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When are skiers too old?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I definitely intend to ski until i can get the free lift pass - 75 years in La Plagne now, but could rise.
Most of my ski friends are in the 65 to 75 year bracket.
And all still skiing well (according to us snowHead )
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I ski with a 74 yr old dude with Parkinson's disease. He's still getting it done; probably needs some heated gloves.

I'll go as long as I can buckle my boots, and while I don't need 'em yet, I think Nordica has a good idea with those new rear-entry ones.

If I had to guess what ends my career, I suspect I'll fall in the parking lot and shatter!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The oldest person that I know of currently doing Masters races is 89, there are several more who are a couple of years younger.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I think the older you get the more you hope to go on a bit further.

I will be 74 in a few days and am still skiing off piste. I remember some years ago when Engelberg was my favourite resort, when I must have been in my mid fifties, I had a target of skiing Engelberg at the age of 65. It was as much a hope as a target. As it happened I last skied there four years ago at 70.

As well as staying fit and hoping to keep free of major injury, I think modern skis have helped my skiing longevity. If I was still on my skis of fifteen years ago I might not be skiing off piste as I do now. Possibly but I am not sure.

Your peer group in terms of age obviously diminishes rapidly the older you get but I have skied with a few that are older than myself and they have helped inspire me to carry on. I tend to look about two years ahead but I would like to go on longer.

What I ask myself is what will happen when I realise that I am no longer really up to off piste skiing. Will I pack in altogether or would I enjoy just cruising around on piste and enjoying the ambience of the mountains? I think that actually I might do that although I would probably not ski the usual four weeks a season I aim for now.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I also disagree with @Whitegold, I started at 4 & I’m still improving at 55.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@rungsp, I read your story about your godfather yesterday and it stayed with me : I was mulling it over at breakfast and still it keeps coming backto me. As others have said it's very touching. I love the thought of such thoughtful and respectful camaraderie.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Whitegold You just knew yu were going to get all us old farts going didnt you? Smile
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Well at 70 I have no intention of stopping yet - although whether or not I will be able to obtain (or afford) insurance once we lose our reciprocal health care rights in the EU is another matter, particularly in the current circumstances rolling eyes
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

Well at 70 I have no intention of stopping yet - although whether or not I will be able to obtain (or afford) insurance once we lose our reciprocal health care rights in the EU is another matter, particularly in the current circumstance

A big worry. My friend uses the Austrian Alpine Club annual insurance, but I think that is reliant on EHIC for medical matters as opposed to moutaineering matters.
It will probably be insurance that stops the over 70 british skiers not health or fitness.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'm very conflicted on this one, as a result of being on the periphery of two recent ski accidents. The problem I see isn't so much adjusting how you ski, but recovery from an injury - You just can't get over the fact that the older you are, the longer it takes to recover, in particular from breaking a bone or a dislocation. And this isn't anything to do with the aggressiveness of your skiing: we've probably all been hit by an idiot some time or other, even 'though we were standing still on the piste. Many of the accidents I've seen have just been bad luck: like catching an edge on a blue run done a hundred times before etc.

Of the two older people I know who had a fall this last season, one had about the most benign broken arm (if such a term can be applied) but probably won't be able to swim her favourite crawl ever again, and the other (dislocated shoulder) still hasn't get any feeling back in her lower arm and fingers and may never fully recover. The former would have had to have the arm pinned with metal inserts if the break hadn't been in the 'right' place and very clean so at least two bouts of surgery, if not more. So both are asking themselves, "Is it worth returning to skiing next season, or are the potential downsides now too great?".

Of course, you could take the view that recovery from injury is no more or less a problem whether you are at home or up a mountain. Or in summer vs winter: I've seen as many heli-evacs of walkers and VTT riders in the summer as of skiers the winter. You could just as easily trip up on the pavement outside your home and do significant damage to yourself.

Perhaps it's worth letting the insurance companies have the last say on this, inasmuch as they're good at estimating risk, using actual hospital and claims data? And if they judge that the downsides are so great that they won't insure you, or only if the premium is excessive, then perhaps it is time to call it a day.
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