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Tips for intermediates over 40 planning to ski until 70+

TrixieRuby

Certified Ski Diva
I'm 68 years old, and I started sking when I was 13, with many stops and starts along the way...maybe 15 years from 20 to 35 as i could not afford it. When my 2 sons came along, we skied 15 days a season in Vermont at Okemo. This week I sat on a chair lift with a woman of 91 years old !!!!! who said she skis almost everyday all winter. She skiis in the mornings when the snow is most fresh, and leaves at lunchtime when the snow gets crusty. She is my role model!

My tips:

1. Marry your boots, and date your skis. Take time to buy comfortable boots, get them fitted, and wear good socks. Demo different skis, and buy a pair that will help you ski better.

2. Work out year 'roud--strength, balance, agility, flexibility, and general movement. this is key!

3. Stay warm...I love my heated socks. Heated clothing is great, as are handwarmers.

4. Enjoy the scenery, the fun of moving, the swoosh of skiing, the comfort foods...there is no need to prove oneself or be the best/fastest/prettiest skier.

Everytime I ski I count my blessings. Despite a replaced knee and my age, everyday is superfun, and sking makes me feel alive and in the moment. Worth making all the efforts to enjoy the mountains.
 

Mjm11

Certified Ski Diva
I love your positive attitude! You can literally hear my yell, "Thank you Mom, thanks dad!" as I swoosh down the mountain. You'll never grow old on skis.
 

Salomon

Certified Ski Diva
I learned to ski aged 41 and then only because I moved to a country which is full of snowsports. Aged 51 I broke my leg pretty badly ( skiing, entirely my fault) . It took a while to get back from that. But I did discover Yoga as part of rehab and am now in much better shape and have awareness of my body. Broken legs and menopause really dont mix but I finally got rid of my weight gain this year and am skiing better than ever ( imo ! ). I wish I had learned as a child but am so glad I get to enjoy our mountains. I try to improve all the time but its not the be all and end all. Enjoyment is what its all about ...and staying fit and healthy. I have many friends who are level 4 instructors who help me out so I am lucky.
I hope to be skiing in my 90s !!!!

P.S I did once see a 92 year old do a slalom race on the FIS masters circuit. Unbelievable .
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I did once see a 92 year old do a slalom race on the FIS masters circuit. Unbelievable .
We have a Japanese race team that come to our local ski hill every year to train for about a month and they have 2 elderly ladies who train with them, gosh they have to be in their 90's now as they were in their late 80's pre covid ! They're incredible esp since they both smoke like trains !!!
 

Karenfrances

Certified Ski Diva
Hi all -- I spent part of last weekend skiing with an 88-year-old at Winter Park in CO .... she has spent most of her life in Colorado (she was my mother's roommate at CU in the mid-50s, and learned to ski when she moved to Colorado for school) so is pretty much a life-long skier. We mostly skied blue runs together (her words: "I don't need to prove I can ski the double blacks any longer") We were talking about skiing well into your 80s, and her three observations were:

1. Good eyesight. She has friends (other friends of my mother's, too) who had to give up skiing recently as their eyesight declined.
2. Good general health -- she has never had a serious/debilitating illness, or even a serious ski injury.
3. Maintain general physical fitness. She observed that she had not been as diligent this year about exercise outside of ski season and could tell the difference -- and that even a small difference made it harder to ski.

My observation was that having peers who still ski also made a difference. Until her friends had to give up skiing recently because of poor eyesight (and also poor health), they had a regular day or two they would meet up at Winter Park together every week -- they all had lockers at Mary Jane, a regular routine for when/where they would meet, and it sounds like they felt a shared commitment to keep skiing together. (Mind you, these people had been skiing together for 60+ years). Now she has someone she drives with each week who lives in the same retirement community, so they trade driving responsibilities and ski together. (This person is late 60s/early 70s.)

I don't know that I can do much about my eyesight (other than being even more rigorous about wearing good sunglasses) or not developing a serious illness, but I told my trainer this morning that I am with him for the long haul :smile:. And maybe I need to seek out some middle-aged ski buddies so we can age together on the slopes.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
My observation was that having peers who still ski also made a difference. Until her friends had to give up skiing recently because of poor eyesight (and also poor health), they had a regular day or two they would meet up at Winter Park together every week -- they all had lockers at Mary Jane, a regular routine for when/where they would meet, and it sounds like they felt a shared commitment to keep skiing together. (Mind you, these people had been skiing together for 60+ years). Now she has someone she drives with each week who lives in the same retirement community, so they trade driving responsibilities and ski together. (This person is late 60s/early 70s.)

I don't know that I can do much about my eyesight (other than being even more rigorous about wearing good sunglasses) or not developing a serious illness, but I told my trainer this morning that I am with him for the long haul :smile:. And maybe I need to seek out some middle-aged ski buddies so we can age together on the slopes.
Thanks for the story!

At Taos this week, we have three categories of people in terms of age. I'm calling them Oldsters, Seniors, and the Next Generation. Oldsters are 70+, Seniors are essentially 60+ so that they qualify for senior passes or day tickets somewhere, and the Next Generation are adults <60. In terms of skiing ability there is a range from low intermediate to solid advanced. The Next Generation learned to ski before age 30 and are advanced skiers at this point. The Seniors and Oldsters range from solid intermediate (any blue groomer or green/blue bumps) to advanced/expert. A few of the Oldsters are still skiing double-blacks. Many of the Seniors are improving with the help of Ski Weeks and lessons elsewhere. Some of the Seniors may slow down and take it easy in the afternoons, while others ski until last chair.

The Oldsters all have a good friend or two who they travel and ski with. The Next Generation are all friends with at least one of the Oldsters or Seniors. In the afternoons and evenings, the age groups are socializing together.

At this stage, I'm a 66yo Senior who is skiing terrain I never imagined skiing even 10 years ago when I started taking lessons as an adventurous intermediate. Of course, being retired and willing to travel helps. But finding others with similar interest for ski trips or locals willing to meet up for a few runs has made a huge difference in the last 5-6 years. While TheSkiDiva has providing many ski buddies, I've also found ski buddies in other ways from past connections unrelated to skiing.

For staying in shape, skiing is the incentive for year round exercising. Just doing ski conditioning exercises during pre-season (Sep-Nov) isn't enough. Especially for balance and flexibility.
 

MaineSkiLady

Angel Diva
There are currently 5 of us. We laughingly call ourselves “SilverMainers.” (Play on words intentional.) Our average age is 71.6. Our total number of ski seasons is 275. 2 are native Mainers. 2 are retired level 2 instructors. 1 of us has skied with Greg Stump in Chamonix, prior to the filming of “The Blizzard of Ahhhhs.”

There is much history.

2 of our cohorts, our dear Canadian friends, are “on hiatus,” due to covid restrictions. We miss them (but—they do bring down our average age slightly, haha).

We have been there and done that. Now it is all about friendship and fun - and full understanding of the limitations that age inevitably brings. There is no concern about “improvement.” There is no competition. No one eggs on anyone else to do anything beyond that person’s daily comfort zone. Some of us tire sooner than others.

We join a veritable band of weekday morning senior skiers. And one would never know this prior to helmet removal.

And it’s this factor - time - that unites us. Next year, one of us might not be among us. Time is rattling our teacups - so we are enjoying every minute of friendship and fun - and mutual respect.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Heard a story waiting for my lesson at Taos to start this morning. Short version is that an older man, probably an Oldster, told me how he started doing Taos Ski Weeks back in the 1990s. He had an accent, probably from a European country. He was influences by a friend who had been a very good skier starting in his teens. The friend discovered Taos Ski Weeks in the mid-1990s. The man I was talking to had been surprised that someone who was such a good skier would take lessons. His friend got him to understand that the lessons were going to make it far easier to keep skiing as a Senior/Oldster. This man started doing Ski Weeks as a beginner . . . at age 52. When he retired, he moved to the town of Taos. My impression is that he was in one of the advanced intermediate groups.
 

Black Pearl

Diva in Training
I'm just about to turn 72. We recently moved to Oregon, about an hour from Mt. Hood. We came here from Colorado and the snow is so different I'm a little intimidated as I am finally recovered from a leg break two years ago.
I'd love to meet a skier to show us the mountain (I'm intermediate/advanced intermediate, so is hubby) so we can find our way around.
 

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
This appeared on my fb today. Not something I'm familiar with but have always wondered why people I ski with, ostensibly same level as me, who really don't care much about technique, are able to ski suboptimal conditions much better than I can, seemingly without skiing 'correctly' as I understand it . Think this may be part of the answer. Any thoughts?https://m.facebook.com/story.php?st...AodkvB2Lq1ul&id=100057219559146&sfnsn=scwspwa
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This appeared on my fb today. Not something I'm familiar with but have always wondered why people I ski with, ostensibly same level as me, who really don't care much about technique, are able to ski suboptimal conditions much better than I can, seemingly without skiing 'correctly' as I understand it . Think this may be part of the answer. Any thoughts?https://m.facebook.com/story.php?st...AodkvB2Lq1ul&id=100057219559146&sfnsn=scwspwa
Is there a video at this link? I can't find it. This question has been a big one for me.
 

Moleski

Certified Ski Diva
Is there a video at this link? I can't find it. This question has been a big one for me.
In the version that appeared on my fb, there is a link about 3/4 way down the article. It appears as text on a yellow background and says 'watch the snow works snow displacement video' - it features Emma Carrick Anderson, Scottish/UK Olympic skier. I talked it over last night with my coach and she said she sees the concept as an alternative way of thinking about edging , pressure, balance etc., encompassing all in one concept. I didn't really get it and she said not to worry, hold it if useful, otherwise forget about it. Not everyone learns the same and apparently I am quite out there compared to most!
 

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