John Millslagle has been a ski patroller longer than snowboarding has been an Olympic sport. Now 50 and starting his 20th season at Mt. Bachelor, he's showing no signs of slowing.
Athlete: John Millslagle,
Ski Patroller at
How long have you been a ski patroller? How'd you get started? I'm about to start my 20th year. I took a winter off after college to be a ski bum. That was 27 season passes ago.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do? That I'm a cop. I don't want to pull anyone's pass—just respect mountain rules and respect other mountain users.
How much freeskiing do you typically get in each year? More than anyone needs to know.
Best ski memory from last season? Opening Summit on Dec. 13, 2012—great early-season coverage plus the backside!
Favorite piece of winter gear? Hestra Job gloves.
What new gear are you most excited about (or, what's on your wish list)? The new skis waiting for me up at the mountain: K2 Annex 108.
What are three items everyone should have in their ski pack, but probably don't? For the backcountry, it's beacon, shovel, and a probe, but please wear that beacon close and secure to your body—hate to see your partner work so hard just to rescue your pack. On Mt. Bachelor: a fully charged smart phone—preferably with the Mt. Bachelor app. If no smart phone, then pack a trail map. And a full water bottle.
Got any ski trips on the calendar? It's a secret.
Favorite regional ski destination? Methow Valley.
What are your winter goals? Face shots! Stay healthy and injury free.