Bud Conger was a beloved ski instructor at Smuggler’s Notch for more than six decades, and just two winters after he called it quits, the 92-year old’s mark on the resort is cemented. One of his favorite trails now reads his name, ‘Bud’s Way’. 

“I didn’t believe it at all when they said I had been nominated for this, then trying to decide what trail was interesting,” Conger said. 

Harley Johnson is the director of Snow Sport University at the resort, and she was one of a few that made the trail dedication happen. To her, Bud was a ray of sunshine, known for big hugs and riveting stories, but his passion for both the slopes and his family are what she will always remember. 

“He brought all of his family to Smugglers to learn how to ski and turned that passion onto them, where they all became ski instructors as well,” Johnson said. 

When asked why he kept helping young skiers find their way on the mountain for so long, Conger said it’s the look on youngsters’ faces. 

“You see them progress…before that they are doing wedges and are very tight,” he said. “Once you get them to move, they enjoy skiing.” 

Johnson added that Conger proved day after day that age was just a number. 

“We had a guest looking for a younger instructor, they didn’t want to go out with an old instructor,” Johnson said. “At the time, bud was the one left on the lineup to teach and I believe he was in his late 70s, early 80s… they could not stop talking about how amazing he was, what a great skier he was and how much fun they had. They had no idea how old he was.” 

Conger’s longtime friend Gary Hopper said those that taught alongside Conger, including himself, say there wasn’t a better teacher, but more importantly no better man to learn from. 

“Girls would be standing there, guys would be standing there…they’d be soaking wet, and Bud would be soaking wet like the rest of them,” Hopper said. “He’d say ‘I’ll take it, you guys go get dry’. That was not uncommon, very unselfish.”