The tradition of friends skiing together in pursuit of powder extends back to the early days of Alta. In fact, members of the Wild old Bunch were hiking up and skiing Alta's terrain before the lifts were built in 1938.
The Wild old Bunch name harkens back to Rush Spedden's 1973 amateur (home) ski movie which first captured the core group skiing the powder to music. The movie was titled "The Wild Old Bunch", and featured powder skiing from a time when someone who knew their way around Alta could ski untracked powder all day. The name stuck and the circle of skiing friends grew.
The patches followed a few years later with the now famous Foley Richards design.
The group tended to congregate at the Alpenglow (a tradition that carries on today in the daily 11am rendezvous at Alf's (look for the big round table, WOB patches, a lot of 70+, 80+, 90+, and 100+ (it's a good life) patches, and people who have obviously been out in the powder)).
With their own movie, “official” patches, and regular meetings, the organization was on it’s way to what it is today: a happily disorganized collection of senior Alta regulars readily dispensing hospitality, youthful enthusiasm, and sage advice.
Skis get old, skiers never do. Ponce de Leon was just looking in the wrong place.
Art, Foley, Johnny, & Rush