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Recreation | NW Life | local | Oregon Field Guide Summer Series

At 87, Buzz Bowman Is Still Patrolling Mount Hood


Buzz Bowman/ Ski Patroller

Experienced skiers know it well: The Buzz Cut, a steep and challenging run in Timberline’s Still Creek Basin. What they might not know is its namesake is a 87-year-old ski patroller who can still be found in uniform and on patrol most weekends.

Buzz Bowman is the longest-serving member of the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, a group of highly skilled volunteers who mark hazards on the mountain and help skiers in need. He joined the patrol in 1946 and has never looked back. 

The day’s really good once I click into my skis,” says Bowman. “Up until then, I’m just surviving.

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As a former president of the patrol and its most senior member, Bowman has helped to train more than 7,000 volunteer ski patrollers on Mount Hood, including three of his five children. And after so many years, he still loves the work and the people who do it with him.

My secret is old whiskey and young friends,” says Bowman. “I think I appreciate it more now than when I was a teenager.”   

The Mt. Hood Ski Patrol is more popular than ever these days, thanks in part to the leadership of Bowman.

If you want a shot at being its next longest-serving member, visit the tryouts page.

Buzz Bowman Mount Hood Oregon Field Guide summer

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