by Rebecca Edwards
The Fernie Ski Wall of Fame has been created to recognize contributions to the past, present and future of skiing in Fernie.
The first 21 inductees were named last Friday at a luncheon in celebration of the 50th anniversary of lift-access skiing in Fernie.
Mike Delich, chair of the Fernie 50 years of skiing steering committee, who organized the event, says new members will be added every two years.
He added: “Dozens of nominations were received, and a selection panel chose the final 21 inductees.
“There are three categories in the awards – pioneers, who contributed to the development of skiing in Fernie, builders, who have maintained a long-term dedication to snow sports heritage, and sport leaders who represented Canada at international snowsports events.
“We will be developing a wall of fame website as a lasting record of those who helped put Fernie on the international ski map.”
2012 Fernie Ski Hall of Fame inductees
Bill Prentice, Crowsnest Industries
As head of Crowsnest Industries, Bill Prentice donated staff hours and equipment to build the new Fernie Snow Valley community ski hill.
Doug McDonald, McDonald Ranch and Lumber
Doug was an early investor in Fernie Snow Valley who sat on the board of directors of the ski company for many years. He also supplied the lumber for the first ski lodge.
Galloway Lumber and the Henry Nelson family.
Henry Nelson of Galloway Lumber exchanged the lower slopes of the Lizard Range for shares in Fernie Snow Valley Ski Ltd. He contributed equipment to help built the first day lodge and his sons Bud and Jay were directors of the ski company.
Heiko Socher and his wife Linda devoted themselves to running the Fernie Snow Valley ski school and then the resort from 1973 to 1997. Since his retirement from the ski company, Heiko has used his vision to build legendary trails and landmark buildings in the community.
Rod Pendlebury, Dan MacDonald, Dale Bowman and Bob Langfield
The original investors built Island Lake Lodge as opened as a day catskiing operation in 1988. Now, nearly 25 years later, Island Lake has helped put Fernie on the Powder Highway.
Mike is a visionary property developer who also created the Master Plan for the Resort in 1989, was ski coach for many years, brought Nor Am ski races to Fernie and was Chief of Race for the Calgary Olympic Downhill races and officiated the Torino Olympics in 2006.
Kim Sedrovic was a ski racer and established Fernie Wilderness Adventures 25 years ago. Today Fernie Wilderness Adventures attracts guests from around the world both for cat skiing and summer fly fishing tours.
In 1961 and 1962 Louie Sclippa built the roads, cleared the forest and operated machinery to build Fernie Snow Valley. For seven years, Louis acted as lift operator, day lodge custodian, ski patroller and ambulance driver. He died at age 88 on February 24.
In 1967, Tom emigrated to to work in Fernie’s growing coal mining industry before becoming a ski instructor. He turns 85 this month and has been an instructor for 45 continuous years. He has instructed and taught thousands and thousands of people to enjoy the sport of skiing.
The mining industry
Crowsnest Industries, Kaiser Resources and Westar Mining supported the growing ski industry.
Today, Teck Coal is valued partner and supporter of the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation.
Bill Fleming of Teck Coal accepted the award on behalf of the mining industry.
Linda Socher established Fernie’s first ski shop, growing it into one of western Canada’s largest ski rental businesses. Her community philanthropy helped built careers and businesses.
For 25 years, Dave Rogers operated the Fernie Snow Valley Ski School. Dave was a level four instructor, his instructors were respected in the industry and his teaching methods were renowned in Canada.
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Since RCR has expanded the resort and helped strengthen and diversify the local economy. The company supports many community causes through volunteer work and funding.
In one year, Ralf won both the Canadian and the United States National Downhill Ski Championships. He also competed on the World Cup Ski Circuit and represented Canada in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
In 2001, Ryan won the World Free Skiing Championships at Tignes France and went on become a professional skier. Ryan is now owner of his construction business in NE B.C.
Jennifer Delich started skiing at age two and worked her way up to the Canadian ski team.
In 2004, she led her university team to win the United States NCAA ski championships. She is now the physiotherapist for the Canadian World Cup ladies ski team.
As a Canada Ski Team racer, Emily won 13 Canadian Ski Championships, was the World Junior Ski Champion, won World Cup races and represented Canada at three Olympics.
She established the successful Emily Brydon Youth Foundation – a professionally-managed endowment fund that is a model across Canada.
Raised and educated in Elkford, BC, Dave Ellis resides in Fernie.
As Director of Sport for Canada Ski Cross, Dave’s leadership guided Ashleigh McIvor’s Olympic Gold in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, many World Cup victories and to the Men’s and Women’s Ski Cross World Championships in 2012.