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Tips for intermediates over 40 planning to ski until 70+

Janis Williams

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh generally I discuss lessons as privates because I have found most group lessons not so great... Group lessons I liked if they were small groups - Maximum 3-4 people perhaps(Whistler Ski Esprit I think???) I think perhaps 6 is doable - more than that forget it.

Group lessons in Australia mostly means a pretty large group - not great. My friends do better in smaller groups also so I know it is not just me and my funky learning.
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I believe lessons at Breck are max of four people. (That doesn't apply to the lesson pass I have, which is why I'm not sure).
 

Janis Williams

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Four is GOOD... Poor instructor has no chance when dragging around 12-15 beginners(saw it)...

Programs like race programs are different as the coaches see their charges every day for a season. This sort of interaction means they can personalise more because they already know the people. A possible one off lesson by the time the instructor works out the names of 10 people and gets them all in place and... way too messy!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Tremblant has a max of 7....8 people fit into the gondola, or 4/chair. That said never ever's are usually on the magic carpet.....At our local hill it's usually a small group too.
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
I believe lessons at Breck are max of four people. (That doesn't apply to the lesson pass I have, which is why I'm not sure).
Breckenridge and Keystone - ideal is 8 in a group lesson but can be more or less. They also do the "Ultimate Four" which is a higher price than the regular lesson. The "unlimited lesson pass" is considered a regular group lesson. At Keystone with the upper group (mostly lesson pass holders) we try to keep it at 8 but sometimes we get 9 or 10. Not ideal but we make it work as best we can!
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Breckenridge and Keystone - ideal is 8 in a group lesson but can be more or less. They also do the "Ultimate Four" which is a higher price than the regular lesson. The "unlimited lesson pass" is considered a regular group lesson. At Keystone with the upper group (mostly lesson pass holders) we try to keep it at 8 but sometimes we get 9 or 10. Not ideal but we make it work as best we can!
Thanks for the clarification! I've seen a lot more than 8 at times with the unlimited pass at Breck, but that seems to be because a lot of people want to ski with certain instructors over others. I remember one popular instructor saying that management was putting their foot down about not letting him take a ton of people, which surprised me (I would think they'd see it as a cost savings - but maybe there's also a PR issue, not to mention other instructors getting short changed.)

ETA - seeing more than 8 applies to the unlimited pass, not regular lessons
 

KatyPerrey

PSIA 3 Children's Specialist 2 Keystone Resort
Not sure how Breckenridge pays their instructors but at Keystone we get our hourly pay, plus student pay and return pay. The more students and returning students the more $ we make and less to the resort. The lesson pass is a money loser for the ski school! Great deal for you and the instructor but in the end not so good for the ski school. Not sure why they still do it!?

Sorry for the derailment!
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That is the one point that worries me. We want to buy a condo in walking distance of peak 9. I suggested Copper instead, but the deciding factor for us is the lesson pass. We do have a number of years before the condo is reality, so maybe it'll be obvious what to do by then.
 

Janis Williams

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Sorry for the derailment!
My fault I think... I was trying to explain my reasoning... Australia group lessons are huge groups often... No options like those Breck passes... My home resort gives beginners free lessons - as long as you buy a beginner pass you get free lessons... beginner pass is restricted lift access IIRC - so green/blue terrain...
 
Last week I had a chance to ski a few runs with Naomi, Her favorite trail in the spring off Supreme is Rock'N'Roll since that side softens first. With cold snow, she is happy to do a few funs on the Collins side in the morning and then go in for the day.

Naomi celebrated her 92nd birthday on April 8. She started her birthday with a early ride up the Collins lift at Alta with ski patrol before the opening time. Hard to see but that's her on the left on the chair just past the loading zone. I gather that sometimes happens on other days as well.
View attachment 2788

What I learned this trip was that Naomi didn't start skiing until age 40. One story she told me was about the day she did Devil's Castle (5-10 min side step up then long traverse) over and over again. I think she said five times. Her memory was that she was in her 50s or even over 60. Naomi plans to be at Alta Lodge again next season. I'm looking forward to skiing with her again.
An update about Naomi. She celebrated her 93rd birthday in early April her favorite way . . . with an early start on fresh snow. Alta got several inches overnight before her birthday. Later that day I followed her on RockNRoll as she did short turns on the side of the trail in order to stay in relatively untracked powder. She's as energetic as ever on and off the snow.

In late Jan, Naomi decided to ski in Europe for the first time. She went on a group trip with the Over 70 Club. She enjoyed the skiing but not the long flights. Skied longer days than usual. I think she said she skied 4 out of 6 days.

Early start on her birthday, 8:54 (lifts open to public at 9:15). When ski patrol waved her in, she was though the gate in a flash. Had been waiting for 5 min or so.
Naomi Apr2015 - 1.jpg

Ready and waiting at 8:45 on April 9
Naomi Apr2015 - 2.jpg
 
I see a lot of "older" people skiing out there and I think its great. DH who sometimes goes during the week as he gets more vacation time than I do see many seniors on the slopes as when you are retired you can do stuff like ski during the week. That's an awesome goal to stay in it so when you retire you don't have to deal with weekend crowds.

I have been snowboarding since I was 30, switched to ski blades when I was 37 and then longer skis when I was 42. I recently spent a day snowboarding and determined its a lot more work than when I was in 30s so I happily went back to my skis.

I am going to work harder this summer to stay in shape and stay active; bike riding, gym, running the occasional road race. Just drinking a ton of water and trying to stay active and see if it makes a different going into next season. I do notice now that after a couple hard days of skiing that I am very stiff and my legs just feel like I ran a marathon. I have noticed this more this past season than the previous 2 seasons. Not sure if I am just skiing harder or if I am getting "older" and feeling it more now. Either way I plan to be even more active this summer and see if it makes a difference next season. I think I am going to try yoga as well.

I love skiing so much, its my soul mate and I want nothing more than to be skiing until I am 70-80 years old.
 
Yep, plenty of older folks skiing mid-week . . . couples, groups of men, and groups of women. Seen them at small places and destination resorts. When I'm at a place for the first time, I look for the local group of seniors because they always know the best place to boot up and leave stuff.

While increasing my cardio fitness certainly has helped when it comes to short hikes (5-10 min) for in-bounds terrain like Catherine's at Alta or Long Shot at Snowmass, I think what's made the most difference is improved core strength, balance, and flexibility. Doing exercises related to leg strength a couple times a week during the summer seems to be enough. Assuming I put in more effort 6-8 weeks before ski season starts. As I learn about advanced technique, it takes the less effort even when I'm skiing harder terrain. I can definitely ski all day long on groomers without worrying about sore muscles. There were days at Alta in April where going off-trail was not worth the effort.

Pretty sure Naomi does yoga 30-45 min a day.
 
Agree that yoga is excellent. I'm sure I'm considerably older than the majority (if not all) active divas but am still able to ski 6 days in a row - did that in Austria in March - and we skied hard for the entire day. Then I was off skis for two days before three days at Sunday River (much easier skiing, but still the full day). Yes, strength is important (and core strength is key), but I think the main thing that lets us older skiers keep going is technique. The better you ski, the less effort it is, and the less strain on your muscles.

I was watching a man at Tremblant last week - he looked well on in age, but oh my gosh, he skied smoothly. He was skiing some big spring bumps with total control - no jarring at all - just smooth smooth. I'm trying to emulate that.
 
Another good approach for general fitness that improves balance is Tai Chi. The bonus with Tai Chi is that you never stop moving, just as happens during skiing. The L3 instructor I worked with at Bridger in 2012 discovered Tai Chi about 15 years ago. Liked it so much that he became a Tai Chi instructor during the off-season.
 
Another good approach for general fitness that improves balance is Tai Chi. The bonus with Tai Chi is that you never stop moving, just as happens during skiing. The L3 instructor I worked with at Bridger in 2012 discovered Tai Chi about 15 years ago. Liked it so much that he became a Tai Chi instructor during the off-season.
I have done thai chi in the past and enjoyed it very much. My neighbor is into this. This summer I will focus on strengthening my core and doing some yoga and thai chi.
 

pinto

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We met Naomi briefly at Alta Lodge a few years ago. Very inspiring. And DH said, "That's my goal now, to set you up to live like she does in your old age!" I guess he thinks I will outlive him, but whatever. We all need goals. :-)
 

NZfarmgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
[QUOTE="SkiBam, post: 292575, member: 1523"
I was watching a man at Tremblant last week - he looked well on in age, but oh my gosh, he skied smoothly. He was skiing some big spring bumps with total control - no jarring at all - just smooth smooth. I'm trying to emulate that.[/QUOTE]
I think this is incredibly important and as my technique has improvement I find my body handling things better. -I originally thought that it was just my increased strength and fitness but efficient skiing is what I think will take me into old age. Absorption needs to be a priority in my training -like having good quality shock absorbers.
 
We met Naomi briefly at Alta Lodge a few years ago. Very inspiring. And DH said, "That's my goal now, to set you up to live like she does in your old age!" I guess he thinks I will outlive him, but whatever. We all need goals. :-)
Naomi's husband certainly made it easy for her. She's been spending the first two weeks of every ski season month at Alta Lodge for decades (Dec-Apr). Stays longer in April depending on when Alta Lodge closes for the season. I think she likes spring skiing, even if it means starting a bit later in the morning to let the groomers soften up. A perfect morning is when it snows 2-3 inches just before the lifts open and visibility is good or obviously going to improve, especially if Supreme is still open.

She has her 70+, 80+, 90+ patches on an armband so that she can wear it regardless of which ski outfit she chooses. :smile:
 

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