January 21, 2012

John Christie: Many deals available for senior skiers

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Camden residents Lawrence Nash, 73, and Mort Strom, 80, take advantage of Camden Snow Bowl’s free pass for skiers age 70 or older.

Carolyn Brown photo

In neighboring New Hampshire, in addition to the aforementioned deals at Cannon (another place where you'll see what looks like a daily AARP meeting in the base lodge, with great skier Ronnie Sandler and her friends) and McIntyre, if you're at least 80 you can ski free at Crotched Mountain (recently purchased and upgraded by Peak Resorts, the owner of Wildcat and Attitash, as well as Mt. Snow in Vermont), and at Dartmouth Skiway, Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley.

In Vermont, Mad River Glen and Smugglers' Notch, let skiers over 70 ride the lifts for nothing.

It needs to be noted that virtually all ski areas that don't give away passes to older skiers have special senior day and season pass rates. For example, I was in Aspen three winters ago for six days of skiing, which would have cost me about $80 a day, but the ticket seller generously suggested that I buy their Senior Season Pass for $299. I did!

The current issue of Skiing Heritage magazine, published by the International Skiing History Association, has a complete listing of areas where seniors can ski free, provided by the National Ski Areas Association. In that list appears my personal favorite price concession by a ski area operator, at Alta Sierra in California, where, with proof of date of birth, you can ski free if you're at least 90!

John Christie is a former ski racer and ski area manager and owner, a ski historian and member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. He and his son, Josh, write ski columns on alternating weeks. John can be reached at:

jchristie@fairpoint.net

 

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