Hall of Famer

Ernie McCulloch

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Date of Birth / Death: 1926 - 1987
Hometown: Trois Rivieres, Que. / Mont Tremblant, Que.
Active Career Period: 1945 - 1976
Induction CSHF: 1984
Induction Category: Alpine: Downhill; Instructor; Coach

In a Foreward to Ernie McCulloch’s SKI EASY…The New Technique (Mcgraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Toronto, 1973) Raymond Lanctot described his friend as a man who became a perceptive analyst of skiing technique, an impatient stylistic innovator, and yet a charming and enthusiastic instructor; a motivator of the youthful competitor; a teacher of teachers where his boundless zeal was frustrated often by the learner’s ineptitude, often by a recalcitrant, out to bite the feeding hand. A man who coached champions, who has single-handedly expounded doctrines to international instructor’s conferences, yet is never too busy to give of his immeasurable energy to improve the hopes of the mediocre racer of the prospects of an apprentice instructor.

Born in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, McCulloch demonstrated, even in his early days, the aggressive spirit of a champion, not because of any need for applause but because of his boundless energy and physical ability. Coming from a town in which ski jumping was the foremost skiing activity, McCulloch became a jumper first and alpine competitor second.

The conversion came in the winter of 1945 -1946 when, in Lac Beauport for a ski jumping event, he entered a Laurentian Zone slalom event and placed second to a top Canadian skier.

Two years later, in 1949, he entered the Quebec Kandahar at Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and defeated the entire French Alpine team which included the Olympic Winter Games Gold Medallist, Henri Oreiller, in the Open Class. In 1950, he achieved the “grand slam” of North American skiing by winning the United States National Giant Slalom Championship, the North American Championship and the Harriman Cup. Winner of virtually every major alpine title in Canada and the United States, he was voted “Skier of the Half Century” in 1950.

Following the 1952 Olympic Winter Games in Oslo, Norway, he demonstrated his ability to compete with the elite of international ski racing by defeating the reigning Olympic Gold Medal Slalom medallist, Stein Ericson and also Austrian Othmar Schneider, both ski racing legends of their time, in competition at Stowe, Vermont, USA. This triumph immediately followed a second Harriman Cup victory at Sun Valley, Idaho, USA.

Competition highlights:
Central Canadian Champion
Quebec-Kandahar Champion, Mont Tremblant, Quebec

United States Downhill and Combined Champion

North American Championships
Winner, Peruvian Cup, Alta, Utah, USA
Winner, Harriman Cup

Winner, Harriman Cup
Quebec-Kandahar Champion
United States National and International Downhill Champion

Ryan Cup, Mont Tremblant, Quebec

His career as a skiing instructor was only slightly less spectacular. Affectionately known as the “King of Mont Tremblant”, he joined the instructional staff of the Mont Tremblant Ski School in 1951, became the ski school’s Director in 1954 and remained there until 1969, when he left to become Director of the Blue Mountain Ski School, Collingwood, Ontario until 1976.

By the mid-1960s, under his leadership and imaginative teaching, the Mont Tremblant Ski School enjoyed a world-wide reputation for the excellence of its teaching methods.

Originally borrowing from a variety of techniques including Hannes Schneider’s Arlberg system, Swiss methods and the parallel techniques of Emile Allais of France, McCulloch constantly re-examined and revised his system of instruction until he had “… developed the simplest and most efficient possible method of teaching skiing”. (Learn to Ski, Universal Publishing and Distributing Corporation, p.9, 1955). At the World Congress of Instructors, Raymond Lanctot noted that when demonstrating his technique at the World Congress of Instructors, McCulloch was “…electrifying and capable of paling by comparison the efforts of leading exponents of the day…” (Ski Easy…The New Technique, McGrawHill Ryerson Limited, Toronto, Foreword, 1973.)

In 1955, he was appointed President and Chief Examiner of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance, and again in 1957, 1959 and 1961. He coached the Canadian Olympic Alpine Ski Team in 1956.

As a teacher, competitor and coach, Ernie McCulloch fully justified his reputation. Arnold E. Abramson, President and Publisher of Ski Magazine noted in the Preface to McCulloch’s illustrated guide to skiing (Ski the Champion’s Way, Harper & Row Inc., New York, 1967):
“Except for a few self-taught hermits in the Tibetan Mountains, just about every skier who ever hit the slopes has heard of Ernie McCulloch – if not for his racing achievements, then for his outstanding ski teaching”.

Other instructional books authored by McCulloch were Ski Easy…The New Technique, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, Toronto, 1973, and, Learn to Ski, his first book published in 1955 by Universal Publishing and Distributing Corporation.


Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
Copyright © 2021, Canadian Ski Museum. For Personal/Educational use only. All Rights Reserved.

Ernie McCulloch. Mt. Tremblant publication, p.61.

Ernie McCulloch. Mt. Tremblant publication, p.66. CSHFM Collection.

Mt. Hood, Oregon (USA) [back row]: P. Gramshamer (AUS), Ernie McCulloch (CAN), Lorne O’Connor (CAN) [front row]: Adrien Duvillard (FRA), Pepi Steigler (AUS). CSHFM Collection.

1954 Canadian Alpine ski team [L to R]: Pepi Salvenmoser (coach), Peter Kirby, Lucile Wheeler, Ernie McCullogh, Anne Heggtveit, Pat Ramage (manager), Bill Stevens & Art Tommy. The sign in the background reads “Welcome to Hotel Grannen” where the team stayed during the FIS World Championships, Are, Sweden. Gillsater R. Portage.

Ernie McCulloch, the “King of the mountain”. Article in Tremblant Express by Peter Duncan. June 2019.

Book Cover ''Ski Easy... the New Technique'' by Ernie McCulloch
Book Cover ”Ski Easy… the New Technique” by Ernie McCulloch. CSHFM Collection.

Kathy Kreiner, Ernie McCullogh, and Linda Crutchfield at 1984 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Inductee Ernie McCulloch (right) at 1984 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

Inductee Ernie McCulloch at 1984 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Inductee Ernie McCulloch at 1984 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

Inductee Ernie McCulloch (right) at 1984 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CSHFM Collection.

Mt. Tremblant postcard of a trail map and ski school director Ernie McCulloch.
Mt. Tremblant postcard of a trail map and ski school director Ernie McCulloch. CSHFM Collection.

Ernie McCulloch and the Mont Tremblant Ski School

Enjoy vintage footage of legendary Canadian skier Ernie McCulloch making powder turns with members of the Mont Tremblant Ski School. Circa 1950's.

Mount Tremblant Canadian Ski Resort (1948)

M. Mount Tremblant is a Canadian ski resort in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec.