Baby boomers, part of the generation that first propelled skiing to mainstream popularity in the United States, are staying on the slopes for far longer, and in greater numbers, than anyone imagined possible a decade ago.
According to an annual study conducted by the National Ski Areas Association, the percentage of people ages 55 to 64 on the slopes has more than doubled to 9.2 percent since the 1997-'98 ski season. And the number of skiers 65 and older has been inching up every year as well.
"Back in the 1980s and even the 1990s, people got to be 50, 60 years old and they just figured they were old and they stopped," said Troy Hawks, spokesman for the National Ski Areas Association. Now, there are so many 70-plus skiers that many ski resorts have stopped offering lift ticket discounts for that age group.