Nic Fiore, the legendary skimeister at historic Badger Pass resort in Yosemite National Park, Calif. died June 16 "of the infirmities of old age." He was 88 years old.
Fiore was an institution and the number of people he taught to ski at Badger Pass has been pegged at about 130,000. That is likely more than any instructor in North America.
He worked at Yosemite for 57 years as a busboy, managing hotels, the High Sierra Camps, and as maitre d' at the Ahwahnee Hotel. But, he spent all 57 of those winters at Badger Pass, ringing the brass bell each morning to announce the start of ski school classes.
An oft-repeated story by Fiore was about his arrival at Yosemite when he looked up at the imposing, snow-covered cliffs around Yosemite Valley and then asked his new boss, Luigi Foeger (another legend), "But, Luigi, where do beginners ski?" He said he only planned to stay a year, but he said "it was love at first sight." He stayed for the rest of his life.
A memorial service is planned at Yosemite in the fall. Memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Yosemite Fund, 155 Montgomery St., Suite 1104, San Francisco, CA 94104.