Hall of Famer
Réal Charette began a long and illustrious ski instruction career in the Canadian Army in 1941 when he became an instructor in winter warfare. During World War ll, he taught both Canadian and Scottish troops, “The Lovat’s Scouts”.
Following his return to civilian life after the war ended, he was able to find work as a ski instructor at the Gray Rocks Inn resort in Quebec under the two well-known ski school directors, Herman Gadner and Luggi Foeger, a disciple of Hannes Schneider, originator of the Arlberg Technique which transformed alpine skiing.
In 1948, he was named Director of the Snow Eagle Ski School at Gray Rocks, the first Canadian to be appointed as director of the ski school. Before this, the position was invariably held by instructors from European alpine countries.
After 34 years, in 1982, he relinquished the position and responsibility for the day-today operation of the ski school which now employed over 50 fulltime instructors giving over 125,000 ski lessons a year.
In 1982, he assumed the position of Manager of Public Relations & Marketing at Gray Rocks.
In 1954, he became one of the first three instructors to achieve the Level lV (the highest level) of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (C.S.I.A.) professional certification program. He was also President of the C.S.I.A for 3-years and Chief Examiner for the Alliance seventeen times.
His enthusiasm for ski instruction was furthered in pioneering efforts to promote and market the sport through film. These productions included “Learn to Ski” and “Skiing for All” aired on both Canadian and United States television networks. In 1958, he produced a further short film (14-minutes) titled “Let’s Go Skiing, with Lucille Wheeler, Bronze Medallist, Alpine Downhill, 1956 Winter Olympic Games, Cortina
His contribution to skiing and the C.S.I.A. resulted in profound changes to the Canadian ski industry.
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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Réal Charette (right) and Jackrabbit. CSHFM Collection.
Réal Charette skiing. CSHFM Collection.
Snow Eagles 1953
Gray Rocks Inn, St. Jovite, La Province de Quebec, "The winter sport resort" presents Snow Eagles. Featuring Real Charette and his instructors. 1953.
Gray Rocks Ski Resort Goodbye
This grand old hotel and renowned ski school is closing at the end of March. We wish it a fond farewell. March 2009.