Though he will be remembered as the visionary behind Snow Valley Ski Area in Fernie by most, Heiko Socher also left an impression among skiers on the coast during his years in Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Then a member of the ski team and fellow adventurer with the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC) on many a backcountry trip–most notably the May 1955 ski traverse from Rubble Creek to Garibaldi Lake to Diamond Head Chalet to Squamish on cross country skis with likes of Pat Duffy and others from the ‘50’s UBC roster–his passion for skiing and tenacious personality won’t soon be forgotten by those who knew him.
He carried on as a supporter of the UBC ski team throughout his life, and supported his son Ralf through his pursuit of ski racing through to the National Ski Team.
Socher dedicated most of his years to the development of what has become one of Canada’s favourite ski areas, Fernie Alpine Resort, and continued to create hiking trails throughout the valley even after his retirement in the late ‘90’s. He was also a generous community man and, for his philanthropy, was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.
After a remarkable life, Heiko Socher passed away earlier this month at 86. He leaves behind his wife Linda and children Ralf and Elke (Bruce) and two grandchildren.
And another tribute posted on the East Kootenay e-News