Class of 2021
Innovator and Leader in West Virginia Snow Sports
Area Operations and/or Management or Development Competition
Instruction/Education, Coaching & Ski Patrol
Fred Soltow, Jr
Fred A. Soltow, Jr. is a native of Long Island, NY, who arrived in Tucker Co, WV, in 1972 with the dual mission of ministry and ski instructing. Fred began teaching skiing in 1972 at Canaan Valley Resort, and in 1974, was the Assistant Ski School Director under Frank “Buzz” Fedorka. In 1976, Fred received his PSIA Level III full certification, under which the Canaan Valley Ski School operated for many years. Along with his ski instruction responsibilities between 1974-80, Fred also served as an active certified member of the National Ski Patrol at Canaan Valley Resort.
During these years, as the minister of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Davis, Fred began the “Park Ministry” at Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks, offering non-denominational worship to serve state parks visitors. In 2022 the Blackwater Falls State Park ministry will celebrate its 50th year of ongoing ministry.
In 1980, Fred’s working relationship with David Downs saw the inception of the Timberline Ski Area. Over the next several years, Fred oversaw the design and construction of the first three ski runs, which were Cripple Creek, Country Roads, and Fox on the Run. (And contrary to local legend, Fred did not use a bowling ball to design the slopes 😊) Additionally, Fred’s development accomplishments included the installation of the T-bar lift and snow-making system. He also was instrumental in the design and construction of the original base lodge, which is still in operation.
In 1983, along with interested parents, Fred formed the Timberline Jr. Race Team. As a coach, Fred facilitated the group’s membership in the Pennsylvania Racing Association (PARA) affiliated with the National Jr. Ski Team Association. Beginning in 1986, Fred served as President of PARA into the 1990s. During this time, PARA appointed Fred as the Jr. Olympic Downhill Race Team coach. He served as the Jr. Olympic team coach for several years.
When the Timberline Ski Area was purchased in the mid-1980s by HHR, Inc., the new owners contracted with Fred to expand the trail system. Working with the National Forest Service, he oversaw the design of the Salamander Beginner Trail through the environmentally sensitive habitat of the Cheat Mountain Salamander.
From 1993-94, Fred worked as the Director of Racing for the Timberline Ski Area, and in conjunction with John Lutz, brought the Women’s Pro Race Series to Timberline. As early as 1976, Fred worked with David Downs and the beginnings of Timberline, the “new” development community in Canaan Valley. Their working partnership saw Timberline grow into the expansive resort it is today. Together, they developed both Black Bear Woods and Black Bear Woods Resort. Fred’s lasting contributions to the area are rooted in his ability to implement the vision of Canaan Valley as the Ski Capital of the Mid-Atlantic Region.