One year ago: Nic Fiore
When ski instructor Nic Fiore died one year ago today, his colleagues described it as the "end of an era." Fiore, who died at age 88 of complications from a stroke, is said to have taught more than 100,000 people to ski at Yosemite's Badger Pass ski area, one of California's top ski and snowboard resorts for families.
Fiore, who was executive director of the western division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America for nearly 30 years, began teaching skiing in Yosemite in 1948. He directed Yosemite's Ski & Snowboard School at the Badger Pass ski area for 45 years before assuming the role of "ski ambassador" in 2001.
The Canadian-born instructor was dubbed by one reporter as "the maitre d' of ski at Badger Pass," and he was known as much for his heavy French Canadian accent and friendly grin as for his passion for skiing and knowledge of the Sierra.
John Armstrong, president of the Professional Ski Instructors of America and director of corporate training at Mammoth Mountain, told The Times this in 2004 about Fiore:
"You couldn't hope for a more entertaining, kind and caring person to spend the whole day out on a mountain than Nic. Even if you were having trouble with snow or it was a stormy day, Nic was a cheerful and upbeat kind of man; he'd inspire you to stay out all day in a blizzard."
For more, read The Times' complete obituary of Nic Fiore.
-- Michael Farr
Photo: Nic Fiore
Credit: Los Angeles Times