Oregon Skiing Legend
By Barbara Pressentin
With over fifty years of skiing and countless millions of vertical feet, Bill Clare still heads for the slopes four times a week. Most men want to slow down at age 75, but this local legend not only continues to ski more than most of us get a chance, he also continues to race down courses improving his times year-to-year. As a member of a local Portland Ski Club, Schnee Vogeli, Bill has plenty of buddies who have been trying to keep up with him for over twenty years.
"The guy just keeps going on and on," says fellow Schnee Vogeli, Danny Hummel. In 1941, Bill began skiing at Timberline with a school friend, but the war got in the way of Bill’s debut on the mountain. After the war and college, Bill and his family lived in Spokane, and he once again took up the sport. Bill, his wife Della, and sons Steve and Stann started skiing at Mt. Spokane after it put in its first chairlift in 1955. In 1960, the family returned to Portland, and the Clare family headed back up to Mt. Hood. Eight grandkids and three great grandsons later, Bill Clare is still heading for the hills.
Bill led the Masters race series in his age group and placed third in 1983 at the International Masters Race Series
Currently Bill is trimming down his competitive schedule to just eight City League races at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, where he is a member of the Coors Silver Lite race team, and competing in the Schnee’s Condor Cup races and in the three-man races. " That’s enough, now" says Bill. In the past Bill led the Masters race series in his age group and placed third in 1983 at the International Masters Race Series held in Sun Valley, where he was only beat out by two past Olympian racers. Another more recent highlight in Bill’s ski career was going to the NASTAR Nationals in 1991 and placing fourth
What keeps Bill going?
When asked "what keeps you going?," Bill simply responded, " The camaraderie, and love for the outdoors." As for the rest of us, we can only hope to live the life Bill Clare leads, for he is truly an Oregon skiing legend.