Instructor Otto Ross Rings in his 97th Birthday on the Slopes

Raise your poles in honor of ski instructor Otto Ross, who on January 27, 2023, celebrated his 97th birthday on the slopes of Mission Ridge in Washington.

Otto, who has instructed skiing in the Northwest for 70+ years, was recently featured in a story in the Seattle Times, lauding the fact that, “Ross not only still skis, but also works as a ski instructor at Mission Ridge. Now in his 72nd year working as a ski instructor, he teaches beginner skiers, who range in age from young children to octogenarians, the ropes of the sport he loves.”

During the Women’s Summit at Mission Ridge this month, PSIA-AASI Board Chair Eliza Kuntz and CEO Peggy Hiller were on the slopes to celebrate Otto’s achievements and recognize the countless people he has introduced to the sport.

According to the Seattle Times, Otto taught his first ski class in 1950, and over his career taught at Stevens Pass in Washington, Whitefish in Montana, Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, as well as Megeve, France, where he combined enough rudimentary understanding of the local language with his knowledge of the sport to teach popular daily class.

“I didn’t speak much French, but during the six-week school in Chamonix, I learned all of the terms and knew how to demonstrate, so I got by pretty well,” he said.

Happy birthday, Otto, and thank you for all the ways you shared the joy of skiing.

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