NAPA (KCBS) – Warren Mufich hasn’t missed a year at Squaw Valley since it opened in 1949. He celebrated his 85th birthday this year with a free lift ticket courtesy of the resort.
It’s been a long time since the lift tickets cost $3.
“To think that I’m still able to ski and I still enjoy it is a blessing,” Mufich said.
A former Marine who served on the beaches of Iwo Jima, Mufich volunteered as a member of the ski patrol during the 1960 Olympics.
KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:
Once he hit 65, several of his seasons were free. Then the resorts realized just how much they were giving away to senior snow lovers and started charging.
There were protests. Mufich even wrote a letter to the owner of Squaw Valley at the time, the late Alex Kushing. And he got a response.
“I got a letter from Alex Kushing stating that if I would come back and ski when I was 85, he’d pay me to ski. So when I went to get my ticket, they said they’d never heard of such a thing.”
But he did manage to save $88. The new owners, KSL Capitol, gave him a free lift ticket.
Lately Mufich has been sticking to the groomed slopes, and even those might be challenging nowadays, he said.
“I kind of think this may be my last year of skiing, but it still feels good and I’m grateful that I’ve had all these years of my favorite sport,” he said.
For another year at least, the license plate other drivers see on the trek to Tahoe reads “Ol Skier”.
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