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


Angel Diva
I'm not old enough to qualify yet, but have been keeping an eye on the ski trips organized by the 70 Plus Ski Club for future reference. The list for 2019 includes the Dolomites in Jan, Big Sky in Feb, Utah in late Feb, Aspen/Snowmass in Mar, and New Zealand during the summer. Apparently members can bring along a guest who hasn't quite made it to 70. The other big events are in VT, at Nub's Nob in MI, Butternut in western MA, and Hunter in the NY Catskills.


Certified Ski Diva
Mad River Glen... hoping I can still ski there when I am that age!


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Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I used to host at Solitude when this group came in. The groups were divided into ski levels and I once got the 'ladies' intermediate group which was not fun--it snowed that day and four inches of powder unglued them and two of them booked spa appointments, the others stayed in the lodge. Another time, I got the men's 'intermediate' group and we had a blast---I met a CV surgeon (ret) from Boston, a former Navy Admiral with macular degeneration in this group---so we talked data, outcomes, and Admiral George was an awesome skier---who could not see, but followed close behind me all afternoon and rode the lifts with me and I will never forget him ever. I said, "George, you inspire me that I can ski in my 80's... and he said, "why stop then?"


Angel Diva
Not a tip, but definitely good for inspiration. Tommy Tomasi founded the ski patrol at Thredbo in Australia a long time ago. He learned to ski in Italy before WWII and immigrated in 1949. Still skiing often at age 92 from what I hear. This video is from 2016 when he was 90.



Angel Diva
Occurs to me that all the discussion about Taos Ski Weeks is worth noting in this thread. Quite a few of the ladies in my Women's Ski Week last year were over 50. A few were part of a group from the midwest that spends that Feb week at the St. Bernard annually. Their husbands do Level 10 Ski Week with the same instructor every year.


Having done a Ski Week last winter, and knowing that my friends who have done two advanced Ski Weeks want to go for a third, it's fair to say that any advanced skier who would like to keep skiing challenging terrain until their 80s would learn more than they think from a Taos Ski Week. I'm going back for another Ski Week this season. Fully expect to go again in the future. Taos has become my #2 destination out west, after Alta.


Angel Diva
Even 91 is not too old for heli skiing. Of course, helps to have experience well before that age.

Murrysville man sets world record for oldest heli-skier at 91 years old

" . . .
Friedberg setting the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest heli-skier this past April. At 91 years old, Friedberg made a run on the Cariboo Mountains in Blue River, British Columbia, while being documented by Guinness officials, who certified the record this summer.

“Being on a snow-covered mountain is a tremendous experience,” Friedberg said. “You have the majesty of the scenery, plus the exhilaration of skiing fast.”


Friedberg, a World War II veteran and retired insurance broker who grew up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, began skiing in the mid-1950s.

“When we were returning from (military service) in Japan, I remember going through Ogden, Utah, and seeing the mountains just covered in snow,” Friedberg said.

He went to Laurel Mountain to try out the slopes, and was hooked.

“I went every weekend after that,” he said.

In the 1970s, Friedberg took an interest in heli-skiing, where a helicopter serves as the ski lift, transporting skiers to unimproved slopes to test their mettle.
. . ."


Angel Diva
For those who haven't read thru this thread before, there are videos in Posts #8, #11, #46. Here are the questions I posed in Post #1. What I mean by "older advanced skier" is someone who became an advanced skier some time before about age 50, whether that happened before age 25 or a bit later on.

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?


Certified Ski Diva
Another way to find good friends to ski with . . . become a ski instructor. At small local hills, age doesn't make a difference. ...
I agree. After retiring last year I became a part time instructor (and NOT at a small hill, by the way...) Great training, improved my personal skiing significantly. I love teaching and I love skiing, so a win-win for me. The second season is even better, and I continue to improve while working toward level 2 certification.

I think one of the most important ways to keep skiing as we age is to be properly prepared physically. I think it takes more motivation and hard work to stay fit now, to not only fight the natural forces of aging, but to actually build muscle mass and flexibility. The stronger I feel, the more confidence I have in meeting more advanced challenges on th slope.


Angel Diva
All very inspiring. Is there a retirement community of skiers anywhere like there is for golf?
Not exactly a retirement community but I've met quite a few midwesterners who spend 1-2 months in Salt Lake City during the ski season to ski Alta. One man alternated between Alta and Snowbird for his senior season pass.

Waterville Valley in NH has a very unusual program midweek for folks over 50. The Silver Streaks has over 150 members. The annual fee is about $100, which includes a ski locker and premier parking. I had a good chat recently with the host, who is a part-time employee who's been doing the job for 5+ years, not a volunteer. She said there was even going to be free clinics teaching uphill techniques for the more energetic members.

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santacruz skier

Angel Diva
@TahoeCruzer Steamboat has a great "over the hill" gang... skied with them a whole week as my friend wasn't that into skiing.


Angel Diva
In the northeast, there are quite a few ski clubs that have a lot of members who are retired and were advanced skiers well before retirement. Talked to a couple in Franconia, NH last week who live in Cape Code. The husband goes on ski club trips all the time. Said that most local bus trips are full, meaning about 40 people. Flying trips are usually slightly less but still at least 30. He started skiing as a kid. His wife only started skiing in recent years. But clearly an adventurous type. One long motorcycle trip included the southeast, and all the way to Oregon before heading back to Massachusetts.

Did a free mountain host tour with part of one group at Big Sky several years ago. Age range for the ski club group seemed to be 50-80, with most over 60. The ones on the tour said they used to ski trees more but were sticking to groomers more often. No one had any trouble keeping with with our host as she sped down blue groomers between stops to talk. She was a senior as well.


Certified Ski Diva
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.


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.
GREAT video!


Certified Ski Diva
Breckenridge has a 50 plus ski day every Tuesday, and Keystone has one every Thursday. Great way to meet some new skiers and learn the mountain.

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