Over the Hillers go for the smiles during Tuesday get-togethers in Snowmass Village | AspenTimes.com

Over the Hillers go for the smiles during Tuesday get-togethers in Snowmass Village

Local chapter of the Over the Hillers.
Courtesy Ruth Waldman

Tuesday means the return of The Over the Hillers, organized by ambassador Ruth Waldman.

For the uninitiated, Over the Hillers is a group of folks 50 and over who gather every Tuesday in Snowmass Village for a day of skiing or snowboarding, lunch and social connection.  

“The Tuesday group has a lot of fun, and we ski all day and make new friends and get to know the mountain well and enjoy lunch together,” Waldman said. “It is an all-day adventure for those who venture. It is a lot about camaraderie.”

Over the Hillers enjoy lunch together.
Courtesy Ruth Waldman

Waldman, born and raised in Toronto, has skied since she was 10. Being active has always been an integral part of her life. She studied physical education at University of Toronto and was a PE teacher for many years.

She joined Over the Hill Gang International in 2006 and hosted over 16 trips for them over the years to various ski domestic and international locations, in winter and summer.

The Over the Hill Gang International was founded in 1976 at Copper Mountain by part-time instructors Moe Mosely, Bill Magill and Tom Stein to encourage skiing as a lifelong sport for skiers over 50. Every group of 10 was accompanied by an ambassador, who serves as a guide, cheerleader and low-key instructor.

Vintage Over the Hill Gang flier.
Courtesy Ruth Waldman

At its height, more than 6,000 member participated in the program. When the owner of the organization decided to retire, Ruth realized there were still a lot of people in the community who relied on the program for fitness and fun. So “was a no brainer” to continue it, she said.

Ruth is 83 now, and still skis and snowboards, but she said she is stepping back from snowboarding because she fell when someone ran into her last year and she had a hard time getting up.

“Whatever, I am very active. I don’t think about age,” she said.

She renamed the group The Over the Hillers and hosts ski days every Tuesday at Snowmass Mountain.  She recognized there were a lot of lifetime members in the organization, and now when they are in town, they can find a group of friends to enjoy the mountain with.

Over the Hillers enjoy a day out on the mountain.
Courtesy Ruth Waldman

During the pandemic, she had to limit how many could join the ski days. But this year, she hopes to get back to how things were before, encouraging anyone over 50 who wants to ski to reach out to continue pursuing staying active and having fun with like-minded individuals.

“I want to let everyone know that it’s functioning and whether you ski or snowboard, you are welcome to join. There’s no fee. I just want to see that you have a smile on your face and are having fun,” she said.