L. B. “Barney” MacNab
Hall of Fame Class of 1970
L.B. “Barney” MacNab was born in Oregon in 1902 and was a very avid and proficient skier. In the course of skiing on Mount Hood with a group of friends in 1937, he recognized that skiing was becoming increasingly popular in the Northwest. As more people participated in the sport the chances of their becoming injured far from an access road was increasingly apparent. MacNab and his friends formed the Mount Hood Ski Patrol, one of the first in the nation at a major ski area.
L.B. “Barney” MacNab was an avid and proficient skier. Thanks to his foresightedness and love of the sport, skiing became less hazardous in an era when it was almost considered a foolhardy sport. Well before ski patrols became a necessary part of the skiing landscape, MacNab and other skiers and climbers like him, recognized the need for addressing potential injuries in the back country. In the winter of 1937-38 on Mount Hood, Oregon – just prior to Minnie dole’s forming the National Ski Patrol in March, 1938 – MacNab and a handful of other skiers organized one of the first ski patrols at a major ski area. They recruited climbers and hikers and first-aid instructors. With the help of the U.S. Forest Service, they molded the diverse group into the Mount Hood Ski Patrol. Each weekend brought new and challenging problems. Zeal, savvy and fortitude found the solutions.
As the first president of the Mount Hood Ski Patrol, MacNab wore badge #1 proudly. After Minnie Dole formed the national ski Patrol, under the auspices pf the National Ski Association, he named MacNab first chairman of the Pacific Northwest Division.
Although MacNab’s patrol work extended regionally and nationally, his first love was the cadre of persons who formed the original Mount Hood Ski Patrol. He was particularly proud of the fact that 25 of these men were honored as charter members of the National Ski Patrol. MacNab himself was named NSP National #17.
MacNab was born in 1902 and died in 1968. After attending Notre Dame (where a broken back cut short a football career), he founded a successful insurance business in Portland. With his injury induced shuffle, he was a familiar sight at any gathering of athletes involved in skiing and other outdoor sports. His infectious enthusiasm for skiing and outdoor sports, together with his persistence and persuasive powers, contributed to the growth and safety of skiing.
L.B. “Barney” MacNab was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.
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