Slopes still beckon Glenwood centenarian
Don’t be surprised to see century-old Julian Vogt riding around his Glenwood Springs neighborhood on his bicycle this summer.
Vogt, who turned 100 Wednesday, professes to still get out cycling “a little, not a lot.”
“I feel more at ease on Rollerblades,” he said.
But that’s just in the summertime. In the winter, Vogt can be found not just skiing but snowboarding at Sunlight Mountain Resort, sticking these days to easier runs. He’s even been known to cruise down Sunlight’s 2-mile-long Ute run while yodeling or singing Austrian folk songs.
“If I’m feeling just right, I’ve done that a few times,” Vogt said.
Once Sunlight closes for the season, Vogt has no interest in heading to the Aspen area to get in more time on the slopes.
“Sunlight’s just 20 minutes from my home, and that’s all the sitting I care to do,” he said.
“He’s one of a kind, that’s for sure,” said Carl Vogt, one of Julian Vogt’s two sons.
Julian Vogt’s birthday activities included his daily visit to his 91-year-old wife, Anne, at the Grace Healthcare of Glenwood Springs nursing home, where she’s been since 2006 because of a stroke.
Vogt’s wife is Swiss. The two met in Europe after World War II.
“I consider myself half-Swiss. My better half, at least,” Vogt said.
He just as well might claim to be a citizen of the world. Born and raised in California, he first worked seasonally at several national parks, but eventually followed his yearning to see other countries. He started with Argentina and Paraguay, then worked in Russia for the United Nations. He worked for the State Department in countries including Spain and what was then West Germany.
The Vogts traveled widely but never considered themselves tourists, instead immersing themselves in cultures and learning new languages.
“When people asked if we liked to travel, I said, ‘No, we don’t like to travel, we like to live in different places,’” he said.
After they retired to Glenwood Springs, Vogt served for about 10 years on the Ski Patrol at Sunlight and taught skiing for some 15 years.
Carl Vogt said longevity is in his father’s genes; several siblings have reached a similar age. But Julian Vogt said he also eats right and keeps fit with other activities such as yard work around his home and swimming in the Glenwood Hot Springs.
He said he sees older snowboarders on the mountain. But by that he means mostly ones in their 60s and 70s. He thinks today’s young shredders have the potential to have many decades of snowboarding ahead of them.
“Why, they’ll be able to do a certain amount of fancy riding even into their 80s and 90s if they take care of their general health,” he said.