The Last Run: Man Hangs Up the Boards After 90 Years of Skiing

At a tiny ski mountain in a minor New England city, a career for the ages came to a close.

At 97 years old, Herb Oedel announced his retirement from skiing at Haverhill, Massachusetts’ Bradford Ski Area earlier this week, reported.

Oedel had reportedly first hit the slopes when he was 7. Originally from North Andover, just a stone’s throw south of Haverhill, Oedel had been skiing at Bradford for years, the outlet said.

Ski Patrol director Dennis Gauvin commented on Oedel’s endearing presence at the resort to The Boston Globe.

Gauvin confirmed Oedel had “decided to hang up his skis for good,” but is still “mentally and physically strong.”

He plans to continue visiting Bradford even though he won’t be stepping into his bindings anymore — which could help him spend even more time at the mountain with his wife, who is reportedly his biggest supporter.

At 100, Ginny Oedel didn’t take to skiing quite like her husband did, according to Gauvin, but she almost always made the trip with him. She appeared alongside him in Bradford Ski Area’s farewell post on Wednesday, which concluded: “Congratulations Herb it has been a GREAT RUN!!!”

Oedel came right back out to the mountain on Thursday, and plans to visit his old stomping (er, carving?) grounds again next week.

“His attitude is great,” Gauvin told The Boston Globe. “You would not think that he’s 97.″

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.