Still seeking powder at 80 |

Still seeking powder at 80

NWS Barbara Mooney2 SM 3-17

VAIL – Some skiers might slow down after some 65 years of skiing. But not Barbara Mooney.The Vail resident still has a passion for skiing at age 80. She has about 34 days on the mountain so far this year – and she still likes to get up on the mountain on powder days.”There’s nothing nicer than getting nice powder – like velvet and smooth,” she said.And she doesn’t go up for just one run. She usually stays up on the mountain for four hours, she said.

Skiing is appealing to her for many reasons, she said.”Being outdoors, the scenery, the feeling,” she said. “Just the fun of it.”She moved to Vail full-time in 1978, after having a second home in Vail. She now lives in the Cascade neighborhood.Even though Vail has grown by leaps and bounds in the years she has been living here, she said she still feels a tight-knit sense of community in the town, with people looking out for one another.For instance, when Mooney broke her leg in a skiing accident several years ago, friends brought her food and checked on her.

“(People in Vail) are very willing to help,” she said.She started skiing at Alta Mountain when she was in junior high school in Salt Lake City. Skiing was just something that she and her friends did growing up.”The snow was there, and we were there, and we all just did it,” she said.She took a break from skiing to raise six children, and now has 10 grandchildren. “And they all ski,” she said proudly.

Her family is now spread across the West, but come back to Vail to ski often.She cited improvements in ski equipment technology that make skiing much easier. When she started skiing, she used leather boots, bear-trap bindings and wooden skis.Mooney, now a widow, skis with friends as well as visitors and family when they are in town. Many friends who are her age have stopped skiing because of injuries, she said. But other friends her age are still skiing, she said.In the summer, Mooney is an avid hiker. She’s also a volunteers at the Vail Valley Medical Center, the Vail Interfaith Chapel and the Bravo! music festival.Mooney said she plans to get quite a few more days on the mountain before the season is over.

“Oh, heavens yes,” she said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or, Colorado

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User