Bill Mackeys interest and love of the mountains manifested itself early in his youth, exploring the High Sierra trails. In the summer, he expanded his knowledge of geology and nature.
With the first snow cover, however, Bill was ready to head for the ski slopes. As an experienced skier, his interest was divided between competitive racing, ski instruction and professional patrolling.
In the spring of 1970, he experienced the thrill of racing during a Lange Ski Race Camp at Mammoth conducted by Jimmie Heuga.
Bill turned 21 soon afterward, making him old enough to start work as a full-time professional ski patrolman at Mammoth under the capable direction of John Garner.
In the autumn of 1970, his enthusiasm mounted as his skill in skiing and rescue work developed rapidly. A few weeks later, however, he met with a tragic non-skiing accident that brought his career to an abrupt end.
The Bill Mackey Award is given for outstanding Service to the skiing public by a ski industry or ski area employee.