British-Columbia -

Fernie

Powder paradise

By Robert Choquette and Marilyn Griffiths, special contributors

Fernie Alpine Resort, a 3.5-hour drive from Calgary Airport, has a reputation for powder. And that was precisely what we experienced the last time we were there. It snowed all night, enticing us to grab a quick bite to eat in our studio kitchen (most visitors to Fernie choose a studio or condo with kitchen so they have the option of eating in) before catching the first ride up to the top of Cedar Bowl. This was easy since the lift was right outside the Snow Creek Lodge, the property where we elected to stay on this trip. The upper slopes were blanketed with just the right amount of snow for our first powder day of the season.

After a few long and very rewarding runs, we headed for a 10:30 a.m. pit stop at the Lost Boys Café, the on-mountain meeting spot where locals gather for coffee and gossip over a fresh pastry or lunch. With the sun now poking through the clouds, it was time to head back out to explore the four remaining alpine bowls with all their exciting cruisers, glades, steeps, chutes and bumps.

At Fernie, there’s no reason to feel intimidated if you prefer groomed cruisers. The resort is designed so almost everyone beyond beginner level can enjoy the Lizard Range upper bowls by maintaining at least one groomed run that spills down from top to bottom in every one of their five lift-accessed bowls. As well, the terrain just above the village is immaculately groomed with a good mix of meandering forest-lined trails and gentle wide-open slopes.

Anyone wanting to enhance their Fernie experience should give the ski school a try. It’s well equipped to give Easterners tips on handling the steep and deep as well as offering a unique guided first tracks program. With fading daylight and the lifts now closed, we shared a pitcher of icy beer and a plate of heaping hot nachos at The Griz, the resort’s original bar, before heading into the town of Fernie, five kilometres away. Fernie is a thriving historic mining town where locals work and play, and is packed with shops, lively bars, cafés, and a wide variety of dining options.

Definitely the classic skitown nightlife atmosphere. Our choice for the evening was The Livery, a newly refurbished establishment, elegant yet comfortable, known for its welcoming staff and varied menu. It proved to be a wonderful finish to an already fantastic day!



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Text from 2015-2016 ski magazine

 

she’s got it all!

By Marie-Eve Jarry, Freelance Journalist

Looking for a destination where you won’t have to compromise on anything? I’ve got one word for you: Fernie! Far too few people have had the chance to discover this spectacular mountain. Although located quite a distance from the bigger city centres, this is one place that has got it all! For starters, Fernie has 6 bowls to choose from. With a yearly average accumulation of 11 metres of thick, light snow, just imagine all the powder you can tear up! What’s more, these bowls are suitable for skiers of all levels, including beginners and intermediates, who can enjoy some of the more mellow runs Fernie has to offer. So, everyone gets to enjoy the view from the top.

Speaking of runs, Fernie has quite the selection to choose from: 142 in all, without counting the off-piste trails. Plus, making it from one side of the mountain to another is a breeze—you won’t have to waste precious ski time taking one lift after another. Over and above the skiing, the Town of Fernie itself is a place you are sure to enjoy. Soak in the warm, friendly atmosphere as you share an ice-cold pitcher of Kokanee on the terrace at the Griz Bar. There is also a wide array of ski-in/ski-out condos to meet your accommodation needs and help you make the most of your time in Fernie.

Of course, a quick jaunt outside of town is always fun, and I promise you won’t regret it! The restaurants may not seem exactly “five-star” from the outside but we all know you can’t judge a book by its cover! In fact, this is the Western Canadian destination that most satisfied the foodie in me! I highly recommend the Curry Bowl for its unbelievably delectable Indian dishes and Yamagoya Sushi for those who are into Japanese cuisine. It was so good, we actually went there twice in four days!

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Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
TEMPERATURE (CELSIUS)
Month Min. Max.
January -12 -3
February -8 1
March -3 7
April 1 13
May 4 18
June 8 22
July 11 26
August 10 25
September 5 19
October 12
November -4 2
December -10 -2

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