A Tour of Canadian Skiing Firsts
From glorious mountains to man-made ski hills and trails, Canada has embraced the customs and techniques of ski and snowboard culture from coast to coast.
At age two, (1928) Fraser Pullen started skiing on Fletchers Field in the Mount Royal section of Montreal. In 1932, a 5-cent ride on Canada’s first rope tow installed on Foster’s Hill in Shawbridge, Quebec, was Fraser’s first introduction to skiing in the Laurentians. It was the beginning of a lifetime interest in a sport to which he has remained selflessly devoted, both Alpine and Nordic, for over 50-years as an official, a founder, builder and promoter.
After a badly shattered ankle ended his racing career, he turned his considerable energy and enthusiasm to the administrative side of the sport. From 1945 to1975 he was both a Founder and Director of the well-known Nordik Ski Club, St Sauveur, Quebec. This club was to become one of the most prolific in terms of the development of Alpine competitors producing 14-Class A skiers including Canadian Olympians, Bob Richardson, Bill Morris, Carolyn Kruger and Bob Gilmour among others.
From 1951 until 1965, he was involved in the Laurentian Zone of the Canadian Ski Association as Zone Vice-Chairman (1951-1953), Chairman of the Downhill Committee (1953-1956), and in numerous capacities as an “on-hill” official for Alpine competition.
Moving to Calgary in 1977, he and other enthusiasts assumed responsibility for the revival of the Canadian Ski Association’s Ski Jumping and Nordic Programs in 1982. Securing the sponsorship of Molson Breweries for the 1982/1983 Western Canadian Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships held at Mount Norquay, Banff, Alberta, he convinced the corporation to supply him with a sound truck to do live broadcasts of the events. It quickly became established as an annual competition attracting teams from across the world. Further, the revived Jumping and Nordic Combined programs spread to other venues in Alberta with Fraser Pullen involved in the public relations and communications aspects of the events.
In 1984, he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Alberta Division of the Canadian Ski Association and, along with others, founded the Altius Nordic Ski Club in 1985. This club acted as the host for the 1986/1987 Molson International Ski Jumping Tournament a pre-Olympic warm-up event to test the new facilities, where Fraser was chief of Press. Many of the competitors for the 1988 Olympic winter Games in Calgary were present for the trial. The Altius Nordic Ski Club was also the host club for the Nordic events at the XV Olympic Winter Games held in Calgary, Alberta in 1988. As a certified Ski Jumping Judge, he was well qualified to direct the television camera coverage from the towers of the 70 and 90-metre jumps for all the jumping and Nordic Combined events. For his outstanding contribution to the XV Olympic Winter Games he received an Alberta Achievement Award.
In the winters following the Olympic Games he continued to officiate and serve as an event organizer until December 1993 when a heart attack while foot-packing a 60-metre jumping hill forced him into retirement.
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.
Inductees Owen Carney, Lucie Barma, and Fraser Pullen at 2004 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. W.P. McElligott / 6086-28
Inductee Fraser Pullen at 2004 Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. W.P. McElligott / 6086-24.