When Janet Tuttle was in her 40s, she wanted to take up skiing again, an activity she started at age 14 but stopped when home and family life took over. She joined the Omaha Sports Club, but when that group decided to focus less on skiing, a new group branched off from it: the Omaha Ski Club.
Today, Tuttle is 79 and still going strong as a member of the Omaha Ski Club. Her favorite part of skiing is the scenery.
“I love the mountains,” she says. “When you ski in the mountains, you see things you don’t see when you’re driving.”
Teri Hammon, 57, a board member who plans all of the club’s trips, says about three quarters of the members are age 60 or older.
“We’re not old fuddy-duddies,” Hammon says. “We ski hard and ski all day.”
The Omaha Ski Club generally takes two to five skiing trips a season and members bicycle in the summertime (“to stay in shape for skiing,” Hammon says). The group has skied in Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming, and Canada.
“Anywhere there’s powder!” Hammon says.
The group recently traveled to Snowmass, Colorado, for their first trip of the 2015-2016 season. Trips vary in length and typically involve the members meeting at a ski resort. Members enjoy participating in social activities, including a pre-trip party to discuss travel arrangements and a welcome party on the first or second day, along with lots of skiing.
In order to go along on a trip, one must be a member of the Omaha Ski Club (or one of its reciprocal clubs with the Flatland Ski Association). Annual dues are reasonable. Each member pays for his or her own travel, lodging, and equipment, but group discount rates often apply.
One need not be an expert skier to join the club, which welcomes all skill levels along with non-skiers who want to go to the resorts and do something else. Knowledgeable, experienced members often help beginners. Tuttle says she particularly likes to go out with the beginning-level skiers along some of the easier slopes.
Tuttle and Hammon agree that the club gains stability from the large percentage of retired members, who tend to have more free time and savings that allow them to go on the trips. Tuttle says she appreciates the social aspect of the club, which includes and welcomes anyone regardless of age.
“The socializing is a nice part of the skiing,” she says.
What about the risk of injury? Tuttle and Hammon have bumped and bruised themselves on the slopes—that’s why Tuttle says she’s become more careful as she’s aged.
But it takes more than a few accidents to keep her from returning to the mountains.
“It’s kind of like falling off a horse,” Tuttle says. “If you love what you’re doing, you get back on the horse again.”
Visit omahaskiclub.org to learn more.