Canada's Powder Leader opens early to celebrate 50 years of Skiing
50 Years of Skiing in Fernie – The Celebration Begins. On Saturday November 26, 2011, 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, the legendary creator and builder of Fernie Snow Valley from 1962 through to 1997 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 ski racing program in Fernie, joined for the first run on his coaching day and season. At age 75, Geoff is the oldest and still 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. For 11 years, local legend Greg Barrow has held the first chair position on opening day at Fernie Alpine Resort. 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.