Christie Mountain Ski Instructor Celebrates 86th Birthday | News

Christie Mountain, nestled in Bruce, Wisconsin, is a destination that welcomes experienced and novice skiers and snowboarders alike. Those new to the concept of skiing can be taught how to ‘herringbone’ and ‘wedge’ at the foot of the slopes by valued Christie Mountain instructor Lenny Seyberth.

Seyberth, a resident of New Auburn, has an affinity for skiing. He celebrated his 86th birthday on President’s Day. Along with members of staff, he was seen at the Christie Mountain chalet celebrating with birthday cake and ice cream. Many ski resort regulars waved and wished Lenny well as he patiently instructed a brand new skier at the base of the hill or on his way to the slope.

Many people would choose to hang up their skis if they were in the season of Seyberth’s life, but for him, skiing brings joy.

People assume that a man like Seyberth has skied all his life, when in fact he only skied in college. His initial interest in skiing was less about skiing than about the people he might meet. “What I didn’t realize was that the snow bunnies weren’t in the chalet but on the ski slopes, and that’s when I got the courage to go try it.” Seyberth admitted that his first skiing experience “was not pleasant because they didn’t have my size, so I had to wear a boot that was a size and a half too small. And my feet hurt from the moment I put them onif I took them off. He didn’t know how to turn, so the only direction he could take was uphill. However, he managed to do it three times before calling it a day and heading to the cabin. It was a tough first try for Seyberth, but he was determined and with practice he was able to keep up with the best of them.

Seyberth found a sport that tapped into his love of movement and winter, but he also found it convenient that his doctor didn’t mention skiing on the list of activities Seyberth should avoid. When he was just seventeen, Seyberth dove off a pier and broke his neck. This incident ended his ability to play contact sports, but led him to an outdoor sport that he enjoyed well into his 80s.

The 1992 winter season was Seyberth’s first as a ski instructor. His friend was working at Christie Mountain as an instructor at the time and asked if Seyberth could ski. Seyberth’s friend encouraged him to become an instructor and after 30 years of work there are now countless people who have enjoyed his teaching, all because Seyberth’s friend encouraged this humble man to share his passion with those who want to try something new.

One of Seyberth’s favorite things about teaching is seeing someone who has been bullied or struggling overcome that struggle. “The smiles on their faces when it ‘clicks’ for them is what’s worth it.” Seyberth teaches people of all ages and enjoys every minute of it, but admits he enjoys teaching children the most because of the vitality they bring to the mountain. It’s not unusual for children to wave to Lenny as they climb the slopes or head down the hill.

Christie Mountain is a rare community place and the staff are proud of it. The instructors and the snow patrol are all volunteers. “Here, everyone gets along. It’s a wonderful group that makes a special place,” said Seyberth. According to Christie Mountain general manager Andrea Vohs, Seyberth calls before every season to ask if they’re ready to get him back, and every year she and the staff are thrilled to have him. “Lenny is an asset to Christie Mountain, and we are happy to keep him for as long as possible.”

About George Dailey

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