GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Skiing is by nature a social sport; though it's fun making turns on your own now and then, a shared experience lends added enjoyment. That's why Powderhorn Mountain Resort continues to offer its Young at Heart ski program, where groups of skiers, age 50 and up, hit the slopes together every Thursday.
"They have a lot of fun out there," Powderhorn Mountain Resort Spokeswoman Gabrielle Michna said.
Pre-registration is suggested, though participants may sign-in until 8:40 a.m. Thursday mornings. Groups depart at 9 a.m., and they're divided by skill level and guided by Powderhorn's Ski and Ride School. Michna noted that Young at Heart skiers essentially take "personal mini-lessons" throughout the day, though there's more emphasis on having fun than learning since participants are generally seasoned in the sport.
Groups are sized between three and 10 people, depending on the week, and skiing is followed by an apres-ski after-party.
"Everyone typically participates in apres-ski with drinks at the bar," Michna said.
Young at Heart also offers great discounts for the over 50 crowd - lift tickets are only $38 and the apres-ski party is $8.
All group members meet at Powderhorn's guest-service desk before departure.
For more information, call the Ski and Ride Center at 970-268-5700, ext. 2010.
The 17th annual Vertical Ski Challenge, which supports Colorado Discover Ability's (CDA) adaptive-ski programs, is set for Saturday, Feb. 2. Cost is $60 to compete with an all-day lift ticket or $30 for participants who already have a ski pass. A lunch voucher is included in that price.
"The funds raised will support our adaptive ski and snowboard programs for people with disabilities," CDA staffer Ellen Miller said. "The equipment is expensive and not cheap to maintain."
According to CDA, the local group "designs and provides adaptive outdoor recreation to children, adults and veterans with disabilities in the Grand Valley and beyond."
Skiers (including telemark) and snowboarders of all abilities are allowed to participate in groups of four or individually, and they'll compete "for prizes and bragging rights," a CDA news release said.
"The event is designed for families, friends, company teams and skiers/snowboarders of all abilities," Miller added.
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best costume, and the most vertical feet in a variety of classes (adaptive, alpine, telemark, snowboard, oldest and youngest).
A post-race party will also include a silent auction, with a selection of outdoorsy gear donated by Never Summer, Whitewater West, REI, Gene Taylor's, LOKI, Best Buy, and Board and Buckle.
"Major items are a new SL 155 snowboard from Never Summer and two kayaks (a Master TG Lite and a Feather Lite 9.5) from Whitewater West," a CDA news release said.
Folks interesting in registering should contact CDA at 970-257-1222 or visit www.coloradodiscoverability.org. All participants must sign up before 9 a.m. on the day of the event.