Ski towns are generally run on a couple of simple rules;
There are no friends on a powder day
The 20cm rule (cms may vary by town)
To put it another way, ski towns are run by snow. And lots of it. Those epic powder days that ski bums dream of. Those drool worthy runs where you feel as if you’re literally floating through the snow. Those moments longed for with snow hitting you all the way up to your face. YES! Your face. We don’t let opportunities like those pass us by in a ski town, hence why when Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort receive 20cms or more of snow in a short period of time, it’s not uncommon to see ‘gone riding’ signs posted on closed shop doors and why there isn’t even time to give your friends a call before heading up to the resort – every man for themselves! After all, that’s why we choose to live here – why haven’t you?
Here are some of our best envy inducing recent powder moment. What are yours? Tell us about it in the comments.
Are you kidding me?
All the pow
I can’t even..
To die for
This is too much
It’s not even fair
Can I get a snorkel over here?
That’s it. I’m done.
Wake me when it’s winter.
Photos by Brad Lorriman, Robin Siggers, Powder Matt and Abbydell Photography
Summer might be the best time to get outdoors and enjoy what the mountains have to offer in our amazing backyard in Canada. In recent years, ski resorts in British Columbia have made a series of additions, upgrades and updates to have family friendly activities for adults and the little’s as well as keeping the hardcore activities available for the summer thrill seeker.
Summer is a great time to escape the hustle and city bustle, to relax and recharge. The tranquility of fishing will help those kids forget all about the stress of making the grade at school and will help you take a real mental vacation from work. Fishing provides kids (of all ages) a great lesson about being calm and one with nature in an authentic environment. More information about fishing in Fernie is on the Tourism Fernie website.
- Take a Hike
No, we’re not telling you to get lost, but we are literally telling you to take a hike. Fernie, Kimberley and Kicking Horse all offer hiking in a mountain setting with amazing views at Fernie and Kicking Horse the lift accessed hiking provides some epic views you won’t on any regular old hike. For more information about hiking in mountain towns visit the Tourism Fernie, Tourism Golden or Tourism Kimberley websites and for more information about lift accessed resort hiking visit the Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- See a real bear up close (and learn too)
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects at Kicking Horse is Boo the Bear who lives year round at the resort and has made a name for himself as a local celebrity. Boo has an interesting story of how he ended up making his home at Kicking Horse, in the largest protected Grizzly Bear habitat in the world. While living at the resort he’s offered us humans a rare and special opportunity to learn about the life and practices of Grizzly Bears. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy taking a Grizzly Bear Interpretive tour and learning about his life at the horse! Get more information about Boo and Interpretive tours on the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- Monkey Around
The Aerial Park at Fernie Alpine Resort is a good introduction to find out how the little’s in your family feel about heights. They can try out the free kids aerial park, or if they meet the height restrictions can venture up in the trees. The lesson beforehand from our knowledgeable guides and extensive safety system will allow them to feel safe while far away from the ground! If you have a very adventurous little one (who is at least 10), use the Aerial Park as a stepping stone to trying the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Get more information and book the Aerial Park on the Fernie Alpine Resort website.
- Explore historic towns
Many towns in British Columbia have a strong history in mining and have museums or memorials in town to commemorative and conserve the memories. Along with learning about history, try out some of these unique town experiences;
- Visit Beanpod Chocolate (Canada’s Traditional Chocolate maker) in historical Downtown Fernie. Beanpod website.
- Walk the downtown platzl in Kimberley (also location of the Kimberley museum). More info.
- Walk with Wolves in Golden, a truly unique experience in the Canadian Rockies. More info.
- Visit the Heritage town – Fort Steele (near Kimberley, B.C). More info.
- Pop into the Clawhammer Press in Downtown Fernie. Clawhammer Press website.
- Take a golf lesson
Getting them started young is a great way to build impressive golf skills! Check out our websites to see about specials like ‘take a kid to the course day’, ‘family stay & play packs’ and family golf lessons. Or, if your little’s aren’t into golfing the big courses, try the Mini Putt at Riverside Campground in Kimberley.
- Sunbathe and Swim in the outdoor pools
Staying at ski resorts in the summer offers a full service experience! While many of our hotels have in house or nearby Spas to pamper, gyms to keep in shape and outdoor pools/hot tubs for the kids to keep entertained for hours! Looking for a family basecamp in Fernie – check out Lizard Creek Lodge.
- Eat all the food
It might be a bit of a hidden fact (although gaining more and more recognition), mountain towns are the best place to have great food! Each have their own unique restaurants, bars or cafes to check out – all come with an authentic mountain town vibe (guaranteed).
Here is some advice to get your mountain foodie experience started;
Food, our second favourite F word
Top 5 Places to eat in Kimberley
- Mountain Bike ON a mountain
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a great starting point to get the passion flowing for mountain biking, with a kid’s skills course in the base area set up each summer. Fernie Alpine Resort has also added a myriad of beginning trails over the last couple season to provide a gentle ride down the summer ski slopes. In addition to beginner trails, Fernie Alpine Resort along with the Fernie Trails Society and Fernie Nordic Club unveiled a new Peak to Park multi use trail last summer. Adding a different experience to the mountain biking game – ride the chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort and bike your way back down to the town. More information about mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can be found on our websites.
- All the best fests
What’s your jam? Outdoor music? Farmers Markets? Hardcore racing events? There is something nearly every weekend in Fernie, Kimberley or Golden. Check out the online events calendars on the resort websites or town tourism websites to find out the schedule for this summer!
Photos: @calsnape, Cali Sammel, Patrick Majer, Nick Nault and Wapiti Music Festival
1. Get Fit
It’s on everyone’s list! Did you know that you can burn more than 350 calories per hour just by skiing or boarding? Make the healthy choice and get out on the hill more often this year!
2. Improve your skills and perfect your powder turns
Our Winter Sports School offers a great variety of programs for everyone from beginners to experts, kids and adults. Steep and Deep Camps, Learn to Ski/Snowboard, Kid’s Adventure Camps, Specialized Coaching and so much more! Check out http://skifernie.com/rentals-lessons/telus-winter-sports-school/ for a full list of the programs available.
3. Make new friends
Start a conversation with your fellow lift riders. Who knows? You might find a new riding buddy or carpool companion!
4. Get ready for the backcountry
We offer an area to practice your beacon searching skills on the hill (take the White Pass chair to Upper Heartland and follow the signs). Avalanche Awareness Day at FAR is Saturday, January 16th; Come and learn from the Fernie Ski Patrol about staying safe this winter. Outfit yourself with a selection of avalanche safety gear at the Sports Alpine Retail Shop. Take an avalanche course through College of the Rockies or other local course providers.
5. Ski new hills
Fernie Alpine Resort is located on the Powder Highway, with lots of ski hills to be found nearby. Check out our sister resorts: Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Nakiska Ski Area for a great variety of terrain.
6. Upgrade your gear
Pick up a new pair of goggles, an extra jacket or a better base layer. We offer a selection of soft and hard goods at Sports Alpine Retail Shop. You can also demo some of our High Performance gear from the rental shop to help you make an informed decision on your next big purchase.
7. Pamper yourself
The Spa at Lizard Creek Lodge offers a full menu of spa treatments and massages. Finish off the evening with a fine dining experience at Cirque Restaurant. Head to http://lizardcreek.com/ for more information.
8. Try something new
There are many on-snow activities available at Fernie Alpine Resort. Head to the rental shop to try fat biking, grab a pair of snow shoes or cross-country skis and hit the trails. http://skifernie.com/rentals-lessons/rentals/
9. Get first tracks
Be the first ones up the chairlift and carve the fresh snow with our First Tracks program. Register by 4:45 the night before, and you can leave your trail for everyone else to be jealous of.
10. Experience True Après Ski
Head up to the Legendary Griz Bar for a pint with your friends after the last run of the day, or visit the new Ice Bar at Lizard Creek Lodge for an exclusive Vodka tasting experience.
Written by Jordan Johnson
Photos: Robin Siggers, Nick Nault, FAR Patrol, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Nakiska Ski Area, Jordan Johnson