Living the life of a ski bum
FRISCO – Sally Kinzey lives to ski – and skis to live.
The Frisco woman skis about 200 days each year, waiting in line on Loveland Ski Area’s opening day in the fall and catching last tracks at Arapahoe Basin in the spring.
Her home is decorated in a skiing motif, starting with a yardstick in the yard to measure the snow and ending with tables in the living room on which snow globes and ceramic, bronze, glass and porcelain statues of skiers are scattered.
“What I like about it is that you can go at your own pace and do what you want to do,” Kinzey said. “I like the freedom.”
She didn’t discover that love of skiing, however, until after she’d married, raised two boys and divorced, then joined a ski club in Pennsylvania.
Kinzey was born in Johnstown, Pa., a steel town in the eastern part of the state. She graduated from high school and enrolled in business school, after which she worked for five years with GMAC.
She moved to Reading, northwest of Philadelphia, after she married in 1954 and bore two boys, Doug and Curt, who still live in the area. After her boys were in school, she started part-time work as a church secretary.
After her divorce, she began work at an insurance agency and joined the Flying Dutchmen Ski Club – an organization she is still affiliated with today. That’s where she met Jay Brossman, who became her ski companion.
She learned how to ski in Quebec in the early 1980s, when a week-long ski package, including ski rentals, lodging, bus fare, dinners and breakfasts, cost $425 per person. Skiing didn’t come naturally, she said.
“I want to say I’ve taken a lot of lessons,” she said with a laugh. “I had the old motorcycle stance, with my legs real far apart.”
She still has a videotape of her skiing down the slopes.
“They were turning the pages of the calendar, I was so slow,” Kinzey said. “I didn’t want to fall in front of all those people, so I went real slow.”
Since then, she’s advanced to the point she can ski anything she wants. What she wants, most of the time, is corduroy cruisers – although she has been known to take mogul classes.
And she’s skied all over the United States, in Switzerland, France and down glaciers in New Zealand.
“We took one of those little planes that seat about seven people and have those big pontoons to land in the snow,” she said. “Our guide told us to always stay behind him unless he said it was OK because there were crevasses, and his rope was only 200 feet long.”
Her favorite place to ski is Utah, because of its dry, champagne powder. But she was sold on Summit County after she and Brossman moved from Pennsylvania to Breckenridge for a season – and never left.
The two purchased a condo in Frisco – the only criteria being that it be close to a bus stop and feature a two-car garage to accommodate her and Brossman’s motorcycles.
That’s where the two can be found in the summer, cruising the highways from Sturgis, S.D., to New Mexico and all places in between. She doesn’t miss the East.
“I really like it out here,” she said. “There is so much to see here in Colorado, so much natural beauty.”
When she’s not riding her Honda 450 – or, preferably, skiing down her favorite slopes – Kinzey can be found reading the likes of Clive Cussler or Tony Hillerman.
She doesn’t have time for the needlepoint she used to do, and she gave up crochet years ago.
“You can’t do all that when you’re out skiing every day,” she said.
Kinzey is a member of Summit Seniors and joined Loosey Goosey, a Breckenridge and Keystone affiliate of the Over the Hill Gang, when she moved to Summit County in 1998.
Kinzey doesn’t think she’ll get in as many days on the slopes this year as she has in the past – maybe only 175 – because she tires easily.
But she and Brossman plan to stay here as long as they can.
“Frisco still has that little-town quality to it,” she said. “And it’s in a nice location – right in the middle of all the ski slopes.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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