By: JOSEPH T. O’CONNOR, Mountain Outlaw Managing Editor

It’s been said that ski patrollers work long hours; that they ride chairlifts before dawn, in snowstorms pushed by 80-mph winds; that avalanche control and the term “blaster” are listed in the job description; that a safe return isn’t guaranteed.

Phil Capy doesn’t know for sure, but people have told him he’s the oldest professional ski patroller in the country. This winter marks Capy’s 20th season at Montana’s Big Sky Resort, and he’s been patrolling on and off for the last 54 years. He’s 87.

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