When Are You Too Old To Ski? Never! 3 Skiers & Snowboarder Prove It

Obermeyer Skiing Aspen Image appears courtesy: Sport Obermeyer

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When I lost the opportunity to snowboard for half a decade, it felt like I lost a part of my soul. It’s always been my life blood… the reason I exercise & try to stay healthy. Sure, there are other sports I enjoy but nothing grasps me like the feeling of gliding a snow-covered slope. But, the question in the back of my mind has always been: “When are you too old to ski?” As the sands of time begin to pile up, the answer is simple if you stay in good physical condition. “You’re never too old to ski!” Here’s three skiers that are over ninety years old & still schussing on the slopes.

 

Klaus Obermeyer – Aspen Mountain (pictured above)

We couldn’t have this list without naming the legendary Klaus Obermeyer. He single-handedly made skiing fashionable. Klaus introduced the first plastic ski boot, down parkas, mirrored sunglasses, and countless other inventions to help make skiing more enjoyable. And at 102 years old, he still clocks in over a hundred days per year on Aspen Mountain along with a daily lap session at the Aspen Meadows resort pool.

Martin Hollay – Heavenly Mountain

Image appears courtesy: Tahoe Daily Tribune

Hollay is a local Tahoe legend. An apprentice glove maker in Hungary in the 1930’s, he eventually moved to the US and settled in South Lake Tahoe in 1958. He was fundamental in cutting the runs used in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley (now named Palisades Tahoe). From helping carve out Heavenly’s Nevada ski runs to a 25-year career as a ski patroller, his hands have touched many parts of the region. And in 2017, Heavenly honored him by naming a trail after him. At 101 years old, Martin is still seen getting in at least as many days as his age.

 

Dick Schulze – Northstar

For those of you with excuses, you’ll have to go back to the chalkboard when you meet Dick Schulze. He didn’t take up the sport until his 50’s!!! Now at 76, he is the oldest competitor in the United States. Since 2000, he’s been competing seriously and has since entered competitions throughout the world. We’re not talking one discipline either. From snowboard cross to halfpipe to slopestyle and even giant slalom. He loves the sport so much that he even spends his summers in New Zealand. And that’s all despite a titanium knee and a fall that crumpled his helmet and knocked him unconscious.

 

Lou Batori – Crystal Mountain

There must be something about Hungarian genes and living life to the fullest. Lou Batori, who passed away at age 107 in February 2018, left everyone who skis inspired. It wasn’t the age he lived to but rather how much he appreciated every single day he was alive. He embarked on many adventures from driving across the country via motorcycle with his wife in his late 90s to still ski racing in his hundreds. And to further honor Lou, the NASTAR staff created a new award named after him that is given to the most veteran competitor of the race. How about them apples?

 

So, if you think you’re too old to ski, think again! Each of these individuals are a true testament that skiing (and snowboarding) is the fountain of youth. The sense of gliding down the mountain regardless of conditions will make you feel like a kid again. If you’re feeling down about the conditions or crowds, look to these amazing people. I don’t know about you, but maybe it’s time to get outside and go for a lap.

28 thoughts on “When Are You Too Old To Ski? Never! 3 Skiers & Snowboarder Prove It

    1. I started skiing on my 50th birthday. I’m 71 and since I retired I teach skiing 5 days a week. Keeps me fit in mind and body

  1. Wow! These guys are inspiring. I am beginning to slow down (skis sensibly ?) at 82 and 47 years as a volunteer ski patroller. Guess I’ll keep on trucking but stay out of the trees.

  2. I’m 71 and my wife and I are heading to ski at Sun Peaks, British Columbia next month!
    It’s our passion! 🙂

  3. I am 78 and have had both knees and shoulders rep[laced. I have not skied in over twenty years. Prior
    to that my life was all about skiing and ski areas. I learned how to ski in the mountains of Los Angeles in my early teens an taught my son at 3. I lived in Nederland, Co, Aspen, Telluride and Durango where I worked at Purgatory Ski Area. I have lived in and near Lake Tahoe for over 30 years. I would love to ski again and am thinking of starting to work out at my physical therapy place ( where I worked out after every surgery with a Doctor there). I am not afraid to ski anymore but know I must be in a certain shape. Do you know of anyone who picked up skiing again around my age ?

    1. 70 this year. Both knees replaced. Former bum and also ski instructor and XC coach. Am enjoying downhill as much as ever.

  4. Still skiing at 81 & didn’t downhill ski until I was nearly 40! Cross-country skied for many years before taking up Alpine skiing! Love it & never looked back! Love the mountains!

  5. 76 one knee replaced and still loving alpine skiing. The knee replacement didn’t change my skiing at all after recovery and PT.

  6. *83 years old, one knee replaced, all other parts working well! Teaching skiing at Arapahoe Basin, CO. Love sharing the experiences. The beauty of skiing: the lift takes you up and gravity takes you down. Plus, lots of XC skiing.

  7. My brother in law started at 65. Skis 3 days a week. I’m 70 and skiing technically the best ever. Never to old for lessons!

  8. I am 76 and this was the first ski season that I didn’t go skiing since I began skiing in the 1980’s. I was hoping for some Spring skiing but the Tahoe resorts and Mammoth Mountain shut down early (March 15th, 2020) this year. I plan on getting back to the hill next season at 77 years old.

  9. At age 72 I skied 72 days this season (thanks to a great season). The wife and I plan to keep skiing till we die, hopefully a long time from now.

  10. I’m only 62, so young enough to be a child of these legends. But I’m still marking milestones, and I’m skiing better and more aggressively than ever.

    Last week, I hucked my first two sketchy entrances, into Spellbound Bowl at Crested Butte. These were high consequence jumps, and although I fell both times, my skis stayed on. Created much confidence for the future.

    Also, my motivation to ski gnarly terrain was bolstered by the Ever-Ready Bunny, my 14-year-old daughter, who pushed me all week to keep driving.

  11. I discovered the extreme joy of tree skiing at 55. At 63 I make runs that 15 year olds turn away from lol. They will have to drag me off the slopes as I do not plan on going willingly. Have a great day snow brothers and sisters!

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