Heiko Socher, Fernie BC
Fernie BC has it’s legends, possibly the most well know is The Legend of the Ghostrider, a mythical story of how the founder William Fernie was encapsulated with the shiny black rocks around the local Ktunaxa princesses neck, leading to the discovery of Fernie’s thriving coal industry and ending in Fernie being cursed to flood, fire and famine. A great write up and explanation from this August by Dennis Begin can be found at http://suncruisermedia.com/Home/rv-travel/the-legend-of-the-ghostrider-fernie-bc
Another is Fernie’s Legendary snow god The Griz, celebrated every March at ‘Griz Days’ when the city pays homage to this half man, half grizzly creature. A great write up by Paula Worthington can be read at http://www.snowseekers.ca/britishcolumbia/fernie/articles/2208/man-behind-fernie%E2%80%99s-greatest-legend
But Fernie sadly just lost the most inspiring legend of them all in Heiko Socher, I feel blessed to have met with him on occasions, mostly on Heiko’s trail that he lovingly constructed and continued to put in numerous hours to upkeep well into his 70’s. Heiko was Fernie’s original trailblazer, creator and owner of Snow Valley ski area, later to become Fernie Alpine Resort. He almost single-handedly carved out from the Lizard Range mountains the ski hill runs and set Fernie on it’s way to being named one of North America’s best ski resorts. In his passing he leaves behind a legend that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the others in Fernie’s rich past and that will inspire a generation of future trailblazers. Rest in peace and thank you Heiko Socher.
A well written piece about Heiko by S.Threndyle can be viewed at http://snowsportsculture.com/heiko-socher-fernies-pioneering-spirit
Photo from www.fernie.com