Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Winter Season
Dogs have been man’s best friend since they were domesticated some 40,000 years ago. Since then their role in society has been shaped by their loyalty and ability to work closely with their human owners. Dogs have been used in avalanche rescue situations since at least the early 1900’s. With their heightened sense of smell, tracking abilities and agility outdoing all human efforts they are some of the greatest rescue assistants.
Meet our avalanche rescue dogs who live and train with lucky members of our ski patrol team. They are a vital asset when there is an emergency situation on the mountain and have helped out on more than a few occasions.
(ski patrol assistant – Forest)
Like many avalanche dogs, Tarn started training to be able to find people in an avalanche situation at just 8 weeks old. Now 6 years old (turning 7 in January 2016) him and his human assistant Forest are daily companions. They ride the lift together in the morning, (occasionally mixing it up with a snowmobile instead) and ski down to the base at the end of the day. On a usual day at work for Tarn, there’s time for a little bit of play at the patrol shack at the top of the mountain although he’s always ready for a rescue mission if need be. Watch our Youtube video to learn more about the ski patrol program at Fernie and to see Tarn working and playing around on the mountain.
(ski patrol assistant – Steve)
Another one of our veteran avalanche rescue dogs, Neko – now 5 years old, has taken part in several rescues. Working closely with his human assistant Steve, they have over 35 years of combined search & rescue and ski patrol experience.
Neko is an extremely friendly and personable dog, here he is (below) teaching us about his job during our Avalanche Awareness Days, held annually each January (and getting in a photo bomb while he’s at it). This season’s event is scheduled for January 16th, 2016, check out our online events calendar for more information closer to the event date.
And now introducing some of our junior program members, training to take their certification courses soon;
Mogul & Tabor
Mogul is a one and a half year old German shepherd (left) he’s in training to become an avalanche rescue dog and has his exam this January on Whistler. His human assistant, Megan Kelly, has been a ski patroller for nine years at Fernie. When not training, Mogul loves playing with his favourite toy a ball on a rope. You can see him and Megan from Wednesday’s to Friday’s at the top of the mountain practicing his obedience and having lots of fun! Tabor and his human assistant Sean (right) are training for his exam, coming up soon. This will be Tabor’s first winter season at Fernie Alpine Resort – welcome to the team Tabor! Tabor fun fact – him and Neko are half brothers!
Find out more about our Avalanche dog & ski patrol program at on our Ski Patrol page.
Did you know?
Cats also assist our team at Fernie, watch this super serious and definitely informative video here.
Words by Cali Sammel with contributions by Steve Morrison, Jeni Pearson & Megan Kelly.
Photos by Fernie Alpine Resort Ski Patrol & Vinnie Mo.
Feature photo by Dave Watts.
Have you ever gone on a ski or snowboard trip and looked around at the staff that you meet throughout your day and secretly say to yourself “I wish I could do that”. If you have ever debated spending a season working in the mountains, there is no better time to quit your day job, pack up your skis or snowboards, book a job fair interview and head on over to Fernie Alpine Resort.
If you still need a bit more convincing, here are 5 tempting reasons to help you make up your mind.
1) This could be your office
While your other friends are sitting in their cubicles staring at computer screens, you will be breathing in the fresh, mountain air.
2) New BFF’s
You will meet people during your time at Fernie Alpine Resort who will become life-long friends. Even though you came from different walks of life and different parts of the world, you are all here for the same reason. Thanks to that instant bond of the “love of mountains and snow” you will quickly become friends. You will work, eat, ski and party with these people for the next 5 months, and the good times you share will create friendships that will last long after your paths depart. Plus, after a season in Fernie you will friends and couches to crash on all over the world.
3) Staff Parties
As a staff member you will get to attend the infamous staff parties (so legendary that non-staff always try to sneak in) but you’ll have a front row ticket! Dinner, dancing, prizes, Griz Bar table sli…oops can’t reveal too many of the staff party secrets, you’ll have to experience it yourself.
4) Legendary Powder
Free skiing and snowboarding is what it’s all about. There is nothing better than the feeling of skiing or riding down the mountain through Fernie’s legendary powder…it’s the stuff dreams are made of and you are right here to experience it for yourself!
5) Live Your Dreams
Working at Fernie Alpine Resort is an experience that you will never forget. Do you want to keep your comfortable life or would you rather follow a passion and see where it takes you? Hunter S Thompson got it right when he said “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’ ”
So what’s stopping you?
We’re up in the first round in the 4th annual Ski Town Throwdown by Powder Mag! VOTE for Fernie now, voting for the first round only runs until this Thursday Oct 15th at 7pm MST!
VOTE now —-> http://ow.ly/TlFOL!
Fernie is a place of firsts. Years ago pioneering mountain guides like Bruno Engler discovered a powder paradise in the Lizard Range. Then in 1962, on land donated by Galloway Lumber, Fernie Snow Valley Ski Resort was born, a mom and pop ski hill guided by the vision of the legendary skiing couple. Heiko and Linda Socher. In the years that followed the resort underwent an epic transformation from local powder hound’s secret to world class Fernie Alpine Resort, with the addition of new lifts and accessing of five alpine bowls that built on the resort’s already existing appeal for skiers and boarders wanting deep snow and steeps. But as the resort evolved, the developers paid close attention to the visitor experience beyond ski lifts and vertical -they wanted to ensure that a stay on the mountain was memorable, like an immersion in mountain culture. That was the simple but beautiful logic behind the creation of Lizard Creek Lodge, one of the first boutique ski in-ski out lodges in the Canadian Rockies.
“Now we are at it again- setting the stage, a Mountain Lifestyle destination deserves a great place to gather! So here is to ‘Gathering More’ – we want you to celebrate ‘Together Time’ in the mountains with us at the new Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort as we begin renovation on the great room!
For more images and updates on the renovation visit the Lizard Creek Lodge website.
View the full Press Release online.
Our fall season pass sale is on now it’s your last chance to save on Season Passes & Ski School this season. Call 1-800-258-7669 to purchase or order online, buy before October 17th to save!
New York City-based OutdoorFest is expanding their popular Mappy Hour program internationally to Calgary this October! A Happy Hour night with a twist, it offers a chance to meet fellow skiers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers and adventure buddies and to plan adventure packed trips with a like-minded outdoor community. Launching this new event series in New York City in 2014 and Washington, D.C in early 2015, Calgary is a perfect next event location – being close to so many outdoor activity options it draws enthusiasts from all over to settle into city/mountain life.
With some already having fallen in the mountains, the backcountry skiing and fitness theme for October’s Mappy Hour comes at a fitting time, there’s enough time to get in shape before our tentative opening date on December 5th!
Who should attend?
Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, surf, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors!
Free, just bring some guidebooks, maps, or interesting stories to share
For location and to RSVP visit the Mappy Hour website.
Image this. Standing on the edge of a massive alpine bowl, peering down at the absolutely epic vastness of it and nearly drooling at the pristinely perfect powder it laden with below you. Now imagine not 1, not 2, not even 3 of these bowls but 5 huge alpine bowls (all in one spot) and you’ve got Fernie Alpine Resort.
Fernie Alpine Resort, located in Fernie, B.C, is one of those places people would refer to as a hidden gem. It hasn’t yet been discovered by the masses and as a result is a large ski resort, with a massive amount of terrain known for its uncrowded slopes (and of course for up to 37 feet of powder a season). Of the people who have been lucky enough to discover Fernie, or even luckier yet, to live in Fernie, most have a strong opinion of their favourite terrain to ride at the resort and why. Here are some tips on where to check out (but you didn’t hear this from us);
No, not the food. Currie Bowl is loved by the more extreme rider, drop into Currie for some of the best steeps on the mountain.
“I love Currie bowl for many different reasons. The famed Currie rope drop, the whole Concussion zone and Alpha Centari just to name a few. But the main reason is it accesses the Big 3. For me there is no better situation at FAR than being the first track down Skydive on a pow day. Top to bottoming that beast is the best feeling in the world. You definitely deserve some Griz Bar pints after picking off all 3!”
– Kieran Summers, Owner Giv’Er Shirtworks
You’ll be hard pressed to find a rider who doesn’t love White Pass or Surprize. Timber is laden with challenging terrain coming in through the trees but also has some slightly easier and wide open spots, like Shaky Acres. This bowl accommodates almost any skier/rider (plus you get to show off your skills for all those on the chairlift as you pass below) and everyone likes a show off, right?
“Timber is sick because of the trees that catch the pow pow, you can access in the trees from either Timber Chair or Whitepass chair. If you hit Whitepass chair and drop skiers right (lookers left) you can grab that pow hidden in the trees rapid fire over and over again, and it gets boring fast…….NOT.”
– Mark Kowalchuk, co-owner of Artschool Skateboards & Clayman Ltd.
Siberia Bowl is known for its long and vast runs, where you might not see another rider for days. If you’re looking for untouched, hidden powder, Siberia Bowl is the place to check out.
“A lot of people think that as soon as you get off the chair you should instantly go right instead of heading straight – they would be wrong.”
– Lynch from X92.9 Calgary’s Best Rock Alternative
Arguably the favourite bowl at Fernie Alpine Resort, Lizard is great for the thrill seeker. Home to the locals’ favourite area Easter Bowl, Lizard is also the location of the Headwall, where pro athletes gather each season in an epic race and compete for great prizes in the Monster Enemy Lines event.
“The lizard bowl is like falling for the girl in the hot miniskirt and realizing she’s as kind as the girl next door”
– Tyler, Fernie Ski Patrol
Cedar Bowl is a local favourite with lots of natural rollers and fall lines, providing amazing vista’s and views. Snake Ridge stays freshest the longest and you can get in some great long laps.
“Haul Back, Boom, Repeat!”
-Paul Whitham, Sales at RCR
With over 2500 acres of skiable terrain many of which are in the bowls, possibly the only problem you’ll run into while riding at Fernie Alpine Resort, is not having enough time to ride it all. But that’s okay, it’s just gives you another excuse to come back!
The best deals of the winter season have just been released! Book now for winter and save up to 35% on your getaway. Packages available include The Weekender for shorter stays, The Midweek pack for the best deals, the new Ski Weeks packages (booking everything for you from air/car to lodging/lifts) and The Holiday Pack – already taking bookings for Christmas & New Years.
Freebies are included in some packages – view our Early Booking offers, all are available to be booked online. Give us a call at 1-800-258-7669 to book with a friendly vacation specialist over the phone or visit www.skircr.com/vacations to chat live with a specialist (during business hours).
Our tentative weekend opening date for the 2015/2016 season will be Friday, December 4th.
See who else is going and receive updates – join our Facebook event.
Is it your first season skiing/riding at Fernie Alpine Resort? Check out our First Timer’s Guide.
Looking to book a vacation? Early Booking offers are on now, book online or call a reservation specialist at 1-800-258-7669. Live chat is also available on the RCR Vacations website, during business hours.
Photos by Vince Mo.
Coming to Calgary on October 21st is Mountain Film on Tour! Started in Telluride – Fernie, Kimberley, Kicking Horse, Nakiska, Kokanee and X92.9 have partnered with The Gateway at SAIT to bring Calgarians the opportunity to be inspired, educated and entertained with films exploring cultures, our environment and adventure. Doors Open at 6pm, Films start at 7pm!
“We are stoked to not only share our passion for skiing and snowboarding but hopefully to inspire adventure in others. Just like our guests inspire us with their amazing experiences in the mountain at Fernie, Kicking Horse, Kimberley and Nakiska.” says Matt Mosteller, VP of Marketing and Resort Experience at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.
Buy your tickets from Ticketmaster now!
PLEASE NOTE: Event is 18+ valid ID is required.