97-year-old skier retires after one last local run

“He’s decided to hang up his skis for good."

After 90 years of carving up New England powder, 97-year-old Herb Oedel has finally decided to leave the snowy slopes behind.

Oedel, from North Andover, completed his final run at Bradford Ski Area on Wednesday, after visiting the Haverhill-based resort for years.

“Congratulations Herb it has been a GREAT RUN !!!” a Bradford Ski Area Facebook post read.

In his few years at Bradford Ski area, Oedel defied expectations, and is still “mentally and physically very strong,” Ski Patrol director Dennis Gauvin told the Boston Globe.

“He’s decided to hang up his skis for good,” Gauvin said.


Ginny Oedel, Herb’s wife and biggest supporter, was almost always there to support her husband.

“His wife tried skiing once, she told me,” Gauvin said. “She didn’t like it as much.”

During his time at the resort, Gauvin said the 97-year-old became a friendly face for the resort’s employees.

“He’s befriended the staff,” Gauvin told the Globe. “He says hi to the patrollers every day he comes.”

According to Gauvin, Oedel still intends to visit Bradford Ski Area — something he did on Thursday — and plans on stopping by next week.

“His attitude is great,” Gauvin said. “You would not think that he’s 97.″


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