Ski Suits Don’t Age, Just Their Owners.

In 1974 while living in Vienna, Virginia, I had a midlife crisis. On December 27, I turned 40 with the thought that I had reached middle-age and would have to limit my skiing.

In the past, while living in California, the family had gone skiing on my birthday. Now in Virginia, my nine-year-old son, Bill, said, “There aren’t any mountains. If you want to ski we’re going to have to go to Utah or Colorado.” There was only one thing to do, jump into the Mercedes and drive to Utah, where we all loved to ski.

Bill Emerson in his yellow ski suit on his 40th birthday

As a belated birthday surprise my wife provided me with a form-fitting yellow ski suit. My first day with the yellow suit was spent at Park City, enjoying a beautiful sunny day.

Thus began a tradition of skiing on special birthdays in my special yellow suit. Between those events, the yellow suit hung in the back of a closet.

It emerged next in 1984 for my 50th. My very grown up son and I headed to Snowbird to celebrate. The yellow birthday suit went with us.

After that trip, the  suit moved again to the back of the closet. Its next adventure w

Bill skiing Park City on his 80th

as 25 years later. This time on my 75th.

In September 2014, approaching my 80th, I returned to the gym to work off a few pounds. I wasn’t going to celebrate on skis without the suit or my son. He was over 40, older than I was when I received the suit on my 40th.

We agreed to meet at Park City.

The cold day required wearing a newer and much warmer red jacket.

At one point I donned the yellow suit so Bill could snap a few shots of my yellow ski suit and me.




  1. Yvette Cardozo says:

    Good for you…another Miami skier. I didn’t even SEE snow till my mid 20s, but made up for it by writing about S. American ski resorts. Las Lenas is my favorite but sleeping in a stone hut with the then owner (and builder) of el colorado-farellones ski resort outside Santiago was among my more interesting.

  2. Cyndy Scholz says:

    I grew up in Vienna, VA so I too was there in 1974!

    I started skiing at Ski Liberty, PA in Feb, 1975 as a young 14 year old. Didn’t even know about skiing in Colorado (where I now live since 1989).

    It was 1985 before I even “discovered” the wonderful “out West” skiing.

    I have been a part time Ski Instructor since 1981 at Massanutten, VA, Ski Liberty, PA, and Copper Mountain, CO (28 years now!).

  3. Beverly Koch says:

    I never downhill skied until Iwas 40! I am still downhill skiing at nearly 80! I love it!

  4. Bill
    I enjoyed your story so much. The family tradition of skiing on your birthday and donning the YELLOW SKI SUIT is a great tale. Thanks for sharing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *