Twenty-seven thousand, three hundred and ninety-four days. Exactly, nine hundred months. On Wednesday I turned 75. For all but the first nine years, skiing has been my passion.

Two things about me contribute to this craziness: I love being outside in the cold, and what I lack in athleticism, I’ve made up for with persistence.

In Okemo’s early days, when I was 11 or 12, I spent the better part of a season determined to ride the Poma without falling. Eventually, I conquered that demon.

For several years, it seemed I was condemned to the stem, functional but awkward. I remember the moment at Mount Snow when a mogul inadvertently caused me to parallel turn. Before long, I had to think twice before stemming.

There were times when I was bedridden. Regardless of time of year, crumpled sheets became mountain ranges, and my mind took me places where I would ski.

In my teens and twenties, friends and I would jump-turn down Eastern trails, stopping with the occasional tip roll. We wore double leather boots wrapped with long thongs. More than once, I’d get to the bottom and realize my skis were splintered.

There were long weekend rides from Manhattan to Killington and Stowe. On the Stowe Road, the LaMarr’s provided a bunk bed and a hearty breakfast for $5.00. On one of those trips another car spun out of control and wrecked my new MG Midget. Hitchhiking that weekend put me on the road to getting hitched. One of the girls who picked me up became my bride.

Soon, skiing shifted to the West, starting in Alta in 1972. It’s been a rare season since when I haven’t
skied that magic mountain. At one point I fell in love with powder. Those of you who have been up to your knees or thighs or waist will understand. When it’s that deep, steep is your friend. It’s a joyful experience, and, like the word, “joy,” it’s ephemeral.

Over the years, I’ve learned to follow the snow.  It’s great to spend the day seeking out the best conditions. It might take you to blacks, blues, or greens. If you know how to use your equipment with the least amount of effort, and if you enjoy making graceful turns, you’ll understand this preoccupation with the physics of poetry.

These days, I’m deliberately slow. Wherever I go – and if I feel up to it – I like to play with the fall line, skiing slowly, making well-formed turns. Some kid me about getting more turns per vertical foot. Others get tired of waiting.

I view skiing as a metaphor for life. We develop and use a range of skills. Some days are bluebird; some are dark. There are times of confusion when we feel our way into clarity. Other times it can be cold, miserable, and ugly. But most of the time, skiing is an expression of love.

Legally Younger?

A 69 year old in the Netherlands tried to legally change his age to 49, which, he says, is how old he feels. The Dutch government rejected the request. He plans to appeal, based on the idea that other forms of personal transformation, such as name and gender, are gaining traction in the Netherlands. In one of the SeniorsSkiing.com reader surveys we asked about your actual age and how old you felt after a good day on the slopes. Your ages averaged about 67. How old did you feel? Twenty years younger!

Rare 20% Discount from Apex Ski Boot System

If you’ve been thinking about slipping your feet into a pair of Apex boots — they provide comfort and performance and, like the ad states, let you Ski Hard and Walk Easy — now is a good time to do it. The company is offering a 20% discount to the first 50 SeniorsSkiing.com readers who respond (shipping to the lower 48, included). Offer ends Christmas day. Go to the Apex website, make your selection, and enter  SENIOR3000 on checkout.

Ski Whiteface with an Olympian

Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, is a lovely place to stay when visiting Whiteface Mountain and other North Country attractions. Starting this season, Andrew Weibrecht, son of the Inn’s owners and an Olympic medalist, is available to ski with Mirror Inn guests at Whiteface. It’s on the pricey side ($450 for 8:00AM to noon, lift ticket included), but for the deep-pocket set, it sounds like a fun experience.

Vermont Adaptive Honors Volunteers

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the nationally-recognized group empowering people of all abilities through inclusive sports and recreational programming, announced its Volunteers of the Year. They are Phil Crowell, of Plainfield, N.H., and Jackie Levine, Barry Whitworth, and Ryan Kennedy, all of Burlington, VT. Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports provides services regardless of ability to pay.

Stoking Your Inner-Pow

I don’t know where this video was shot, but it’s titled “First lines of 2018 – skiing some powder.” Enjoy.

More Great Holiday Gifts for Older Skiers

I just purchased a dozen GearBeasts– all different colors – as holiday gifts for my skiing friends. They’ll use and love this neat, little smartphone carrier. It fits over the neck and under the parka, keeping the phone warm, accessible, and safe. Warm, because it’s close to the body and helps keep the  charge. Accessible, because it’s always there and no need to search pockets. Safe, because the phone can be used on the lift without concern for accidental drops. GearBeast has a little built-in pocket to carry credit card, driver’s license and a few bills. When I use it – and I use it often — I leave my wallet in the car. As a holiday gift to SeniorsSkiing.com readers, the company – an advertiser – is giving 20% off its regular prices that range from $9.99 to $12.99 (I bought the $9.99 version.) Go to gearbeast.com (or click on the adjacent ad) and enter SENIORS-SKIING when checking out.

A thoughtful gift for any older skier visiting Aspen/Snowmass is a one-day Ski Younger Now session with Seth Masia: $820 with 7 day advance booking.

Other Recent Gift Giving Suggestions:

Wild West Jerky makes great-tasting, all-natural, jerky products. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers receive a 20% discount off full retail. Enter seniorsskiing in the promo code window at checkout

The Buffalo Wool Company makes socks, gloves, hats from bison down mixed with silk, yak, wool, and cashmere. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers get a 10% discount. Enter SeniorsSkiing in the discount code window at checkout.

Panda Poles have bamboo shafts and are beautifully hand-crafted in Idaho. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers get a 30% discount off the regular price of $95. Enter SENIORS30 at checkout.

Orsden makes wonderful parkas and pants in great colors. They’re sold only online. Comparable products in stores sell for twice as much. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers get a 30% discount through December 31. Enter WINTER30 at checkout.

DeBooter is a skiboot jack, that makes boot removal a breeze. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers get a 20% discount. Enter SENIORSSKIING at checkout.

The Bootster is a compact skboot horn. It’s small enough to be carried in a pocket. $25.00

Safe Descents is emergency ski and snowboard evacuation insurance. Among other benefits, it covers ambulance or air evacuation services if injured in-bounds at any ski resort in the United States. The policy is available to residents of all but five of the lower 48. $56.99 for the season.

Join Us in the Alps

Join us the week of March 10 when we ski in the Aosta Valley with guides from AlpskitourEach day, we’ll go to a different resort in Italy, Switzerland and France. The all-inclusive price — $4500 to $5500 per person– depends on where you fly to and whether you stay in a 3 or 5 star hotel. Orsden is a sponsor and giving a parka to each participant. If interested, email me: jon@seniorsskiing.com.

2 Comments

  1. Pam Weisberg says:

    Outstanding site. Very informative and interesting articles

  2. Thanks for some interesting news!

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