Over the years, the free lift ticket has been a rite of passage for skiers and snowboarders who still hit the slopes in their golden years.
The popularity of skiing and riding for older Americans – plus the health and fitness benefits from outdoor activity – have kept more and more people on the mountain at an older and older age. Consequently, the age at which resorts set for elder-skiers to get a free ticket also is easing upward.
Ski resorts all over the nation offer discounts according to age, and most set a top limit after which “seniors” can ride the lifts without cost. National estimates indicate that more than half of the skiers and riders on the hill at any time are older than 50.
Here’s a sampling of some resorts in the West who offer free skiing and riding – if you are old enough:
At Arizona Snowbowl, it’s free skiing and riding for those 70 years or older (grandkids under seven don’t pay either).
In California, the free-ticket ages are all over the lot: It’s 70 at Mountain High, Snow Valley Mountain and Sugar Bowl, 76 at Squaw Valley, 80 at Mammoth and June Mountain … to a North American high of 90 at Alta Sierra.
Photos: Alta has long been popular with seniors skiers where lift tickets are free if you are 80 plus (Alta/Facebook); Bottom -- Members of the 70+ Ski Club enjoy the sport (70+ Ski Club/Facebook)