Every Wednesday a gang of skiers comes racing down the slopes at Bogus Basin. But this is not a gang of young whippersnappers, these are the Prime Timers, a club consisting of skiers fifty-five and older who won't let age slow them down.
"I feel lucky," said Bob Carney. "Some people didn't wake up this morning. Some that woke up didn't bother getting out of bed. Some that got out of bed didn't get up off the couch and get away from their remote. So this is a really vital, energetic, optimistic type of group."
They stay optimistic even when the weather is less than ideal. As the rain-snow mix accumulates on their goggles just like on my camera lens, they keep making turns, and new friends. Many of these skiing seniors are in their seventies, eighties and like founder Bob Greenwood, in their nineties. They are an inspiration to many, including the young employees at Bogus Basin who say the Prime Timers are anything but typical old folks.
"A lot of these guys can ride around just as good as anyone on the hill does," said John Morgan. "So it's cool having that experience up here. You got people like Bob Greenwood who have been coming up here for forty, fifty, sixty years, and it's cool having them come up here and have that experience with Bogus and that connection with the mountain."
And they will continue to have that connection to the mountain, regardless of what some might use as excuses to give up on this sport that requires skill and stamina. I pretty much gave up on skiing a few years ago, blaming the metal plate a surgeon put in my back. But in the world of the Prime Timers, surgeries and replacement body parts are not reasons for quitting.
"I would say forty or thirty percent of the people that are Prime Timers have parts replaced," said Carney. "A lot of knees, some shoulders, a few hips. It still works. You can wear out or you can rust out."
So what's your excuse? If you are in your prime and looking for a reason to get back on the mountain, they welcome you to join them next Wednesday at 1 pm.