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10 days ago

Good Afternoon All;

  Yes, I used the Search function first before posting, but the only “hits” had to do with lessons/instruction for children… 

  New DC Ski member…  55 years old, and perhaps I am simply trying to stave off the inevitable (interpret as mid-life crisis), but I want to learn to ski (actually I want to properly learn to ski; I have a total of one day of slope time, spent at a ski resort in Greece (yes, really) in the late 80’s when I was stationed over there in the USAF).  I cannot recall enough of those lessons to offer any thoughts about the experience, but I did end the day still in one piece, and was able to successfully ride the poma lift and make a descent (though I have no idea what color that slope may have been….).

  I consider myself relatively fit/active, rode/raced off-road motorcycles up until a few years ago, skateboarded as a teen, and learned to windsurf (again, when I was in Greece).

  Unfortunately (?) I live in Williamsburg, Virginia, not exactly a hotbed of skiing activity and so travelling to some degree is inevitable, which brings me to the root of my question.

   Well over a decade ago my father retired to Maine.  For a variety of reasons I have never paid him a visit but with him knocking on 80, I should do so (and my wife is encouraging me to as well).  Since I am going to need to travel to get to a mountain, am I best served combining a trip to Maine with a stop along the way in the Northeast to get lessons up there, or do I make a much shorter drive foer the sole puropse of learning to ski and remain in the Mid-Atlantic?  Would the level/quality of lessons be any better “up North”?  It comes down to choice…  Do I venture to one of the ‘close’ ski areas in West Virginia (Snowshoe, Wintergreen, Canaan Valley, etc.), or go ‘all in’ and commit to journeying to Vermont/Maine?

  I don’t expect you to tell me what to do, I can make up my own mind, but I would welcome your thoughts and opinions.

10 days ago

Go see your Dad.  It’s important.  I went to see my aging widowed Dad in Massachusetts many times.  I’ve never regretted it.  Sometimes skiing was also involved, sometimes not.

10 days ago

If you have time available maybe go out somewhere local (Wintergreen would probably make sense for your location) a few times and get the hang of things. You may enjoy your time in the NE more that way. If you don’t have time, go visit and go ski!! 

10 days ago

Echo what Denis said. You can get outstanding ski lessons at dozens of ski areas in nearly every state north of NC and from hundreds of instructors. Start out skiing where life takes you.

And why are you contemplating rearranging your life for something you’ve only done once in your life? 

10 days ago

By all means go visit your father.  I was lucky and got to spend more time with my father after he was 80 than I ever did before because he was retired and I had more time too because I retired relatively early.

I learned to ski as a teen, but only skied for a couple seasons.  Didn’t start skiing regularly until I was well over 50.  I know of several people who started skiing after age 60.  They all started with lessons and had a great time.  Go for it!

As for learning to ski, I highly recommend Massanutten over Wintergreen.  The drive isn’t that bad.  I have friends who drive from Norfolk even as a day trip sometimes.  The ski school is stellar and the terrain has much better progression from beginner to intermediate.  If you can go midweek, the Silver Clinic for Over 50 happens on Thursday afternoons as well as Sunday afternoons.  2 hours for $40 and often only one or two people show up.  The instructor is very experienced and well over 60.  I’ve learned a lot from Walter in recent years.  The never-ever package deal for lift ticket, rentals, and 2 hours of lesson is a good deal.

The main advantage of starting to ski in VA is that it’s a lot warmer than Maine.  Or even NH.  My daughter is in school in Boston at the moment.  So I’ve been doing a little skiing in the northeast lately.  Usually I drive from NC via PA.  But only in Dec or March.  The few times I’ve skied in Jan or Feb in VT, it’s been well under 15 degrees … all day long.

Ski equipment has changed a fair amount in the last 20-30 years.  So no need to worry about remembering what was said during the lessons in Europe.  It’s much easier to learn with the way skis are designed now.

If you want to learn more about skiing in the northeast, check out Northeast Mountain Sports.  It’s a new ski forum but the founding members are very knowledgeable about all the ski areas and resorts within a day’s drive of Boston.

https://northeastmountainsports.com

10 days ago
Lessons vs your dad……come on man! Go see your dad. Lesso s for 50+ yr olds will always be around. No, there’s no difference between northeast beginner lessons vs any others. The advantage of going local is you’re more apt to taking another lesson in the future…which you should.
8 days ago

Marz has my proxy in this thread. My in-laws are based in Williamsburg (Kingsmill), and ski with our family at either Massanutten or Snowshoe. For a beginner, Madsanutten is much closer. Agreed that what you want as a beginner is mild, clear conditions, and VA will have more of that than Maine. 

 

Where were you stationed in Europe?  For me, Ramstein, UK (Bentwaters), Spain (Torrejon), Italy (Aviano), and Holland (Soesterberg). 

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