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Advice for an elderly returning skier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My parents are coming out to visit me this season for a few days. My mum has already counted herself out of the skiing side of things, and is planning on focusing on the vin chaud, but my dad (who's 78 ) is still on the fence. The last time he skied was about 15 years ago, and it ended rather unfortunately with him being skied into and badly hurting his shoulder... which I think is still preying on his mind a bit. He was an early-mid intermediate on that last holiday - able to cope with blues and easy reds. He's now a lot less fit than he was, but is still pretty ok for someone his age. We've agreed that he'll decide how he feels once he gets out there, but IF he feels up to giving skiing a whirl again, do any of you have any advice?

I'm thinking a) take it very slowly with lots of breaks, b) consider a lesson, c) helmet... what else? Thanks in advance!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
*Random emoji... that was meant to read seventy-eight Very Happy
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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?
Quote:

I'm thinking a) take it very slowly with lots of breaks

Laughing
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Insurance. Not being funny. But make sure his travel insurance covers him for skiing and is comprehensive.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
That is an extremely good point, thank you!
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As an elderly (71) skier myself, but one who didn't stop, and who has had masses of lessons, I'd say lessons absolutely essential. And only if he is otherwise active (can walk up hills at a decent pace, do his shoe laces up without undue huffing and puffing etc). His fear of injury is understandable. If this is just a "one off", so follow up is unlikely, it might be better for them to do some snow shoeing together - great to be out in the snow, good exercise - and with long poles to help balance injury is unlikely. Snow shoes feel very reassuring underfoot.

As well as insurance, ensure that they both have "crampons" for their street shoes/walking boots. And use poles, carrying stuff in a backback. Falling on an icy pavement and breaking a wrist and/or bruising a coccyx is more likely than an accident on piste.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pam w, snow shoeing is a really good tip. My Mum - 76 - has declined to come with us in the winter for the last few years as she really does not want to fall on the ice on the pavements.
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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!
@BlueSky, your dad should get a free lift pass - so he can basically do as much or as little as he wants without worring about the cost. Though think about purchasing insurance with it as well as travel insurance.
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Awesome. Thanks all. (Though there's no way my Mum is going to do anything active Laughing )

Crampons and walking poles bought for Christmas, so all good on that front! Excellent point on rucksack too. Thanks!

And free lift pass??? Really??? That is brilliant!
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
If they both get a free lift pass then access to higher restaurants for lunch could be of interest if pedestrian route is available.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
But going up the mountain means being properly dressed in really warm gear - miserable, otherwise.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Free lift pass depends where you go. Not round here
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@BlueSky, I think you have covered the bases well. Easy on the mileage, stop more often for a break, keep warm and avoid areas that are very busy or where there are a lot of young folk who care less (in my experience, anywhere near or below a Folie Douce.
I would add that he maybe would like to stop at lunchtime, so aim to have lunch closer to base, so it is an easy option.
But he may surprise even himself. Hope it all goes well, for him as well as you. Madeye-Smiley
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

My Mum - 76 - has declined to come with us in the winter for the last few years as she really does not want to fall on the ice on the pavements.

I truly understand this fear - I can ski most pisted runs, not necessarily with any great style or speed, and am not afraid of falling on piste. I did have a collision a few years ago which bust my pelvis, but that healed up OK and didn't freak me out or put me off. But I'm so fearful on icy pavements that I creep round like a cautious 95 year old.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Tragically the free lift pass is not available in the Aosta valley... but there's a decent discount for over 65s so that's still good. And there are various good options for going up the mountain to eat, esp. in Pila where we'll mostly be, so that's definitely on the cards (pre-armed with very warm clothing, crampons and poles!)

Thanks again all.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
pam w wrote:
Quote:

My Mum - 76 - has declined to come with us in the winter for the last few years as she really does not want to fall on the ice on the pavements.

I truly understand this fear - I can ski most pisted runs, not necessarily with any great style or speed, and am not afraid of falling on piste. I did have a collision a few years ago which bust my pelvis, but that healed up OK and didn't freak me out or put me off. But I'm so fearful on icy pavements that I creep round like a cautious 95 year old.


Are you in fact indestructible? Madeye-Smiley
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BlueSky, Good luck, but I am sure you don't need it. snowHead
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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?
But the carte neige with free pass (or equivalent) - my folks stopped skiing at similar age but went walking using lifts. Mum fell broke ankle and needed helicopter rescue - all covered.
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It would be worth considering either of these:

https://www.amazon.com/Yaktrax-SkiTrax-Tracks-Traction-Protection/dp/B01LZGGH0M?tag=amz07b-21
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sidas-ctrskiboot17-Ski-UNISEX-ADULT-SHOES/dp/B071WPW8L3/ref=cts_sp_1_vtp?tag=amz07b-21

Not only do they provide grip, the rocker also allows a more natural gait when walking.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My 80 year old mother in law spends time each year with Mrs B in Val Thorens. She doesn't ski but, last year, tried snowshoeing for the first time.

They went on a guided trip and she later described it as the best day of her life. She was so excited!

Since then, they have hired snowshoes (for only €10 pp per day) and followed marked walking routes themselves, which she also loves doing. She has however kept herself fit and still walks 3 to 5 miles, twice a week with her local walking club.

Good luck with the trip. I'm sure you will all have a great time!
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Quote:

She has however kept herself fit and still walks 3 to 5 miles, twice a week with her local walking club.


This is the secret. Taking an elderly, inactive, person to the mountains and expecting them to exercise in low temperatures at high altitude is a recipe for disaster!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As a 74+ year old who returned to skiing three years ago after a 27 year break I would say “go for it”. The only real problem I have had is getting back on my feet after a minor fall when my skis are still attached. I struggle to do that without assistance. Usually easier to detach skis and refit them once I am vertical.

Hoping to keep skiing for the foreseeable future but who knows what is waiting round the corner.
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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!
Paradiski (La Plagne Les Arcs etc) give a free lift pass over 74 and child price between 65 and 74.
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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.
@Rabbie,
That's encouraging for me at 71.
I haven't skied for 3 years and have been hesitant to try again but in a moment of madness booked on S15BB.
Your issue if getting up after a minor fall is something I have suffered at Hemel and solved by removing of one ski.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
To get back up more easily after a fall you need to ski on steeper slopes wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
My parents are eighty and it is a real pleasure to ski with them. I bring up the rear as my father has trouble getting up from a fall (which are very rare)
I meet up with them at the ski locker to help with boots skis etc. They don't ski it bad weather and they certainly don't rush for the first lift.


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 4-01-19 17:59; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@motyl, I haven't got the strength in my hands to get the bloody things on. Evil or Very Mad
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@codyaitch,
Quote:

I haven't skied for 3 years and have been hesitant to try again but in a moment of madness booked on S15BB.

Really? It doesn't seem that long since I've seen you. Looking forward to meeting you again. Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
pam w wrote:
To get back up more easily after a fall you need to ski on steeper slopes wink
This. It's murderous on the flat.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Hurtle,
That's the BB bonus - meeting up with 'old' friends - really looking forward to it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@codyaitch, Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I wish I was going.... Confused
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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?
Hurtle wrote:
@motyl, I haven't got the strength in my hands to get the bloody things on. Evil or Very Mad
My ski trax used to be a nightmare but since I got new boots which are a whole size smaller, my main challenge is being able to manoeuvre my limbs into the correct angles - it can be a bit of a yoga exercise in itself Madeye-Smiley
When my trax fall apart I would seriously consider the Sidas as their length appears to be adjustable and they look grippier.
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pam w wrote:
I wish I was going.... Confused
There will be lots of people wishing you were there. Sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Rabbie that's very encouraging - I might mention you to my Dad as inspiration! And also to @pieman666 it's good to know that the skiing is fine, it's the getting up from falling over that's hard (which I can help with of course)

@motyl - good thinking on the boot grippers

So, all set. Now we just need a bit of snow to make its merry way to the Aosta Valley...
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