Bill Lash - PSIA Co-Founder, President

Passing Date

Bill Lash, one of the founders of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, passed away peacefully at his home in Seattle on April 23. He was 95.


Introduced to skiing in 1940 as a Boy Scout in Sun Valley, Idaho, Lash began teaching while attending the University of Utah. He helped start Magic Mountain Ski Area in Idaho and served as its ski school director from 1947-1949. In 1950, with other ski school directors, he formed the Intermountain Ski Instructors Association and became its president in 1951.


In 1958 in Alta, Lash brought together instructors from all seven divisions of the National Ski Association, for a week-long session on certification standards and technique. From this, he published Outline of Ski Teaching Methods, the first complete ski instructors’ manual distributed on a national level. The following year his Certification Committee conducted the first national instructors’ exam, at Brighton, In 1961, Lash was one of the original founders of the PSIA and served as its president for eight years. He was instrumental in seeing that PSIA was represented at the Sixth Interski in 1962. Lash and Willy Schaeffler were responsible bringing the Eighth Interski to Aspen, Colorado in 1968.


Lash was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1983. He was awarded the Golden Quill Award for outstanding contribution to American Skiing by the North American Ski Journalists Association in 1992. He was inducted into the Alf Engen Ski Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2004. PSIA awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.