On Sept 3rd this year, 71-year old Jerry Amendola will celebrate his birthday by hiking up Rollins Pass, Colorado, putting his skis on and making turns to keep his 26-year skiing streak alive. Those turns will mean he has skied at least once in every single month for 26-years. 312 consecutive months.
“On my birthday, this Sept. 3, I will get out of bed before it gets light outside and travel up to Rollins Pass. And then I will have skied at least once a month for 26 years in a row,” said Amendola, who served as a volunteer during 34 winter seasons with the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
Since 1992, when George H.W. Bush sat in the Oval Office and Angela Landsbury rocked the Nielsen television ratings, Amendola has diligently sought and found somewhere to ride in 309 consecutive months. He has done it on skis and a snowboard, in both bottomless powder during winter and through muddy slush on St Mary’s Glacier to keep his streak alive shortly after the turn of the century, reports the Denver Post.
Most of his summer experiences have been in the Indian Peaks Wilderness on the east side of the Continental Divide, west of Boulder, where many of the 70 plus small glaciers and snow fields last through the summer. Whilst this summer has been particularly bad for snowpack, the summer of 2002 was really hot in Colorado and all his favorite stashes were melted out so he was relegated to St. Marys Glacier west of Denver, a place to typically avoid. Due to the melt every rock, tin can, and all the trash that had ever landed on the glacier was exposed on the surface. A 30 yard wide bare spot separated the top and the bottom of the glacier but a couple of pathetically dirty runs on on muddy slush completed a 10 year streak. Most of you reading this will understand that he had no choice.
Jerry’s home resort is Winter Park, CO home to the Nationals Sports Center for the Disabled and boasting some of the best bump runs in North America.
I have taught for the disabled ski program, (National Sports Center for the Disabled) for 28 years. Don’t plan to stop doing that any time soon either! I usually get 50+ lift served days and 8 to 10 back country days a year on alpine, snowboard, tele and skate skis.
About five years ago he had to have his knee scoped mid winter. That could have been a problem, but wasn’t, and he was able to keep the run going.
Amendola has climbed all 58 of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado. But what keeps him pushing to the next summit now is not the dizzying heights, but the snow to keep his never-summer streak alive.
“When you get old,” Amendola said, “you can get some big numbers.”
Winter Park resort is one of 27 iconic destinations available on the Ikon Pass.