Dot Armbruster is turning 91 on June 3rd, and she plans to celebrate with her favorite activity: skiing.
“I’ve been skiing now for 50 years. My husband, Roger, and I started skiing in 1972 after our two older children left for college. We visited several Tahoe ski areas those first few years but quickly settled on Alpine Meadows because they had the best lesson programs for us and our two younger boys still at home. Both Stephen and Eric went through the Junior Ski Patrol program and became pro patrollers at age 18 – so they could ski while in college (Davis and Reno).”
Dot worked hard to master skiing. Though it wasn’t always easy, taking her five years to learn how to ski parallel, she dedicated herself to attaining the skills needed to explore the entire mountain.
“We purchased a home in Glenshire in 1980 so we could go up every Friday afternoon and go home late on Sundays. We made it home on Sunday, March 28th, 1982, three days before the terrible avalanche which took several lives, including Bernie Kingery whom we knew. Still, we loved Alpine for the beauty of the mountains and the camaraderie of the people – both staff and skiers.”
Over the years Dot has become a fixture at Alpine, known for her willingness to try skiing any line and the huge grin on her face as she skis down. Until this year, Dot has been taking regular lessons through the Alpine Unlimited Lessons Program, often with Randy Salzman, a PSIA certified instructor, who is also a regular Achieve Tahoe volunteer. With Randy, she has explored all of Alpine’s legendary terrain.
“I love going up Summit and skiing down from the top. So exciting! I like the feel of a light wind on my face as I ski. Randy took me up to the top this year and we walked along the Pacific Crest Trail.”
Two years ago, Dot and Randy even hiked out to Beaver Bowl together and dropped the cornice to ski High Beaver, one of Alpine’s more intimidating lines. Randy says, “It was a bit scary getting off the top, but once we were in the run, it was fantastic.”
This year, Dot has shifted from skiing with the Alpine Meadows ski school to skiing with Achieve Tahoe, as she needs a little bit of extra help to get out on the mountain.
“I am so grateful to Alpine Meadows for the many years of lessons and activities, especially this 2022-2023 season. Since Roger passed away, I have needed one-on-one help to manage the process of skiing – from helping put my boots on, to carrying my skis, to slowing down the ski-lift to get on and off and providing one-on-one instruction. The Achieve Tahoe program is great and I would not have had this ski season without them. They were very communicative with my scheduling and willing to work with last minute changes. If there is any skiing in my future, Achieve Tahoe will be the first people I call and Alpine Meadows (Palisades Tahoe) the only place I ski!”
With Achieve Tahoe, Dot can continue to explore the mountain, feeling the wind in her face and smiling at the thrill of skiing down from the top of Summit. Happy Birthday Dot, and congratulations on skiing with style into 91!
Thank you Dot for sharing your story with the Achieve Tahoe community, and thank you to Randy for sharing photos of your and Dot’s ski adventures, both with Achieve Tahoe and with Alpine Meadows Ski School.