6 Things I’ve Learned About Skiing After Fifty

6 Things I’ve learned About Skiing after Fifty

It certainly doesn’t get any easier, but these few short tips, may help you last at least till noon on the slopes.

Stretch, stretch, stretch
I know a guy, a very good friend and skier, who is my age and has never stretched in his life. He flies down the mountain, never cramping or tightening up at all. Come to think of, I hate that guy. If I don’t stretch, I cramp up sitting on the chairlift.

To properly stretch your thighs it is recommended you reach behind your back, grab your ankle and lift. Now, if you can actually pull off this stretch, you really shouldn’t be reading this and should just head straight up the hill with my ex-friend. In my version, I stand at the back of my vehicle, facing away. I then lift my leg back and up till it rests on the bumper; this should be sufficient. That bumper comes in quite handy for every other stretch I use.

Get the Gear
One quick note, men’s clothing is called gear, not an “Outfit.” Women wear outfits, men wear gear. I go with Gore-Tex everything as my circulation is not what it used to be. I’m currently shopping for Gore-Tex underwear, so drop me a line if you find some. Also make sure your pants come with a belt. The boarders may not think it looks cool but trust me; no one wants to see a fifty year old man sagging.

Accessories are Necessities
I recently bought some rose-colored Bolle goggles and it’s like finally ordering HD for your TV. If you need glasses to read, chances are you’ve been skiing blind anyway. I also use foot and hand warmers when it’s cold out. Always remember to only use these as recommended. The Gore-Tex underwear idea came from that mistake.

I’ve been using a Camelback since I turned fifty and don’t really know how I survived without one. Thankfully they weren’t invented when I was in my twenties or it might have been filled with something other than water. When pounding the bumps, sucking on that nozzle is like inhaling oxygen from a mask. Hey, that’s not a bad idea.

Location, Location, Location
Spend the extra bucks and pay to park. Most slope-side parking now costs at least $20. I say that’s $20 well spent. I can ski any run on the mountain but once those skis come off, I need a walker. At age fifty and above, walking through a ski village at the end of the day is akin to a zombie death march in a bad episode of The Living Dead.

Rub a Tub Tub
When skiing multiple days, always rent a condo with hot-tub access. I’m not sure if it’s the hot water, the jets or just the excuse to sit there and pass out for a while but I can’t do without it. Once again, please remember the no-sagging rule for old guys.


Michael Ryan