40 is pivotal age for wild skiers | VailDaily.com

40 is pivotal age for wild skiers

Allen Best

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Who do you think has the highest risk for getting injured when skiing and snowboarding? Would you say old people – whom a newspaper in Vail once called “skeezers.” Or how about testosterone-driven young guys?Neither, reports a physical therapist at Lake Tahoe, who cites a recent study that shows 40-year-old males are most at risk. They have the desire to take risks, but their joints won’t hold up.Small terrain park planned near DenverST. MARY’S GLACIER, Colo. – Another small ski area near a major metropolitan area is back on the drafting table.Mike Coors, the 24-year-old son of the chief executive officer of Coors Tek, and two other investors are trying to rev up operations at St. Mary’s Glacier, which is located 9 miles from Interstate 70. They are proposing a terrain park that they believe could attract up to 250 snowboarders on any given day.No plans have formally been submitted to officials in Clear Creek County, although neighbors tell a Denver newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, that they are up in arms about the proposal, fearing impacts of traffic congestion, the noise of snowmaking machines, and even the loss of water. Coors told newspapers of plans for a 270-acre terrain park. His group paid $1.65 million for the property.St. Mary’s Glacier was used for commercial skiing sporadically from the 1930s to 1984. It had a T-bar but little else. A permanent snowfield and not a true glacier, it has been shrinking rapidly in recent years.This is the second small ski area being revised within an hour’s drive of metropolitan Denver. Echo Mountain Park, previously called Squaw Pass, has opened for business after an investment of $4.7 million.In both cases, the model seems to be Mountain High, a small ski area in the San Gabriel Mountains overlooking the Los Angeles Basin that has been doing big numbers during the last several years. Mountain High appeals to younger Gen X and Echo generation snowboarders who need less space for tricks in half-pipes and other terrain park features. Mountain High also features a large number of ethnic minorities as compared to most ski areas.Vail, Colorado

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