First chair in 50th year at Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort kicked off its 50th year of operations at the weekend.

  • Nov. 30, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Heiko Socher

Fernie Alpine Resort kicked off its 50th year of operations at the weekend.

On Saturday, November 26, the first skiers rode a chair lift that began 50 years of skiing in Fernie.

On the ‘first chair’ were Heiko Socher, his wife Linda Socher, ski coach Dr. Geoff Seagram and sports retailer Greg Barrow.

Heiko is a famous face around town and has a long history with the ski resort. The legendary creator and builder of Fernie Snow Valley from 1992 through to 1998, said he was honoured and humbled to be asked to be the first skier up the mountain and the first skier to enjoy the early start to the season.

Heiko, who is very active at 81 years of age, was joined by his skiing companion and wife of nearly 55 years, Linda.

Linda established the first ski retail business in Fernie and since leaving the Ski Base in Fernie, manages to ski nearly every day of the ski season in Fernie. Dr Geoff Seagram, a local ski coach with a ski racing program in Fernie, joined him for the first run on his coaching day and season.

At age 75, Geoff is the oldest and still one of the most active ski coaches in Canada. He was the Race Doctor for the men’s downhill ski events at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and established the first paediatric surgery practice in the Province of Alberta before retiring to Fernie in 1994.

Local legend Greg Barrow is also a well known face at the resort, having held the first chair position on opening day at Fernie Alpine Resort for the last 11 years. Greg was thrilled to once again to be on the first chair in the 50th year of skiing in the Lizard Range in the Canadian Rockies.

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