For 90-year-old skier, subzero temps are of little concern

Roy Carlsted
Roy Carlsted, 90, navigates the nordic ski trails at Como Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. Carsted said he has been skiing most of his life and still gets out nearly every day.
Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News

When Roy Carlsted skis, he doesn't worry about the temperature. The 90-year-old's favorite winter activity is cross-country skiing, and on most winter days he's on the ski trails at the Como Golf Course just a mile or so from his St. Paul home.

Carlsted has been a skier for most of his life and got his start on a farm just outside Dassel, an hour west of the Twin Cities.

That's where he made his first pair of skis, most likely from ash. A Navy veteran of World War II, the retired electrician has lived most of his adult life in Minnesota and most of that in St. Paul.

Over the years he has skied dozens of times in the region's two premier cross country ski races, the Birkebeiner in Wisconsin and the Mora Vasaloppet. Most of the time he has finished first in his age group.

Reporter's notebook: On the ski trail with Roy Carlsted

Short and lean with a nearly full head of white hair accented with a neatly trimmed white beard, Carlsted is relaxed and easy going. But he's also a competitor who likes to win. On the trail, he said, there's not much time to think.

Though he had triple bypass heart surgery a few years ago, he was back up and on the snow the next season.

"I think the skiing really helped keep me going," he said.

Part of: Minnesota Sounds & Voices

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