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Older Senior wants to get back into skiing

nhskier1969

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My Dad is 90, he mentioned to me he would like to ski again. He skied till 80 then stopped because he had a hard time with flat light. When he use to ski, he would go up to Cannon a few time per month. He was an advanced skiing. The past 10 years he has lost eye sight in one of his eyes. So I wanted to ask the Alpine Zone forum what should I do? I would like to see him ski again but that could be me being selfish. Would like suggestions should he ski or not? If he skis, how can he ski blind in one eye and issues with flat light?

Suggestions would be welcome.
 

thetrailboss

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That's a tough one. Is there a ski area nearby that has an adaptive ski program that could help with the blindness (unless it is not a major issue)? I'd be more concerned about falls on ice and hard snow surfaces.
 

bigbob

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Take him on a nice sunny day and let him try. If he finds he is not comfortable with his issues hopefully he will ask to go home.
 

Dickc

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My Dad is 90, he mentioned to me he would like to ski again. He skied till 80 then stopped because he had a hard time with flat light. When he use to ski, he would go up to Cannon a few time per month. He was an advanced skiing. The past 10 years he has lost eye sight in one of his eyes. So I wanted to ask the Alpine Zone forum what should I do? I would like to see him ski again but that could be me being selfish. Would like suggestions should he ski or not? If he skis, how can he ski blind in one eye and issues with flat light?

Suggestions would be welcome.
Where about do you live? There is an adaptive program at Wachussett & at Crotched if you are southern NH, and I'm sure mid NH has an adaptive somewhere. If near Sunday River, give Maine adaptive a call.
 

2Planker

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My Dad is 90, he mentioned to me he would like to ski again. He skied till 80 then stopped because he had a hard time with flat light. When he use to ski, he would go up to Cannon a few time per month. He was an advanced skiing. The past 10 years he has lost eye sight in one of his eyes. So I wanted to ask the Alpine Zone forum what should I do? I would like to see him ski again but that could be me being selfish. Would like suggestions should he ski or not? If he skis, how can he ski blind in one eye and issues with flat light?

Suggestions would be welcome.
Without binocular vision you have ZERO depth perception, so it would be very challenging to say the least.
 

abc

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Without binocular vision you have ZERO depth perception, so it would be very challenging to say the least.
You don’t need depth perception to ski.

I didn’t have depth perception as a child. Parking in tight quarter can be challenging. But skiing wasn’t.

Not having peripheral vision out of one eye can be disconcerting. But since he’s been in this condition for some time, he may already gotten used to it.

As others suggest, try it on a sunny day.
 

JimG.

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I can see why flat light is a problem without good depth perception.

Sorry for the bad pun. Flat light bothers me unless I'm using the right high intensity lens in my goggles.
 

teleo

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+1 on adaptive programs. I volunteer with a couple. Took a Visually Impaired(VI)/Blind ski training class once and have assisted on a VI lesson or two. Interesting stuff, but I'm no expert. There are ways to do it assuming that his health at 90 is good enough to ski. A good adaptive program should be able to assess his situation and determine how to proceed. Even if you don't think an adaptive program is right, the communities are very welcoming, inclusive and helpful. A simple call might give you some good information.
 

ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
What's his definition of "ski"? After 10 years of not skiing and being 90, keeping his expectations in check is much more important than his physical ailments. Feel him out- if he wants to go out there and ski the diamonds again he could very well kill himself. Green/easy blue groomers should be the goal.

Lots of 90yos can ski. It's unusual that he's taken a 10 year break and wants to get back into it. It's the 10 year break that really concerns me. That's a long time and a 10 year break is a long gap that takes time getting used to with your new physical condition between 20 and 30, let alone 80 and 90.
 

joshua segal

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It seems that a lot of the suggestions are for an adaptive program. Based on your description, I don't think that's the right answer.

One of the problems of growing older is that we can't do things that we did routinely x years ago. If he is committed to do what he did when he was 50, he'll probably damage himself.

If he wants to ski, I would take him to a place with a good beginner area - no moguls, so that flat light is a non-issue. Killington, Gunstock and others are free for the 80+ crowd, so its not even a major investment.

The real questions are:
1. Can he enjoy reduced speed?
2. Can he enjoy a Green Circle, when he used to do Black Diamonds?
 

abc

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Right...... Sure, What ever you say

I dare you to cover one eye and ski T2B, then come back and say that

Too funny
Dare! Sure, if you pay the lift ticket.

Let’s do that at Bretton Woods. And make that at minimum a blue. If condition is half way good, a black.
 
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Mum skier

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It seems that a lot of the suggestions are for an adaptive program. Based on your description, I don't think that's the right answer.

One of the problems of growing older is that we can't do things that we did routinely x years ago. If he is committed to do what he did when he was 50, he'll probably damage himself.

If he wants to ski, I would take him to a place with a good beginner area - no moguls, so that flat light is a non-issue. Killington, Gunstock and others are free for the 80+ crowd, so its not even a major investment.

The real questions are:
1. Can he enjoy reduced speed?
2. Can he enjoy a Green Circle, when he used to do Black Diamonds?
I was also thinking just choose a really really easy slope on a good weather quiet day. The beginner area at Wchussetts has a nice express lift (easy to get on and off) is very wide and consistent gradient the whole way down so the depth perception shouldn’t be such an issue. While chaos at weekends I think that beginner part will be empty on a weekday morning. Carry his skis and boots for him. I think also free or $10 dollars for 80+. Do 2 runs and come in for coffee. If that goes well consider more, but he may just be so happy to do a run wiht you that’s enoug.
 

joshua segal

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I was also thinking just choose a really really easy slope on a good weather quiet day. The beginner area at Wchussetts has a nice express lift (easy to get on and off) is very wide and consistent gradient the whole way down so the depth perception shouldn’t be such an issue. While chaos at weekends I think that beginner part will be empty on a weekday morning. Carry his skis and boots for him. I think also free or $10 dollars for 80+. Do 2 runs and come in for coffee. If that goes well consider more, but he may just be so happy to do a run wiht you that’s enoug.
I don't know where NHSkier (his father) lives, but if it is Southern NH, Pat's Peak has excellent options for Green Circle terrain on which to break back into skiing.

I'll never forget the time when I was in my 50s, skiing at Waterville Valley. They have (or had) a group of elders called the "Silver Streakers". They are all over 60 and wear badges saying, "Over 60", "Over 70", ...

I got on the HSQ and was the youngest person on the chair by 20 years. In the course of the conversation, one gentleman, wearing an "Over 80" badge said to me, "I sure am looking forward to next season."

I was thinking, that if I were "Over 80", I'd be thinking about tomorrow or maybe next month. (Now that I am approaching 80 myself, I wouldn't think this anymore, but back then, "Over 80" was really old in my mind.) Anyhow, I bit and asked him, "What's next year?"

He replied, "I'm 89 and the oldest in the 80-89 category. Next year, I move into the 'Over-90' category. I'll be the youngest and competitive again."
 

zoomzoom

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how about cross-country skiing? or snowshoeing? reduced chances of breaking something when he falls, less chance of a skier collision, he'll likely enjoy being outdoors more on a path close to nature rather than being surrounded by skiing yahoos making him feel old, the weight of boots/binding/skis is much reduced, etc. many reasons not to, probable injury being number one.
 

Cyclops

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Long time lurker, but I had to reply. I have been blind in one eye for over 60 years and skiing for over 50. Depth perception is not the issue. It is other people. It is the lack of peripheral vision. This is especially true at more crowded resorts and with half the snowboarders on the mountain. Snowboarders are also blind on one side.

The idea that being half blind has an effect on flat light is questionable and I would suggest don't ski in flat light and wear good goggles. It is more important to wear goggles for the eye safety point of view too. Something in the good eye is a serious problem.

I tend to stay on the right side of the trail since that is my blind side. I also let anybody I am skiing with know to be careful on that side.

So I would suggest skiing at a ski area where the trails are less crowded, so limited lift capacity. Skiing with a protective buddy who could run interference behind on the blind side might help.

I did get flattened while skiing early season at Sugarbush this year, but that was directly from behind at the end of the day when the trail had gotten icy and people were a little more out of control and I was picking my way from snow patch to snow patch. I found this very upsetting at 63 and would have been serious at 90.

I retired two years ago and the last two seasons have been over 90 days on the mountain, usually bell to bell.
 

crank

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I don't really see, (no pun intended) how an adaptive skiing program for the blind would help much. He can see where he is going yes or no? You can ski with him right?

If he really wants to ski again then take him on a nice day and stick to easy greens and see how it goes.

Stick uphill of him so you can run interference as Cyclops, above, suggests.
 

nhskier1969

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I was thinking about taking him to either Bretton Woods or Cranmore for its western exposure.
 

2Planker

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I was thinking about taking him to either Bretton Woods or Cranmore for its western exposure.
Cranmore is in better shape than BW right now.
Especially if you're on the beginner trails.
 
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