On Dec. 12 Western Canada lost a man who made a mark in its skiing community, including Rossland’s Red Mountain.
Alfred Gottlieb Bosinger — better known as Fred — moved to Rossland with his family in 1971.
“We’d moved from Quebec and Dad received the job at Red Mountain before we left Quebec,” explained Anna Randell, Bosinger’s 49-year-old daughter. “He first started off there just in the maintenance department and lifts, that sort of stuff, and rapidly moved to the top.”
Over his 10 years at Red, Bosinger rose to the position of general manager and was responsible for the planning and development of the Paradise Basin area.
Bosinger was also involved with the Pontiac Cup racing series while he was in Rossland.
“He was always keen on the race program. My mom was the race secretary at the mountain for a number of years and so that was a big part of our lives when we lived there was ski racing,” said Randell. “Red Mountain Racers had a pretty amazing team in those years when we were there.”
Randell also described Rossland “as a pretty great place to grow up.”
Bosinger was born in Zürich, Switzerland in 1937 and grew up skiing and playing hockey.
He apprenticed in the mechanical trades before completing his military training as a motor vehicle mechanic. Following his military service and some travel in Europe, he lived in Oslo, Norway for two years, where he worked for Scandinavian Airline Systems.
He immigrated to Canada in 1963 as a ski lift installer for Mueller Lifts, living in the province of Quebec.
In 1965, Bosinger supervised the installation of the first gondola in eastern Canada at Mont St. Anne, Que. He joined the World Exhibition in Montreal in 1966 and was initially responsible for the construction of the gondola system on La Ronde, the amusement park for Expo 67.
During the operations phase in 1967, Bosinger was operations manager for the gondola and various other amusement park rides and games. As operations manager, he was also co-leader for the specialized public safety and rescue team.
His three children — Rob, Peter and Anna — all followed in his footsteps and were part of the skiing community. All three were members of the Rossland Mountain Racers while in Rossland.
His son Rob was a member of the Alberta Ski Team and the National Alpine Ski Team and went on to coach at the Banff Mountain Academy, for the National Alpine Ski Team and for the Banff Alpine Racers.
Rob predeceased his father on May 20, 2005.
Peter was also a member of the Alberta Ski Team and the National Alpine Ski Team and competed in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary and is executive director of the Banff Alpine Racers.
Anna worked in the ski industry for a number of years.
“I ski patrolled and taught skiing and worked in various different aspects of the mountain. Sort of more followed along in Dad’s footsteps because I never made it to the national team. So I did all sorts of departments on the hill over the years,” said Randell.
She also said that her father was a huge influence on her.
“Just in that I always had a passion to be in the mountains and in the ski industry,” said Randell.
The Bosinger family left Rossland in 1981 and in 1982 moved to Banff where Fred started working at Sunshine Village as the maintenance manager. He became vice-president and general manager in 1991.
While at Sunshine, Bosinger was responsible for opening Goat’s Eye Mountain, redeveloping of most of the existing lifts and runs and opening Delirium Dive and Wild West, offering controlled access terrain.
He also hosted and staged the 1985 and 1986 Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) World Cup Women’s Down Hill and Super G events.
Bosinger championed the Canada West Ski Area Association (CWSAA) Competitor Pass program from 1987 to 2010 and served as a CWSAA director. In 2004, he was honoured with the CWSAA Jim Marshall lifetime achievement award.
He was inducted into the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame as the 2016 Honoured Lifetime Builder and was honoured with the 2017 Winterstart Award in November.
Fred Bosinger is remembered by his wife Margaret, his daughter Anna Randell and her husband Grant, his son Peter Bosinger, his daughter-in-law Janet Carswell and her husband Geoff, and his two grandsons Mats and Morgan.
Randell remembers him fondly.
“There weren’t many people that ever crossed Dad’s path that didn’t have a kind word for him. He was a big intimidating guy. He was six-foot-two and he had a deep voice, but he always had a really open heart and a good laugh and always a good story to tell,” she said.
A celebration of life was held at Mt. Norquay Day Lodge in Banff, Alberta on Monday, Jan. 15.