Life On A B-I7

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Journal Entry - Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The 70+ Ski Club

In January of this year, I became an unofficial member of the 70+ Ski Club. I officially joined yesterday. The club is only open to people over the age of 70. They have over 3,000 members nationwide, many in their 80’s and 90’s, and even a few over 100 years old!

They appear to be primarily located on the East Coast, but they do have regional chapters. I’m excited to find out if they have a PNW chapter. Even if they don’t, they sponsor several trips a year and they look like a fun group to hang out with. They even have a trip to Chile, which would be very exciting.

I’m skiing better at 70 than I ever have in my life. I know that sounds preposterous, but it’s true. This season and last season in particular I have been focused on my technique. It seems like I get a little bit better at one thing each time I go out onto the hill. Yesterday I felt for the first time what it is like to get a truly early weight shift from the downhill ski to the new turning ski. This can be amazingly boring to someone who doesn’t ski, but trust me when I say how important this is. I’ve been working on this and rolling the ankles to initiate a turn for the last year. When you watch most skiers on the hill, you will see them lifting a ski, sliding a ski, or unweighting with their body to initiate a turn. Those are all signs of sloppy, and frankly ugly skiing. What I realized yesterday is that you have to shift the weight to the new turning ski before you roll your ankles. This all takes place before you even start your next turn, in other words, while you are still in the previous turn. It’s not easy, but when you accomplish it, it gives you a smooth connection between your turns and the snow, as well as greater stability and good edging throughout the arc of every turn. It also keeps you connected to the snow during your turn transition.

Enough already. I’m boring you. What I’m doing here is entertaining myself, and documenting what I have come to realize and practice after many years of not having a clue what I’m doing. One final note. This started with a private lesson at Sun Valley from a 70+ Instructor at the end of last season. It was that lesson that set me on the path to better skiing.

I’ve been skiing for almost 60 years (one year shy of 60). It has taken me that long to figure things out. With luck, I’ll have another 30 to enjoy the fruits of my recent discoveries, and maybe the 70+ Ski Club will throw me a “100 Party” 30 years from now…

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