As the ski season progressed, I found it increasingly difficult to remember what skiing was like before we landed in Fernie. Fernie Alpine Resort is known for its legendary powder, and we had an amazing time experiencing the powder first hand.
Fernie Alpine Resort provided the perfect place for us to spend our first ski season in a ski resort. To be honest I can’t remember how I decided on Fernie as our destination for this trip, except that an average of 52 cm of fresh snow per week sounded like a lot. Whatever the reason was, it turned into the most amazing holiday we could have ever dreamed of. This season Fernie Alpine Resort got 1110cm of snow, and we got to ski in almost all of it.
Fernie Alpine Resort has a vertical of 1082 meters. The top elevation is at the top of the polar peak lift, which offers some of the most amazing views over the Lizard mountain range and the valleys on both sides including the city of Fernie.
Fernie Alpine Resort has some really steep and challenging terrain in 5 awesome bowls. My best day in the resort was towards the end of our Nonstop instructor’s course one remarkable Thursday. It snowed about 20 cm over night, but continued to come down as we drove to the ski hill. At this stage we had learned how to ski and have fun in powder and the Griz was giving us a chance to try out our new skills. The Griz is the local legend that points his musket at the clouds to bring the astonishing amount of fresh dry powder snow down on Fernie Alpine Resort.
On this incredible Thursday it felt like we were skiing fresh tracks all day. Every time we would get to the top of the mountain, we were unable to see even our own tracks left only 30 minutes ago, it was snowing that hard. On this glorious day we got to ski Anaconda Glades, a very steep double black with very tight trees not once but twice. Something I would never have done before the Nonstop course. It was the best day ever!
At the start of the season I thought that RCR (the resort owner) should replace some of the older lifts and infrastructure. But after almost never having to queue to get onto a lift, get food or drinks, I am happy for them to leave everything as it is. Anything to keep the crowds away!
The city of Fernie has a long history and started as a mining town, and predominately is still a mining town. It does not offer all the tourist bells and whistles you will find in a place like Whistler, but is a very authentic BC ski town. Our kids loved the Fernie Aquatic Centre and the multiple parks.
Local knowledge is a great asset when skiing in Fernie Alpine Resort; it will help you have some of the best skiing in your life on any given day. So if you ever find yourself in Fernie Alpine Resort, make sure to get a guide or an instructor to help you see the best the resort has to offer.
We would love to get back to Fernie next season! All I have to do know is get a job as an instructor!
There is a book full of amazing picture taken at one of the Cat Skiing operations in Fernie, Island Lake Lodge. It was done by some local legends. It is called Bears Above the Valley.