Walter Foeger (deceased)
Year Inducted: 2005
Born: Nov. 30, 1917 Innsbruck, AUT
Died: Feb.10, 2007 Vienna, AUT
Foeger displayed early athletic prowess in many sports, and capped his civilian competitive career with a 1st place in the junior division of the Hahnenkamm, downhill and combined, in March 1936. He attended Innsbruck State Teachers College. During WWII he was the Alpine expert for Ski Command 11. After the war he was coach of the Spanish Olympic ski team for many years, attending the Oslo Winter Games in 1952.
From 1956 to 1973 Foeger was a significant and colorful part of the American ski scene. He established an alternative and successful ski teaching system, and contributed his expertise to the development of the ski economy in northern Vermont and elsewhere. Known as the Natur Teknik, Foeger's innovative and direct-to-parallel ski instructional method was introduced at Jay Peak in early 1957 and was being taught as late as 1991.
The Jay Peak ski area was begun as a business development project of the neighboring towns, spearheaded by Harold Haynes and the Kiwanis Club of North Troy, VT. When Foeger arrived in December 1956, Jay Peak had one open slope with a non-functioning ski lift. By the time he moved on in 1968 there were 45 trails and 7 lifts. Those familiar with Jay's history readily acknowledge he was the major force behind this early growth.