Are You a Retro-Skier?
Are you a Retro-Skier? In other words, are you a skier who has shared some of the memories included in this blog? Here’s a test to see how you rate as a Retro-Skier. Yes, I know, once a teacher always a teacher.
For each question, check all the answers that apply:
1. Indicate which of the following skis you have skied:
- ____Wooden skis, no steel edges
- ____Wooden skis with steel edges
- ____Wooden skis with P-Tex base
- ____Head Skis: Masters, Comp GS, or Comp Slalom
- ____Rossi Stratos
2. Indicate the length of skis you have skied
- ____Greater than 210cm (men), 200cm (women)
- ____206-210cm (men), 191-200cm (women)
- ____201-205cm (men), 181-190cm (women)
- ____180-200cm (men), 160-180cm (women)
- ____Less than 180cm (men), 160cm (women)
3. Indicate which of the following ski boots you have used
- ____Laced leather ski boots with no inner boot
- ____Laced leather ski boot with laced inner boot
- ____Leather buckle ski boots
- ____Plastic ski boots
- ____Foamed-fit ski boots
4. Indicate which of the following bindings you have used
- ____Bear trap, free-heel bindings
- ____Cable binding with release capability
- ____Racing Turntable (Bonus point if you used a long-thong)
- ____Cubco binding
- ____Look Nevada toe piece
5. Indicate which of the following ski lifts you have used
- ____There were no lifts, I walked!
- ____Rope tow
- ____T-bar or J-bar
- ____Poma lift
- ____Single Chair
6. Indicate which of the following ski pants you have worn
- ____Wool snow pants
- ____Gabardine in-the-boot ski pants
- ____In-the-boot stretch pants
- ____Over-the-boot stretch pants (Bonus point if you had stretch pants with a racing stripe!)
7. Indicate which of the following ski parkas you have worn
- ____Poplin pullover
- ____Long-line parka with belt
- ____Down-filled parka
- ____Wind shirt (Bonus point if it had a flowered or psychedelic pattern!)
- ____One-piece ski suit (Bonus point if it was fluorescent colors!)
8. Indicate which of the following ski hats you have worn
- ____Cap with ear flaps and chin strap(See photo)
- ____Hand-knit head and ear band
- ____Moriarty hat
- ____Knit hat with big pom-pom (Subtract one point if that hat was long enough to also be used as a scarf!)
9. Indicate which of the following you have done
- ____Carried a stick of wax with you so you could wax during a day of skiing
- ____Hot waxed your own skis (Bonus point if you used your mother’s or wife’s iron!)
- ____Used a flat bastard mill file on your skis
- ____Used a P-Tex candle to repair your ski
- ____Burned a hole in the carpet with a P-Tex candle
10. Indicate which of the following you have paid for an all-day ski ticket
- ____Less than $5
- ____$5 – $20
- ____$21 – $50
- ____$51 – $80
- ____Greater than $80
5 Point bonus if the first lift-served ski area you ever skied is no longer a ski area!
Add up the number of checks plus bonuses to determine your score!
There are 60 total points available including bonuses. How do you rate?
- Greater than 45 points – you are the ultimate Retro-Skier and should be writing this blog!
- 35-45 points – You’re a Retro-Skier! (I scored a 40!)
- 15-34 points – You’re a Retro-Skier with an *, sort of like Barry Bonds’ home run record.
- Less than 15 points – It’s great to be young! See all the things you missed.
December 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm
I scored 45 points – not so sure about the cost of one day ticket, so called clip-cards with 10 runs were common those days. The same about the first ski area – the slope we used is not a ski slope any more, but the area is a cross-country ski area, so I do not count any bonus.
December 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm
The Ralph Nader “Unsafe at any speed” Was the Chevy Corvair.. I had one a 1962 Corvair Spyderwith an exaust driven supercharger and it was a Fantastic car a little light in front, but a 60# sand bag cured it, especially in the snow I have pictures of it (some where) In the Yodler Parking lot. It would climb Cazenovia Ski club Hill in the summer .
I live in Manlius NY near Syracuse and Have been Skiing at Stowe since 1960. I am a 30 (plus or minus) year subscriber to the Reporter
I scored 51.
January 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm
I just drove a ’65 corvair spider rag top — 65 mph top stable speed before wandering. You have a great column in the reporter and yes I am a retro skier. Usually get the paper too late to answer questions. John Lutz, Stowe ski bum class of 1969, now living in Canaan Valley, WV
January 14, 2015 at 11:17 am
Well I scored 48, we didn’t have Cubco bindings here, but I have a set of the Look bindings that release in all directions at the toe and heel so I reckon that’s worth an extra point. You missed out skiing in climbing boots with a groove cut in the heel, that has to be worth an extra point. Do I get an extra point for having bleeding fingers from lacing up the inside boot, then the outside boot with laces up the back and the front?Then there were the plastic road mender’s jackets we used to wear, they got a bit stiff in the cold but let nothing through. If you fell over you didn’t stop ’til you ran out of hill or met a rock. Reckon that’s worth an extra point too. As for trousers we all used to wear Army Surplus over trousers cut down at the bottoms to fit into our boots. Extra point? Don’t know what a Moriarty hat is but I used to knit hats for my chums on a knitting machine so that has to be worth a point as well. Sad thing is I still have most of that stuff lurking in my shed!
January 14, 2015 at 11:26 am
Reference above, forgot about the ski area, Mar Lodge is no longer a ski area. It never really was being too low, they sold the tows to Glenshee. If you give me all those bonuses it takes me to 59, a good decade less than my age. Off to Schladming next week, lots of red runs, just about right for me at this stage of life!
February 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm
Great Little survey…Scored 52… no leather buckle boots..skipped from the Molitor lace to the Lange Comp..no Cubco.too busy wrapping thongs…no single chair..no holes in the carpet and being a senior now, don’t have to pay $80 for the lift. took the bonus for the stripe, the wind shirt and the ski area..I actually had two ski areas ( only took one bonus) Bald Mt, and Kings mountain outside of Bangor, Maine. They are both gone now. Started going to Sugarloaf,Me. in 1953. I still have the wood skis with the ptex bottoms, as well as about 900 pairs of other interesting wooden skis..most from the 1950/60 era and a lot of leather boots as well.
February 15, 2016 at 10:44 pm
Cliff Taylor started GLM meat God of teaching skiing
March 8, 2016 at 1:42 am
Great survey! What memories….47 years old and scored a 40 (sorely lacking on my retro clothing points). I started at Bromley just before my third birthday and while I missed the defunct area points, I’m glad to say ol Bromley is alive and well-skied there two days ago.
My first skis were wood, boots of leather and laces and my brother stuck me between his legs and took me up the J bar.
I garbage picked the Head masters and ski joured the streets of NJ behind my buddy’s car at 65 MPH! I even tried Nordic Jumping at the old Bear Mountain jump in 1988.
What?…no points for having a blood relative (dad) in the 10th Mountain Division?
Oh, what a sport!
August 15, 2016 at 9:32 pm
I saw you jumped at Bear Mt, did you ever ski at Silvermine Ski Center, that’s where I learned to ski, it was located just a few miles from Bear Mt on the Seven Lakes Parkway.
August 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm
Here’s an old timer for you I scored over 50 points.
ex: had wooden ski with steel edges, also had Spalding Siderals 210cm, (circa 1970), leather boots no inner boot and Plastic Nordica’s, Bear traps bindings on my woody’s and Look Nevada on the Siderals, No lifts to all types of ski lifts, black in-boot pants with white stripes, no jacket to one piece red racing suit with dark blue stripes, every kind of head gear you can think of (even a coon-skin cap) and finally always carried wax variuos colors for different conditions. It sure was fun taking the quiz and going over the comments. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
May 22, 2017 at 10:23 pm
I collect old skis, boots and other paraphernalia. Every year I ski on older gear including skis, boots, poles and clothing. I wish I’d saved more of my old stuff but I’m slowly getting some of it back. Notably I acquired a pair of VR17s which I mounted with red Nevadas and N17s. I am about to get a pair of XR1s. Boy I loved both of those skis.
I scored 44, btw. I’d have gotten a 45 if one of the options was ‘You have waxed your skis with a brush.’
October 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm
52 or 53. Unfortunately, for me anyway, Summit is still a ski area or I’d have 5 more points. I never burned a hole in the carpet, and don’t recall ever using long thongs (just tight Arlberg straps with the Marker turntables) although one season in the 1950’s my dad used only long thongs (though holes drilled crosswise through his 7′ 2″ long wood skis–same pair he won the 1942 Silver Skis race on–and a home made custom tow piece that didn’t require toe straps–to hold his skis on). I had to look up Moriarty hats and just what exactly gabardine was, but they both fell my way (my mother sewed those ski pants). My previous regular one piece ski suit was a very bright shiny blue, but I don’t know if you could classify it as fluorescent or not. I’m still using a one piece ski suit and I’m still wearing the bright paisley nylon wind shirt I bought to brighten up the cover picture for the second edition of my 1972 book “Freestyle Skiing”. See the Downhill Skiing page at www.marinerkayaks.com for a picture of the cover with the shirt. This season will be my 69th straight ski season.
April 7, 2018 at 9:00 pm
Just scored a 44 on the retro survey. I guess I can add the 5 point bonus as I can think of a very early ski trip to an area with a lift that is now a real estate development in the Berkshires. That would get me to 49! Great memories. In my 60th ski season. Skiing with my wife for 53 years. Recently enjoyed skiing with 3 generations of family on the same chairlift: thank you for six-pack chairs! I did not burn a hole in the carpet but did wax and repair my skis. To think that I learned to ski on 220 cm skis and now ride 170s +/- and enjoy them puts a smile on my face.
January 30, 2019 at 6:03 am
Let’s see, I still wear a Moriarty Hat and my Dad’s 1952 corduroy vest lined with sheepskin. I wore his old wool knickers Yurt skiing in the Uintahs last month. His old 215 Kneissls with cables and laquer bases are on my wall. I have my 225 Atomic Red Sleds still! I somehow lost Dad’s Poplin pullover but I still have my Mother Karens! I still remember skiing on golf courses after a snow, 48 for me. We got 88 inches last week and Nordica Enforcers rule these days but I’ll never forget skiing in the backyard with my Dad…..
March 23, 2019 at 6:26 pm
43 points for me- I started skiing at 4 years old in 1955 at Otsego Ski Club in Gaylord Michigan- one of the few private ski cubs that survived since the 40’s. Also skiied Boyne, Nubs Knob , Pine Knob, Mt Christie, Brighton, Caberfae and Skyline which had single chairs in the 60’s.
After the classic Northland supremes , Treviso and Dynamic wooded skiis , I got a used pair of blue metal Kastles – 220 cm with Nevada toe and Marker swivel heel + long thong ( aka French Death Wrap). Graduated to Vermont and Coloradao skiing in early 70’s.
I have a lot of my old stuff including tow grippers, Cubco bindings and Raichle and Koflach buckle boots. K2 Bermuda Shorts, Red Fischer Alu skiis etc.
I just skied Brian Head in southern Utah ( great spot- low cost, great mountan and no crowds) with my Authier 210 cm and Solomon SX 70 boots. If I had to use the new boots I might quit skiing after 64 years .
My three sons are also died in the wool skiiers. The chuckle at my stuff and ski on new gear.
Love your site – just ordered the book to. Bill L
November 27, 2019 at 7:23 pm
Wow. Thanks for this. I scored a 48. It brings back lots of great memories. I started skiing at a Swiss boarding school in 1962 (Aiglon College). We would climb using seal skins and enjoy the long downhill runs in the areas around Diablerets and Zermat. I later formed the Alfred University Ski team (1965-1969) We used the tongue depressors and duct tape with our Lange ski boots you described in perfecting our Avalement technique. I later went on to coach and instruct full-time at Glen Ellen (I was a Certified Instructor in the Canadian Ski School) 1970-71. I got my Masters degree at UVM (1977) and worked with engineers at IBM in Essex Junction.
December 10, 2019 at 11:36 pm
OK – only a 35 so maybe I’m still young. Great memories all the way back to the Fischer wood skis with Cubco’s (and a Lipe Slider) I started on. I had to stop skiing in the late 1980’s due to some vision issues but it was – as they say – a good run. Interesting is the fact that my last pair of skis were actually older than the first pair – but brand new. A friend discovered a pair of Dynastar Equipe “MV2″s that were still wrapped in plastic and my size – so there I was at the local ski shop with a pair of slats that 20+ years earlier had been used by the likes of Guy Perillat and Marielle Goitschel to win medals at the world championships (I had heard that they were standard issue for the French team although Killy preferred his Dynamics). Had a pair of Marker MR’s put on them – the tech who had been around for awhile was just amazed. And they turned out to be great skis. PS – after using my mom’s iron when I was a teen to wax my skis she decided to give it to me and bought herself another.
October 31, 2021 at 4:14 am
Yeah, I had the Cubco’s too. Very safe; but I was always a little embarrassed by the sound of the heel and toe pieces when walking around the lodge. Frozen fingers trying to clear the snow off the heel/toe pieces and out of the springs. Always wanted a pair of the MV2’s. I had to settle for a pair of Dynastar 730 Freestyle Equipe. Was never brave enough to put a hot iron on my ski bases
March 21, 2020 at 8:49 am
32 points, first skied in our backyard in Havre de Grace Maryland, at 5, 1961
May 31, 2020 at 12:05 am
45 points, 1st ski area was West Lake ski area on Hollyburn Mtn. (closed) in 1963. I have not missed a year that makes 56 straight years without a miss. Skied 5 continents including the worlds highest ski area, Chacaltaya in the Bolivian Andes (now closed), Mt. Herman in Israel, Mount Olympus in Cyprus, Mnts. Kosciuszko and Buffalo in Australia along with many others. Still at it, bought my pass for next season and looking forward to some: downhill, telemarking, mountaineering, snowboarding, cross county (both classic and skating) as well as, snowshoeing. It’s getting a wee bit crowded in my garage as it is difficulty to retire all the gear from all these years of following my dream.
May 31, 2020 at 6:42 pm
Your email address didn’t work so I’ll just reply here. Good score and an impressive resume! Particularly impressed by all the snowsports you still do after 56 years!!
June 19, 2020 at 12:10 am
My dad started skiing with me when I was three years old…….we belonged to the Polecats Ski Club in Intervale,
New Hampshire ( near North Conway, NH) for forty years, I was able to check every box so I would say I am a Retro Skier. Due to R/A I stopped skiing 6 years ago, now 73. Good luck and God Bless you all.
November 15, 2020 at 2:44 am
Hi I got 37 to 40. I’ve just retired Full Time from Mt. Seymour after working there for 45 years. Started at London Ski Club in mid 1960, plus did 22 summers at Whistler Summer Ski Camps. Look forward to having the time to participate and also read your book.
March 9, 2021 at 6:02 pm
was just reading my copy of “How to Ski” by Alf Engen and came across this cool web site. Yep, got a 47 on the test. Started in 1953 at Marysville in Helena Montana. Went onto Townsend, then Spokane, and back to Great Falls. Local ski patrol, then National Ski Patrol with avalanche training. Had to drop out of college in Missoula- took a ski class on Thursday, taught the class on Friday, skied on the patrol on Saturday and used my free ski day on Sunday – too tired to study. My first skis were wooden with bear traps – and later my dad messed them up trying to cut grooves for metal edges – I skied on them anyway. had a close encounter with a bull elk once coming up out of a “tree well” – he walked within 10 feet of me. Also did a couple of off the snow twists on a rope tow and just before going into the bull wheel, i was able to trip the shutoff rope with the tip of my ski dangling 8 feet up in the air. thank God for long skis. Still skiing at 74 and loving every day of it in Montana, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Canada, Colorado, Arizona, My grandfather made his own skis and leather bindings in 1910 and hiked up and skied down Bill Williams in the moon light, Williams Arizona – must be in the blood. Thanks for the great test – and bringing back great memories. Sorry all you guys had to grow up skiing corrugated sheet metal back east tho.
May 26, 2021 at 9:48 am
Every paid out athlete regardless of the sport has a tutor or a trainer to maintain his or her discipline. Men like genres related to action, think about capturing, journey, sports and racing.
October 31, 2021 at 3:52 am
Ok, I guess I’m an old guy, I scored 46. First skis were wood-that my Dad painted blue, no steel edges bear trap bindings, bamboo poles w/ leather baskets. Although my brothers and sister had the double leather boots I had a pair of rubber buckle boots (I was only 5.) I upgraded to a pair of 165 Kazama’s w/ Cubco bindings and leather buckle boots (I think Heierling’s.) Longest I ever skied were 207’s (Hart King’s)for a couple runs (I was barely 5′ tall at the time.) Finally upgrade those Cubco’s to a pair of used and abused Solomon 505s for my 195 Hart Knight’s. Just donated my 205 K2 810 GS skis to a “ski garden” at my fav ski shop. Still have my 203 Dynastar Omiglass IIs and skied them once last year and the year before too and prior to that these were my only skis, does this get me extra bonus points? (current skis 185 Nordica Enforcer 100s.) Stripped ski pants-several different pairs (even wore an Italian ski racing jacket for my HS senior picture. Bright orange pants w/ wide yellow stripes-in boot, back w/ white, blue w/ green, teal w/ red… Windshirts, psychedelic Day-Glo anorak, wool pants, first helmet was a motorcycle helmet, high speed rope tow and rope tow grips, hiking from the top of the Red Chair up Whistler Mountain for back country powder runs (circa 75-79.) Mashed moguls, dabbled in ballet, wimpy aerials (front flip, helicopters, spread eagle) hence my moniker. My best bud couldn’t turn for crap-just sort of wiggled his toosh; but looked cool in his hot threads and top quality equipment and could do aerials, so he was “Freestyle Suzuki” and I (who could turn very well) became Snowplow Skip. Still skiing 10-20+ days/season
February 5, 2022 at 3:39 pm
My skiing years started in the late 50s. Used the Marker Long Thongs, with the Simplex Toe & LDS heel, during my club racing years. Used the Head 205 cm Giant Slalom ski.
Loved the memories brought back by your book. We called the girls in the Bogner ski pants “Snow Bunnies”. They couldn’t ski worth a darn but they looked great!
Sitting by the fireplace in after-ski wear & drinking hot wine while singing all the old favorites: One ended with the verse: ” If you have an outfit, you can be a skier to.”
July 11, 2022 at 9:20 pm
I calculate 43. The first lift served area I skied, Chrtitmas 1969 or 1970, west of Des Moines, Iowa.
The “chalet” / rental area was an old house trailer on cinder blocks. The lifts were 2 rope loops that crossed each other half way up (you had to switch ropes), driven by 2 farm tractor’s on blocks, the rope wrapped on the tractor’s rear hubs (safety? what’s that?) and on car hubs nailed to trees at the bottom. The “ski hills” were the sides of a river valley with barely discernible paths through the trees. At one point I fell, slid into a lower hub and derailed the rope and that sent about 20 skiers over the edge and down into a gully as the rope swung back and forth like a snake. Someone had to climb to the tractor and take it out of gear while they pried the rope back onto the lower hub. Later that day they closed early citing “Too much snow”, and they were right, what should have been a 30 minute trip back to West Des Moines took till midnight – we had to abandon the car and walk (clamber) a good part of the way.
I’m pretty confident that place is no longer around.
July 27, 2022 at 7:55 pm
I came up with 46 and i figured out i started out about 50 years ago. My first trip was to Hunter Mtn NY and they put EVERYONE on these 100 cm skis called GLM. Remember that?
I had my first really bad ski injury a few years ago in Pa. i went off a small jump which was icy and landed on an even icier spot with all my weight on my hip. Yes i shattered my hip and it had to be surgically repaired. My orthopedic surgeon told me two things when i asked him if i could ski again. Get all NEW gear and don’t ski in the East!
Followup: I did finally go skiing this past winter in Sun Valley for the 1st time since the accident. My observation is night and day that my Dynastars are better than the skis of the past. They are not as heavy, they dampen vibrations much better , are very stable and most importantly require very little effort to initiate a turn. My new Lange boots are great too but not as comfortable as my old rear entry Salomons.