Rick “Oz” Oswald

Many years ago Oregon Field Guide was introduced to the legendary “Oz” of Mount Bailey Sno-cats. We’re sad to say that Rick “Oz” Oswald was caught in an avalanche and died from his injuries. To us and to many who love the backcountry, he was an Oregon icon.

Posted by Oregon Public Broadcasting- OPB on Saturday, March 26, 2016


Legendary Mt. Bailey ski guide Rick “Oz” Oswald died last week while guiding clients in the Mt. Bailey backcountry. He was killed while performing avalanche control. He was 57.

“Oz” helped guide the Oregon Field Guide team of Nick Fisher and Jim Newman around the nooks and crannies of the Mt. Bailey backcountry back in 1999.  His intimate knowledge of the mountain enabled Nick and Jim to shoot some some of the best powder skiing scenes ever captured on Oregon Field Guide.

I, too, had the pleasure of skiing with Oz in years past. I remember him as a true Oregon character, gruff but charming, and with a dry and quick wit that immediately put guests at ease.

Oz spent over 40 years skiing and guiding at Mt. Bailey. For those of us who struggle to muscle time away from the desk for a few days in the mountains, it seemed Oz, who spent his days on skis, had grabbed the golden ticket.

But he was an absolute pro when it came to keeping his guests safe. And he made sure you had the best day you’ve ever had on a mountain.

Thank you, Oz, for sharing the mountains. You are remembered fondly.