Hall of Famer

Lorne McFadgen

Affiliated Discipline(s): Alpine
Date of Birth / Death: 1935 – 2012
Induction CSHF: 2019
Induction Category: Alpine - Ski Instructor
Lorne McFadgen. Personal Collection.

Born in 1935 on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, Lorne McFadgen’s progression across the continent was far from linear. Originally drawn to hockey, he learned to skate on Atlantic Canada’s icy ponds before his family moved West, settling in the Rockies and eventually in Vancouver. Transferring his skills on blades to skis, McFadgen immersed himself in skiing.

Though he had steady employment with BC Tel, McFadgen chose to pursue a career in skiing. From 1956 to 1960, McFadgen taught skiing at Mount Baker in Washington where he earned his instructor’s certification from the Professional Skiers of America. In 1961 he moved his wife and daughter to Vermont’s Mount Snow for one season before taking the Assistant Ski School Director job (1962 – 1964) at Mont Tremblant under the world renowned Ski School Director, Ernie McCulloch.

In 1965, McFadgen arrived in Kimberley, Ontario at Talisman Ski Resort, which had just opened in 1963. He came there to run the Ski School and the Ski Shop. He remained at Talisman as President of Operations and Ski School Director until 1990 when he moved back out West to serve as a Ski Instructor at Blackcomb Ski School. Though he did not take on any formal titles there, McFadgen’s passion for skiing and teaching continued to thrive.

Early in his ski career, McFadgen found a way to make a living out of skiing in the off season. Each Fall, he would travel across the country to the big US Ski Shows including Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, New York, Denver, and Miami, where he would ski on rolling ramps and promote skiing on behalf of the Canadian Ski Association. He also wrote ski columns for local and national newspapers from 1964 to 1987 and hosted a talk show on CBC radio.

From 1970 to 1974, McFadgen served as President of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) and was a Director of the CSIA National Board from 1965 to 1979. He was a four time member of the Interski Demo Team and twice an Interski delegate. In 2000, McFadgen was enshrined in the CSIA Hall of Fame and was the first honoured member inducted into the Blackcomb Hall of Fame. McFadgen’s late-career work at Blackcomb, teaching well into his 70s while battling Parkinson’s disease, showed his true dedication for the sport. His enthusiasm was infectious and he was committed to everything about skiing. His legacy will live on in ski circles from Coast to Coast including his final chapter at Blackcomb where he left an indelible mark.

Highlights

  • Tireless promoter of skiing for over 35 years.
  • Vice President of Operations and Ski School Director at Talisman Resort for 25 years.
  • Ski Instructor at Blackcomb Mountain, BC.
  • Member of Canadian Interski Team.
  • Member of CSIA Hall of Fame and first Inductee into Blackcomb Hall of Fame.

Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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