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Would you ever quit skiing?

Poll Results: Would you ever consider quitting skiing and under what circumstances?

Poll expired: Apr 16, 2013 This is a multiple choice poll
  • 60% of voters (49)
    Never under any circumstances short of death would I ever consider quitting skiing.
  • 6% of voters (5)
    I would consider quitting skiing if I got too old to ski anything but blue groomers.
  • 9% of voters (8)
    I would consider quitting skiing if I was badly injured and couldn't ski anything but blue groomers.
  • 2% of voters (2)
    I would consider quitting skiing if my partner/ski buddy quit.
  • 24% of voters (20)
    I would consider quitting skiing for another reason (please explain)
81 Total Votes  
post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 

Would you continue skiing if you weren't able to ski like you are now? For instance, when you get older or get injured and can't ski the rad lines you do now, do you think you'd continue skiing even if you're only able to get down blue groomers or is that prospect too boring to contemplate? 

 

As I near the sunset years it's a question that occurs to me often, especially as I see my older friends having to dial back. Can I be satisfied with less thrills, or will the thrill-theshold keep sinking incrementally lower so that I don't notice that my experience is any less exciting?

post #2 of 112

I'd quit if my risk of serious injury becomes too great. Like osteoporosis or some other disease making a fractured hip from a minor fall a likely outcome. Otherwise I see the exercise benefit well into old age as a plus, rather than a minus. Probably stay away from the bumps and steeps and cliff drops and heli-skiing, and pick mellower runs though.

 

As for injury.. take up sit skis or other adaptive skiing as a challenge.

post #3 of 112

Decent gambit for us older guys, but poll overlooks the most obvious reason for quitting altogether. Risk. It's entirely possible to lose the ability to move without a cane or walker for years and years before you die if you suffer a hip or leg fracture. Trust me, we'll all be there someday. Don't get too absolutist about blue runs in the meantime; you'll ski until you realize that if you fall you may never walk right again. Or you do fall, and something isn't quite right afterwards, ever again. Stuff accumulates. So you'll dial it back. In fact, I assume you already have. We all have unless we're certifiable. Then you'll realize - or be told by your doc - that the next injury won't really heal. Period. So you quit and concentrate on hiking and fly fishing. Or go buy X-country gear and poke around. Or you could live the last 20 years of your life getting taken care of by someone because you can't make it to the grocery store on your own anymore, but by god you went out in a burst of glory!  

post #4 of 112

I'd quit if I couldn't ski without aggravating existing injuries; feeling severe pain; etc.

 

I would NOT quit if I was confined to blue groomers or even green beginners trails. Also, if I found that pain / disability was aggravated by the separate motions and rotations of skis, but snowboarding was possible, I'd switch.

 

And I would explain to anyone who would listen (and quite a few who didn't want to listen) that I was only on a board because some knee or hip injury made skiing too painful or damaging.

 

If snowboarding wasn't much easier / less stressful there wouldn't be so many idiots doing it.

post #5 of 112
The quick answer is that I don't ever want to stop, but I'll have to think a bit before voting. Longevity on the slopes is one area where lower level skiers/boarders have a chance to surpass super experts. Since I was never highly skilled I have no problem at all thinking about skiing only groomers as I get older. What might reduce my motivation is if I could only ski in pain or in a very labored/unsafe manner due to serious health issues, or if I had a disabled spouse that needed intense care giving or special facilities a long way from any mountain.
post #6 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

If snowboarding wasn't much easier / less stressful there wouldn't be so many idiots doing it.

ROTF.gif I gotta love this, but in truth, my wife - who tried it and went back to skiing - says that no one over the age of 30 should even think about learning from scratch. Your back, butt, and wrists will thank you. 

 

I do think that classic X-country, as in narrow skis and mostly level or mild hills, basically just walking along or gently sliding, is more old-person friendly. Both from observation, and from trying it at one point at Stowe years ago. Kinda wonderful, actually, if you dig the winter countryside. The current version, using lifts and fat skis, just looks like needless work to make a turn. 

post #7 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

I'd quit if I couldn't ski without aggravating existing injuries; feeling severe pain; etc.

 

I would NOT quit if I was confined to blue groomers or even green beginners trails. Also, if I found that pain / disability was aggravated by the separate motions and rotations of skis, but snowboarding was possible, I'd switch.

 

And I would explain to anyone who would listen (and quite a few who didn't want to listen) that I was only on a board because some knee or hip injury made skiing too painful or damaging.

 

If snowboarding wasn't much easier / less stressful there wouldn't be so many idiots doing it.


Do me a favor, go try and learn to snowboard this weekend. Report back with how easy it is.

post #8 of 112

If I could only ski blue's I'd keep skiing and probably teach skiing for the green and blue level skiers.  

post #9 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

ROTF.gif I gotta love this, but in truth, my wife - who tried it and went back to skiing - says that no one over the age of 30 should even think about learning from scratch. Your back and wrists will thank you. 

Beyond,

 

Share this story with you wife please.  Let her know that years back I met a gentlemen going up the lift, who at the age of 80 was skiing for 3 years,  The funny thing the area that he was skiing was all black diamonds and I saw him skiing it very well.

 

As we went up the lift I had made the comment that I hope to ski as well as he did when I got to be his age and also asked how long he had been skiing.  His reply was 3 years.  My response you got to be kidding, you started at 77?, you mean you never skied before? Why did you start now?  He replied, nope, started working a young age, had wife, and family to support and finally had no more responsibilities and he always wanted to ski.  So he took up skiing, how hard could it be he said.  No lessons, just bought equipment and got on lift and went.

 

What I learned was age is a thing of the mind, if you feel young enough to do it you can and enjoy it.  (Not that I suggest that the way this gentlemen got there is the best or safest way, but if it worked, so who I'm I to say otherwise).

 

I was in my mid late 20's at the time.  And everytime I feel I'm to old or too sore, I think of this guy and everything is all good again.  So I'll stop skiing when I can't lift the coffin lid to get my boot and skis on wink.gif.

 

BTW thats why they made painkillers.

 

Cheers

post #10 of 112

I'll bite!

 

I'm continuing to alpine ski most because it being an endless process of improvement. So, if my aging body dictates I regress rather than improve, I think a big chunk of my motivation will be gone and I might not bother to ski much. 

 

On the other hand, I also enjoy the movement and scenry of high mountains enough that I might, just might, continue to ski at a much reduced frequency. More of a tourist on skis rather than "a skier". 

 

The "other reason" I might quit downhill skiing at the drop of a hat is, I'm already very much into xc skiing, "the old person's skiing". So a lot of what makes people want to ski, I can get from xc skiing already. (no, xc skiing doesn't get me to the top of Lone Peak!) So the specific motivation of downhill skiing: adrenalin, skills & reflex, once it's no longer available to me, there's no longer much motivation to downhill any more.  

 

Granted, I've never skied the 'rad line. So perhaps my answer is not quite relevant to the question being asked. 


Edited by at_nyc - 4/9/13 at 11:39am
post #11 of 112

I'm going to say "never" without really saying "never" again.   I could see extended breaks due to finance or physical limitations.   But, considering all possibilities, including adaptive sit skis or other tech we haven't seen yet I would always consider skiing or something similar until the day I'm dead.  I've already reached the pinnacle and downward inflection point in my abilities.  I will never ski faster, jump higher/farther, or shred gnarlier than I already have in my lifetime.  I can see myself still enjoying cruising blues or even greens as a very elderly and fragile old fart. 

post #12 of 112

I would have to be injured beyond repair and or recovery to stop , or have memory loss to the point of forgetting where I put my equipment.

post #13 of 112

Well I am old and creaky now and one knee is held together with spit and string. Polite young men come and offer to help at the end of the day when I struggle to get my boots off. I find I can only manage a couple of hours before lunch and a couple after providing I stick to the groomed runs.. But I still love being on the snow in the mountains. Big sweeping GS turns with the skis running well on a blue sky day, there is nothing finer.

 

I used to board. I learned to ski when I was 30 and board when I was in my late 30s. Hard boots on a winterstick, anyone remember them?  But it just kills my knee so I stick to skis nowadays.

 

Do I plan to quit any time soon. Hell no. But if the day comes then I will have some happy memories. Blasting down the Vallee Blanche with

 

Seasons don't fear the reaper!

 

on the Walkman.

 

And this years bucket list trip to the resorts around SLC. Snowbasin with about 4 to 6 inches of powder on a blue sky day. That I can still manage.

post #14 of 112

mandatory helmets and I'm gone (as far as resort skiing goes)

 

then find me in the backcountry

post #15 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post


Do me a favor, go try and learn to snowboard this weekend. Report back with how easy it is.

Ride up the chair with a bunch of snowboarders some time.

 

Listen to the things they say.

 

Look at how they behave when they get off the chair.

 

Snowboarding HAS TO BE easy. It CANNOT require any intelligence, determination, attention span, or consistent effort.

 

Now Olympians are a different question. They must have some smarts and the ability to really work at something; but your typical snowboarder? Hah.

post #16 of 112

If I suffered an injury right now that left me only able to ski blue groomers, I think that I'd have a difficult time continuing to ski, at least for a while (I assume if I'm limited to blue groomers I can't really ski hard on them). I think that seeing what I'm missing would be too much for me right now.  I might go out with my wife or start again when I had kids, but I don't think I would pursue it on my own.  Hopefully as I age, I'll ease into that phase of my skiing life more gently.

 

I might continue touring if I was limited, though (or really start touring way more). Some mellow meadowskipping would still be fun and I would be out in nature in a different way than resort skiing is for me at the moment.

post #17 of 112

I grew up with a father on ski patrol. He's 73 now and almost quit this year after having a bad day on the slopes when he couldn't get up after a fall. At first I got the call that he was finished and was selling his equipment. Then, after some conversations I convinced him to increase his activity and he just joined a gym. I'm not sure if he will go up again this season, but I'm sure he'll be up next season.

 

I'm single, no kids, and skiing is one of those things that gives me pure joy and allows me to escape from life. After being away from it for a decade and coming back, I just can't even see how I could go again without it being part of my life.

 

I know this year at 45, when I blew my knee, the doctor told me why don't you just stop skiing and then you probably won't need an ACL repair. (I've had other breaks and a bad car accident that has contributed to his suggestion). I'd love to say that I'd ski forever, but you don't know if you will be physically able to. As far as sticking to the blue groomers, I guess I'll have to find out what that is like next ski season since I'm forbidden to go into the moguls. I think I'd rather ski 5-6 hours on blue groomers than only a few hours on harder terrain. It's not just skiing the steeps and the powder, it's getting into a rhythm and feeling the carve amongst this beautiful scenery.

 

I hope to ski as long as my dad. Besides, I still have a lot to teach my nephew and niece (9 & 12).

 

If they can do it, why can't we?

 

Stein Eriksen, 85

 

Klaus Obermeyer, 93 (2 years post broken leg)

 

90 year old skier

http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=234528

 

100 year old Nastar skier

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7359508n

 

100 year old skier

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7359508n

 

Old skiers never die. They just go downhill fast.

post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

 

Snowboarding HAS TO BE easy. It CANNOT require any intelligence, determination, attention span, or consistent effort.

 

Folks that have been on skateboards (or surfboards) year round from the time they were in kindergarten pick up snowboarding and all those other nasty habits pretty easily.  If you don't have lots of other experience on a board the learning curve gets a lot longer. 

post #19 of 112

I actually considered it the last few years after dealing with re-occuring back injuries. I had to cancel two western ski trips, couldn't ski much at my home mountain and missed out on a lot of skiing. It get's pretty depressing. That coupled with living in the Mid-Atlantic (the skiing sucks), being so busy with work/family and the cost involved made me think it would just be easier to give it up.

 

I'm making one more serious run at rehab and training trying to get as fit as I was at 28 (I am 48). I started using an inversion table which really seems to help. I have also made some serious diet changes due to HBP and was able to get off of meds which has made a huge difference.

 

Hopefully this will get me back on track to ski and ski the way I want to.

post #20 of 112

When I can, I ski with my uncle, the man who introduced me to this passion 50 years ago.

He is now 88 and skis in Maine and at Vail every year. And he skis.

In fact, he embraces his age. His thing is to be the oldest guy on the hill, and he keeps his eyes open for other dudes of his generation.

A couple years ago he was at Vail skiing with his adult kids when he spied another old codger who he thought was taking a lesson. So he tells his son to ski over to the instructor and ask how old the guy was. Dutifully, my cousin inquires of the instructor and is told that the man is 90 years old and is a very good skier. In fact, the instructor revealed he was not part of the lesson group, but his 25 year old girlfriend was. My cousin returned with the good news.

So the moral of the story is that you should ski until you are at least 90 if you want a 25 year old honey. At least that is what I get out of it.

That is my plan.

D1

post #21 of 112

Don't several ski areas give free lift tickets to really old farts?  Pretty sure I've heard that over 70 or 80 ski free many places.  I could see being frustrated and wanting to quit if I hadn't achieved most of my ski related goals as my age and health decline makes it impossible to do so.  One goal I still have is NASTAR Platinum.  I'm pretty sure I would have earned some if they had had platinum medals back when I skied really frequently.  After coming back from a decade off I was able to land solid gold four years ago with the jacket on.  The past three years I've gone out to try to run all three days the NASTAR got cancelled due to conflicting events or weather problems.  At least age is figured in to the handicap so there is still hope, but I'm pretty sure my effort to ski perfectly and aggressively may be waning faster than the years and handicap are increasing these days. 

post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

Ride up the chair with a bunch of snowboarders some time.

 

Listen to the things they say.

 

Look at how they behave when they get off the chair.

 

Snowboarding HAS TO BE easy. It CANNOT require any intelligence, determination, attention span, or consistent effort.

 

Now Olympians are a different question. They must have some smarts and the ability to really work at something; but your typical snowboarder? Hah.


I'm listening to the things you are saying and can only assume you are a hopeless simpleton clinging to 20 year old prejudices. And it doesn't sound very intelligent.

post #23 of 112

I can't imagine not skiing, even if it's on blue groomers. I told my wife, before we were married that if she didn't ski, there would be no future for us. Skiing, for me, isn't just an activity, it's a lifestyle. Some people ski, others are skiers. I have always been a skier.

 

To that end, we have a place on the mountain where we spend about half our time in the winter. Many of our longtime friends are there and are who we ski with as well as socialize with. In most cases, these friends are 5-10 years younger than me so will be there for the longer haul than me, (probably). 

 

Even if I'm reduced to skiing blue groomers, getting out there is beautiful, being able to get some fresh air and exercise will be good, joining my buddies for apres' ski will always be special, and not having to be in town for the time I'm at the mountain will be worth the trip. So no, I can't imagine not skiing until I'm physically, absolutely not able to put my boots on.

post #24 of 112

Life can dictate some harsh rules at times.  Just do what you love as long as you can.  When you can't close your eyes and remember it; the memories may still make you smile.

 

I will ski as long as I can at the level I can.  If some day that means skiing the greens, so be it (I will have the best boots on the bunny hill).  

 

The kids all hold sealed envelopes with instructions for "in the event of the onset of Alzheimer's", that is my personal fear.  In short I have asked them to take me someplace big and burly buy me a ticket and put me on a lift to the top.  I will take care of the rest.  After the snow melts the patrol will find the remains of an old guy at the bottom of a cliff or in a tree well; they might wonder about the smile.

post #25 of 112

At the risk of exposing my soft blue underbelly, I do not get the "if you could only ski blue groomers" part of the equation - like if its blue you're through.

I just love putting on the carvers and ripping down the classic New England blue groomers we have at Sugarloaf. The snow surface is often the best on the hill and sometimes the only available terrain if there is thin or no cover on the "natural" trails.

Sure, I love going au natural when the snow is good, but sometimes carving up the white carpet of bliss is just exhilarating.

D1

post #26 of 112
Been skiing my whole life. I was away for a few years (too many) and realized when I got back on my skis that skiing is like going back in time. Everything fades away and there is only skiing... timeless and euphoric. More meditative than meditation... I'm in it for the long haul.
post #27 of 112

My first inclination was no how, no way would I ever quit skiing.  Reality is that if it became more trouble than it was worth, I could see myself retiring to a tropical local & watching the waves & bikinis go by from my rocking chair.

 

My father skied until he was 83 & probably would have kept it up, but according to him it became to much of a pain to deal with all the specialized clothing, boots & other equipment.  Getting to the mountain & then to the lifts is what finally ended it for him. 

 

I know of more than a few of our locals who are well into their 80's & are more than happy skiing blue groomers just about everyday.

 

JF

post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Life can dictate some harsh rules at times.  Just do what you love as long as you can.  When you can't close your eyes and remember it; the memories may still make you smile.

 

Very harsh rules can be dealt out.  My brother got MS in his mid-30's, and was forced out of skiing.  He was an incredible skier.

Another engineer at work got a brain infection and has been laid up a year as of last week.  A lifelong devotion to the sport put on hold.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

My first inclination was no how, no way would I ever quit skiing.  Reality is that if it became more trouble than it was worth, I could see myself retiring to a tropical local & watching the waves & bikinis go by from my rocking chair.

 

 

If I were to be skiing into my old age, the drive to the resort would have to get shorter.  I probably would be limited by the 3-4 hour drives one way just to get to the slopes that I do now.  I've basically quit playing basketball and racquetball for several years now, and wouldn't have even thought that was possible 20 years ago.

post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

My first inclination was no how, no way would I ever quit skiing.  Reality is that if it became more trouble than it was worth, I could see myself retiring to a tropical local & watching the waves & bikinis go by from my rocking chair.

 

 

Yeah, this is probably more like reality for me, too. I like to think that I'll keep going no matter what but the truth is probably closer to this. I'm not sure about the tropical beach (not a bad choice) but more likely somewhere south, golfing every day that I can, clipping coupons and eating dinner at 3:45 in the afternoon... Sheesh! 

post #30 of 112
Thread Starter 

Notes: "Rad lines" is a poor choice of words; a better expression might be "at the top of your game." 

Maybe replace "groomed blue runs" with "easy groomers," if that works better for you. 

 

I am enjoying all the detailed answers! Personally, I can't imagine not skiing for the rest of my life, but I don't want to lower my expectations either. Over the past few years it became obvious to me that my skiing was suffering because I wasn't in good shape. I started doing a tough cross-fit type workout a year ago and I feel like I am stronger and more fit than ever -- which has improved my skiing and has made me feel able to take more risks.   


Edited by nolo - 4/9/13 at 3:47pm
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