to learn from the masters...
I've driven my automatic minivan around at Massanutten in ski boots. At most mile or two. But not often. Mostly for an hour of night skiing when I hop on a blue slope where it's possible to park just a short walk away thru the woods.

I've learned to look where seniors boot up when I check out a new place midweek. They always know the best table and lockers that are closest to either the best door or the restrooms.
 
#34
Recently, Seniors Skiing had an article about reasons for seniors to take a lesson. Wish I had seen that 10 years ago. The next article has questions to ask before starting a lesson. The answers are based on PSIA certifications for instructors in U.S. ski schools. But the same ideas would apply for any lesson for an intermediate or advanced older skier in any country even though certification processes differ a bit.

https://www.seniorsskiing.com/five-questions-ask-taking-lesson/

Note that "older" can mean over 35, not over 50. Especially for an intermediate who learned as an adult. But then make adjust the question about the instructor's age a bit. :smile:

Last season I had a semi-private lesson with a friend at a destination resort with a very good ski school. He and I are about the same age, just over 60. As it turned out, the instructor we got for a group lesson was a young man who had been a very good racer (international level) but was not a certified instructor. Apparently he had to stop racing after a very bad backcountry accident. He obviously had had lots of good coaching, and some Instructor Training from the trainers at the ski school before the season started. It was the first season he'd ever skied there. He was hired mostly to coach racers.

I asked about certification and his background before we got started. For what we were looking for that day, decided to stick with him. My friend and I only had time for one lesson that trip. What we got was a few warm up runs on groomers with a few drills, which we had done before. Plus he checked us out on short bump sections next to groomed terrain. The rest of the lesson was essentially having a guide who provided basic tips before we started an advanced run. Included quite an adventure on a double-black that was pretty steep at the top. Had I been looking to really work on technique or was a more cautious type, I would've asked for a different instructor. There were plenty left in the line up, including a friend who is an Examiner.

The Examiner friend was available to free ski with me and all my ski buddies on the trip in the afternoon. He agreed that the racer probably picked the wrong trail during the lesson.
 

dloveski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#35
I'm Medicare-eligible this year (ahem). I continue to work on my ski technique and cannot keep up with my DH who is older than me (ahem).

He was a college ski race coach in Czechoslovakia and has great technique---which enables him to ski efficiently even as he ages. (translate: basically, he kicked by butt these past two days in the bumps and bowls at Big Sky).

He is working with me (I'm a work in progress) but his mantra to me is that by improving my technique and working on the small stuff (more angulation, better hand placement, bend my knees deeper--my weak spots) he believes that I will ski better, faster, and longer than if I kept my bad habits.

Brighton, like many resorts, has a cadre of old-times that are 80+ and out there most days and they are some of the most positive and happy folks on the planet! Some have new hips, knees, or both---but are out there enjoying the #*&~ out of winter.
 

snowski/swimmouse

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#37
I'm Medicare-eligible this year (ahem). I continue to work on my ski technique and cannot keep up with my DH who is older than me (ahem).

He was a college ski race coach in Czechoslovakia and has great technique---which enables him to ski efficiently even as he ages. (translate: basically, he kicked by butt these past two days in the bumps and bowls at Big Sky).

He is working with me (I'm a work in progress) but his mantra to me is that by improving my technique and working on the small stuff (more angulation, better hand placement, bend my knees deeper--my weak spots) he believes that I will ski better, faster, and longer than if I kept my bad habits.

Brighton, like many resorts, has a cadre of old-times that are 80+ and out there most days and they are some of the most positive and happy folks on the planet! Some have new hips, knees, or both---but are out there enjoying the #*&~ out of winter.
More power to ALL of the above! EEK! :ski2:
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#39
I'm Medicare-eligible this year (ahem). I continue to work on my ski technique and cannot keep up with my DH who is older than me (ahem).

He is working with me (I'm a work in progress) but his mantra to me is that by improving my technique and working on the small stuff (more angulation, better hand placement, bend my knees deeper--my weak spots) he believes that I will ski better, faster, and longer than if I kept my bad habits.
He's right, of course. The more efficient your movements and the more you can stay "stacked", the easier skiing is on your body.
 
#40
A couple of articles that are from the last couple years about older skiers, meaning over 50 or 60. My observation from midweek skiing at assorted places, from small hills in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast to destination resorts is that there are more older skiers who are doing far more then cruising blue groomers for a couple hours. At least after a snowstorm drops fresh snow at their local ski area.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/life...76c69081518_story.html?utm_term=.1d8f02430180

https://www.ft.com/content/438df45c-d16b-11e5-831d-09f7778e7377
 

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