Alpinist, extreme skier

Davo Karničar
Passing Date: September 16, 2019

Davorin Karničar, Slovenian alpinist and the first person to complete a ski descent from the summit of Everest, died September 16 in a tree-cutting accident, at age 56. Karničar grew up climbing and skiing with his father in the mountains around Jezersko, an alpine village a few miles from Slovenia...

Pioneering knee surgeon, ski team doc

John Feagin, MD
Passing Date: September 1, 2019

Dr. John Feagin, a pioneer of arthroscopic knee surgery who served as U.S. Ski Team physician during the 1992 Albertville Olympics, died September 1 at his home in Jackson, Wyoming, at age 85. A 1955 graduate of West Point, Feagin served two years as an artillery officer, then entered Duke...

10th Mountain vet, Vail volunteer

Sandy Treat, Jr.
Passing Date: September 1, 2019

Sanford Morris “Sandy” Treat Jr. died at Vail Health Medical Center September 1, at age 96. Raised in New York City, Treat learned to ski during winter vacations at Lake Placid. At Deerfield Academy he became fluent in Spanish and French, and raced on the first ski team. He was a freshman on the...

Olympic bronze medalist

Blanca Fernández Ochoa
Passing Date: August 24, 2019

Blanca Fernández Ochoa, bronze medalist in slalom at the 1992 Albertville Olympics, died August 24 in the mountains near Madrid, at age 56. Ochoa grew up in a family of ski racers, children of a ski school director. Five of the kids became Olympians, and her oldest brother Francisco won slalom gold...

Olympic and World Champion

Egon Zimmermann
Passing Date: August 23, 2019

Egon Norbert Zimmermann, 1962 World Champion in GS and 1964 gold medalist in downhill, died August 23 at age 80. He had long suffered multiple sclerosis. Born in 1939 in Lech-am-Arlberg, Zimmermann began skiing after World War II, at age 7, and won a number of school races without formal coaching....

Racer, instructor, Vail hotelier

Pepi Gramshammer
Passing Date: August 17, 2019

Pepi Gramshammer, the Austrian ski racer who became Vail’s premier hotelier, died August 17 at the Vail Valley Hospital. He was 87 years old and had recently suffered a series of strokes. Pepi grew up in Kufstein, Austria, training in nearby Innsbruck. He was named to the Austrian national team in...

Godfather of snowboarding

Sherman Poppen
Passing Date: July 31, 2019

Sherman Poppen, the Muskegon, Michigan businessman who invented the Snurfer, died July 31 at age 89. On Christmas Day of 1965, Poppen needed to get his daughters out of the house so that his pregnant wife, Nancy, could rest. He bolted together a pair of kids’ skis and encouraged them to ride the...

FIS official, Whistler pioneer

Peter Andrews
Passing Date: May 30, 2019

Peter Henry Andrews, a Vancouver dentist who devoted his life to organized skiing, died May 30 after a short illness. He was 80 years old. Andrews grew up in Vancouver and raced in high school. In 1962 he became one of the first investors in Whistler (the mountain opened in 1965). He earned his...

Squaw Valley coach

Hans Standteiner
Passing Date: May 29, 2019

Hans Standteiner, 89, longtime coach at Squaw Valley, died March 29 after a long battle with cancer.  Born near Bad Gastein, Austria and apprenticed as a blacksmith, but his passion was ski racing. After teaching skiing in Iran and Turkey, he joined the ski school at Sugarbush, Vermont, where he...

Ski Show Impresario

Harry Leonard
Passing Date: May 23, 2019

Harry A. Leonard, who created the first modern consumer ski shows in 1958, died May 23, at age 92. Leonard grew up in Philadelphia, earned an engineering degree at Purdue and went to work in Chicago for the printer R.R. Donnelly. He soon joined the Chicago Sun Times as an ad salesman, later moving...