Tail crew primarily spent this week on the Lizard Lane.
-On Monday, we finished all the machine work and began hand shaping.
-Tuesday & Wednesday were spent dialling in the shapes of features and hand packing.
-After Wednesday night’s rain, we spent Thursday repacking Duff Dynasty, Monorail, Case Closed and began packing on Mr. Berms.
-From Tuesday to Thursday we’ve had a machine in the Aggravated Assault Extension tree island. More info to come on this project over the next week!
See you on the trails!
Trail Crew 🚵
We have lots of exciting work going on at Fernie Alpine Resort this summer!
This year Trail Crew were able to start their work earlier than ever, and it has been very productive.
Our progress so far has included:
- A full rebuild of Monorail and lower Duff Dynasty
- We’ve finished all the machine work and shaping on upper Mr. Berms tree island (carrying on from where we left off last year)
- New squirrel catcher berms on upper Will Power
- The Lizard Lane is underway!
We’ll be doing weekly updates with a few teaser photos.
See you on the trails,
Summer is just around the corner, and we’re excited to have three amazing outdoor adventure camps to keep your kids entertained and having fun all day long!
Experienced camp counsellors & bike coaches are ready to fill your child’s day with action-packed adventures and exciting new knowledge that they just can’t wait to share with you!
On Saturday, 54 community volunteers came out to prune, thin, rake, chop, drag and dump twigs, logs and debris from the high-risk areas of the Thunder Ridge and Highline Drive, neighbourhoods at Fernie Alpine Resort.
What an incredible turnout for FireSmart Day!
Here at FAR we take wildfire safety very seriously. We have been actively working with our local fire department and the local community to take the necessary FireSmart precautions. Becoming FireSmart takes time and coordination with your neighbours, and we are lucky to have wonderful homeowners who take the responsibility seriously and have worked hard to lessen the risk surrounding their homes.
FireSmart is living with & managing
for wildfire on our landscape.
The Fernie Fire Department, who is a driving force and impetus for the FireSmart program in Fernie provided the volunteers with leadership, moral support and tools for the working bee.
It’s incredible to see what a community can do when they come together. The transformation is remarkable!
Thank you to our awesome RCR crew, Robin, Andy, Tyler, Tyler, Paul & Ugo who hauled endless piles of debris to the RCR burn pile.
Thanks also to the sponsors, and those who provided donations to the volunteers, Jason Andreola (Royal LePage), Sandra Goode (ReMax), Fernie Tim Hortons, The Chopstick Truck, FireSmart Canada and The Co-operators.
Timberline Condos will be holding their Work Bee on Saturday, May 25th, so if you are able to help/support, please email us at email@example.com, and we can pass onto the right people.
A huge thank you to the volunteers from Thunder Ridge and Highline Drive. Your hard work is truly appreciated!
If you would like to learn more about wildfire preparedness, you can refer to the FireSmart Canada website which has a wealth of information www.firesmartcanada.ca.
Please, don’t forget to continue to be FireSmart throughout the spring and summer!
Griz Days are coming up, and it should be no surprise that the legend himself celebrated by giving us 55cm powder days.
So when you’re not waiting for a giant man with a musket to blast down more powdery goodness, what can you get up to this weekend? As always, here at Fernie Alpine Resort, we have lots of fun activities planned, as well as even more engaging events happening in town. Get all the details for epic Griz Days events you won’t want to miss!
Let’s get started with what’s going on around the mountain…
To kick things off, on Friday we have Ski with Griz. The Griz will be hanging around the resort and photo ready between 11:00am and 2:00pm. He’ll be in various spots throughout the day including Lost Boys and the Bears Den so be sure to follow our social media to see where he’s at. Don’t miss your chance to meet a true Fernie snow legend.
On Saturday, kids from ages 6 to 12 are challenged to see if they have what it takes to be The Griz. The Junior Griz Training Ground is back and proudly hosted by Fernie Alpine Resort this year. This event includes the Griz Obstacle Course, Log Toss, Kid Friendly Axe Throwing and more, and it’s FREE! The event runs from 11am to 1pm, but be sure to head into Guest Services between 11am and 12:30pm on Saturday to register and pick up a training card. The first 100 training cards to be returned will receive an epic treat bag! Don’t forget to dress up for this year’s theme, Griz Days Gone Denim, because there will be prizes given out at 1:30 in the plaza for the Junior Griz Costume Contest.
Last but certainly not least, the ever exciting crowd favourite, Raging Elk Dummy Downhill, is happening Sunday, March 3rd! Channel all your creativity, ingenuity, and imagination into your “dummy,” and then, our favourite part, watch the carnage fly as they are launched off a jump of destruction! Ok, ok, we might be just a little excited! It goes like this: Registration is from 11am to noon at the bottom jump next to Timber Chair. At noon all Dummies will be assessed by the judges, 12:30pm the Dummies will head to the top, 1:00pm they meet their doom! At 3:00pm, in the Daylodge, we will have the awards ceremony. 100% off the proceeds from registration will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. Entry fee is a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society (Minimum donation amount is $20). Entries can bring their donations (in cash) to the check in on the event day or can do their donation online here.
Click here for all the contest rules for dummy assembly.
The magic of Griz Days continues in town, with tons of amazing events and activities, so many in fact that we can’t mention them all in one blog. Here are some of the highlights –
Join the Arts Station on Friday at 4:00pm and 6:00pm for a theatrical performance of The Griz Myth Adventure, where the audience gets to choose the ending. Entrance for this fun night of theatre is only a toonie! Yup you heard right, we’re not loonie, it’s just a toonie! Ok, that was bad. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, why not spend your Friday in the Griz Days Pub Crawl? Starting at 3:00pm at 9 different bars and pubs around Fernie, your ticket includes refreshments at each location, transportation from the ski hill to town, food and epic prizes.
Kick off Saturday with a pancake breakfast starting at 8:00am at the Community Centre, and then enjoy beautiful handmade goodies at The Griz Days Craft Fair starting at 9:00am. You can also try your hand at snow golfing on Saturday from 9:30am at the Fernie Golf Club. Fernie’s fiercest and “Griziest” competitors battle it out for the title of The Griz from 11:30am at the Extreme Griz Competition, located at the Park Place Lodge and various locations around town. Feel the burn with a Hot Wing Eating Contest, starting at 4:00pm at the Fernie Hotel and Pub. 5:30pm on Main Street downtown kicks off the ever fun and fabulous Griz Days Parade. Watch out for the Fernie Alpine Resort float strutting their finest denim and blasting t-shirts from the Avalauncher! And finally, end Saturday with a BOOM in Station Square with a spectacular Griz Days fireworks show, starting at 8:00pm.
For a full list of events happening both at the ski hill and in town click here.
We wish you a fun, magical, and powdery Griz Days 2019!
Have you ever seen a dog riding a chairlift? How about a dog skiing next to its owner? Or even crazier, a dog being long-lined under a helicopter? These are just a few of the skills that make avalanche dogs… Super canines!
Meet Mogul, a four-year-old German Shepherd who adores his ball and will do anything for fresh veggies. When Mogul isn’t falling asleep with a ball in his mouth or receiving never-ending attention, he also works as a Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog AND a Search and Rescue Dog. This means Mogul has a job all year round, making sure his handler, as well as anyone venturing into the backcountry, can play safe. So what exactly does it take to become an avalanche dog? To answer that question we caught up with Megan Kelly, Assistant Ski Patrol Director for us here at FAR, and companion to the amazing, Mogul.
Preparation for the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) certification begins when a puppy is just six months old. It starts with simple obedience training such as following commands, playing tug-of-war, and getting the dog to chase objects or people. It gradually progresses to the handler hiding and having the dog come find them. Eventually, they progress to open snow caves, where someone can hide, awaiting discovery. The snow caves go from being open to having closed off walls. The last step in the progression is using articles, usually, pieces of wool fabric saturated with human scent, buried under the snow. The dog eventually learns that in a real avalanche situation it is very unlikely they’ll have clues, so they need to rely on the scent of a human rising from under the snow to help find them. Finally, the dog is able to be given a command, like “search”, and will have the control to do their work and search for a missing person. The final test to complete certification requires the dog to search for 40 minutes, looking for two articles buried 75 centimetres under the snow to mimic a live person. CARDA certification takes a year and a half to complete and requires dogs to be tested every year in order to keep up their certification. Handlers are also tested every second year to make sure their skills are still up to date.
So what can an avalanche dog achieve that aids in a successful rescue? Simply put, it would take a search and rescue team up to four hours or more to search one hectare of terrain. It takes an avalanche dog just thirty minutes to achieve the same results. With avalanche dogs being so quick, agile, and possessing a highly sensitive nose, they use their training to identify human scents and track it right to the source.
Fun fact time! Did you know that Fernie has the privilege of the first live rescue done by an avalanche dog in Canada? That’s right! In the early 2000s, Robin Siggers and his avalanche pup Keno recovered someone who had been caught in an avalanche in the backcountry without a transceiver. It was this circumstance as well as inspiration from other handlers in town that caught Megan’s attention. In describing why she decided to become an avalanche dog handler Megan said, “I was inspired by that working relationship, you know the fact that you can bring the dog to work. There’s also a chance you can really make a difference in someone’s life or you can save a life, I just wanted to contribute to that, and it’s a good way to volunteer.” Megan and Mogul are part of the 40 other volunteer search and rescue members in the valley and are on call 24 hours a day. There are two other full-time avalanche dog and handler teams, as well as a few part-time teams, who not only serve Fernie and area but can also be called provincially to aid in rescues.
But don’t think it’s all work and no play! According to Megan, Mogul is a best friend who receives all the best treatment. “Mogul really loves just being at the top of the lift at Bear top and just hanging out and saying hi to everyone. When he retires he’d like to be a Public Relations dog.” When the working vest is off, Mogul loves to bask in the attention of the public, but when the vest is on he’s much like a celebrity who has learned to ignore the praise of their adoring fans. No paparazzi, please!
Steve Morrison, who is a member of the ski patrol team at FAR and handler to avalanche dog Neko, cautions the general public to be aware that avalanche dogs are working dogs. “…We want people to be friendly, but just at the right time. After I take his vest off is a good time, because otherwise, that’s the cue that the dog is working. I’m usually fine with people approaching the dog, as long as they ask me and maybe remove their skis or snowboard first…”
Speaking of meeting our super avalanche dogs, we are happy to be offering two demos to show off their stuff on February 23rd! Avalanche Awareness Day is coming your way, and it should come as no surprise that we’ve got plenty of fun and educational activities planned in the plaza and on the mountain. From 11 am to 2 pm we’ll have an Avalanche Awareness Information tent set up in the plaza. Don’t miss your opportunity to meet and watch our avalanche dogs in action, happening at 11 am AND 2 pm at the base of the Deer Chair. And finally, join us for an après fundraising auction in the Griz Bar, the proceeds of which go to Avalanche Canada to support their educational initiatives.
So why should you take the time to become more avalanche aware? According to Megan, the backcountry invites you to learn and discover. “The backcountry has given me so much in my life. I’ve learnt so much about myself, I’ve connected with nature, I’ve developed these cool skills by going into avalanche terrain in the winter. But I’ve done that by being avalanche aware and keeping myself safe, having the right gear and knowing how to use it. That’s opened up this whole world for me, which is why I encourage people to go ahead and become avalanche aware, so you don’t have to avoid that terrain if you don’t want to. You can engage in it and learn something about yourself.”
So whether you are shredding it up with us at Fernie Alpine Resort, or having an adventure in the backcountry, be aware and most importantly… Stay safe and play safe!
For more information on CARDA please visit here.
You can also watch the following informative video, and see a dog flying from a helicopter, by clicking here.
More information on Avalanche Awareness Day here.
To see Mogul in action click here.
Feature photo of Mogul by Abby Cooper
Hey, Family Day weekenders! Can’t decide what to do this weekend? Not sure what’s happening on the hill or in town? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Get ready for a blog packed full of fun and entertaining activities that you won’t want to miss!
Kicking off our weekend of greatness, we are bringing back a fan favourite for just one week only. Night skiing is back from February 16th to the 23rd, so you can keep hitting the slopes from 4 pm to 9 pm on the Mighty Moose. Night skiing comes with your purchase of a day ticket, or grab a night ticket at the rental shop after 4 pm. Riders under the age of 17 can pick up a night skiing ticket FREE! Speaking of fan favourites, we’re also bringing back some family fun activities from the holidays. Saturday is Ski Bingo day, so don’t forget to pick up your bingo card from Slopeside Café between 9 am, and 11 am. Ski a run on the card and snap a picture (preferably including the run name), then head back to Slopeside between 2 pm and 4 pm for your chance to win some sweet prizes.
On Sunday the activities continue, so why not take the family on a Scavenger Hunt? Pick up your list of clues at Slopeside Café between 9 am, and 11 am, and then the hunt is on. Clues are located all over the base area and on the mountain, so when you find one, be sure to snap a selfie and post on our Facebook or Instagram using #lovefernie. When you’re done, head back to Slopeside between 2 pm and 4 pm where prizes will be waiting.
We’ve got plenty of opportunities to win some prizes this weekend! From 9 am on Saturday and Sunday, Summit Squad members will be on the mountain handing out some of our epic swag. Don’t forget to stop by the Summit Squad tent in the plaza and enter for the chance to win a Jeep. Also on Saturday and Sunday, stop by the Honeycomb Drop Into The Bowl Activation in the plaza and grab a bowl of their delicious cereal. You can also customize one of their stickers to sport on your skis or snowboard.
With all the fun happening at the hill, don’t forget our regular weekly activities specially tailored for the soloist, a group of friends, or the whole family. Enjoy a relaxing yoga class before you hit the slopes for an epic day of powdery delight. Guided yoga sessions are offered on Saturdays between 7:30 am and 8:30 am at the luxurious Lizard Creek Lodge. If you’re looking for an apres ski activity, why not join us on Saturday evening for an Uptracking Guided Tour? From 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, skin up through a beautiful woodsy trail to the Bear’s Den, where a soothing warm beverage is served. Then make your way back down to Cirque Restaurant for a well-deserved cocktail. While you’re enjoying your cocktail, why not drop the kids off for a BBQ, pool party, and movie at Lizard Creek Lodge? This night of fun is fully supervised by our professional resort staff and is available for ages 6 and up. Join us on Nordic Sundays for an instructional tour of our beautifully scenic Nordic Trail System, offered between 2 pm and 4 pm. Pre-booking is recommended for all the above activities, which can be done by calling 250 423 2406 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel like heading into town? Enjoy a skate on our beautiful outdoor skating rink, open daily from daylight to 10 pm weather permitting. If you want to wind down after a full day of riding, the Fernie Aquatic Centre is the place for you, open on the weekends from 12 pm to 5 pm. For a spectacular display of local skating talent, head to the Fernie Memorial Arena at 7 pm on February 16th for the annual Skating Carnival. Tickets are available at the door. You can also join the Elk Valley Nordic Centre on Sunday starting at 10:30 am for a day of skating and cross country ski racing for all ages. You can pre-registration for the race here.
Whether you’re celebrating Family Day on the hill or in town, we hope your weekend is filled with lots of fun and laughter! Don’t forget to tag us in all your snow fun by using the hashtag #lovefernie on Facebook and Instagram!
Calling all adrenaline junkies, fun seekers, and anyone who’s up for a little competition! Why not join us on February 9th for an event that’ll have you hitting the rails in style? That’s right! The Raging Elk Kinky Rail Jam is back, and this season we’ve made it even better with some exciting changes. So keep reading for all the details on our epic showdown in the rail park!
Now you’re probably wondering what we’ve done to change things up this season… We are excited to be announcing that the winners of each category will receive CASH prizes! You heard us right! The more entries into our jamming competition, the bigger the rewards. But we haven’t stopped there, competitors also have the opportunity to win some sweet draw prizes.
So how does it work? The competition is set in Jam Style, meaning instead of a specific number of runs, competitors have a set amount of time to showcase their best tricks. Hit the rails and boxes as much or as little as you want, as each run is, but only your best run is counted.
Why sign up for the Rail Jam? To answer that question we went to our resident Rail Park Attendant, James Rotor. According to James,
“The rail jam is all about trying to bring the park culture back to Fernie, to push one another to be better riders, both snowboarders and skiers alike… I competed in my first rail jam last year, I’ve remained friends with most of my fellow competitors, and we continue to push each other in our riding today… The name of the game is fun!”
The competition is open to both snowboarders and skiers, and the categories include Men’s Ski 16+, Men’s Snowboard 16+, Grom Men’s Ski 15 and Under, Grom Men’s Snowboard 15 and Under, Women’s Ski, and Women’s Snowboard.
Waivers are required for all competitors, and any competitor 15 and under must have a parent or guardian sign their waiver. Helmets are cool, which is why they are absolutely mandatory for this event.
Competitors can also receive 20% off their left ticket the day of the event.
To sign up for our best Raging Elk Kinky Rail Jam yet, head to the Daylodge between 9:00am and 10:00am the day of the competition. The Rail Park will be open from 9:00am to 10:30am for practice, with a mandatory competitor meeting in the park at 10:45am. Then get your jam on at 11:00am when the competition begins. Don’t forget to head back to the Daylodge at 3:30pm for the Awards Ceremony.
For more information please visit our Facebook event.
Did you know Fernie Alpine Resort has over 600 employees in the winter season? From skiers to snowboarders of any ability level, to anyone who just loves the snow, we have them all! With so many amazing individuals working with us, it was truly a monumental task to pick someone to feature in our blog, but for this post we went to the lift maintenance crew and caught up with Joey Kosolofski.
Joey, like the many others who visit our wonderful town, came for a season and ended up making Fernie his home. In the 2014/15 season Joey came to us as a lifty, caught the powder fever and has stuck around ever since, now working as an electrician in our lift maintenance department. When Joey isn’t working, he enjoys shredding it up on the new side, more specifically in Currie Bowl.
What’s a bucket list item for Joey? Heli-boarding in Switzerland of course! Because who doesn’t want to go heli-boarding, right? It’s every die hard snow enthusiast’s dream…
When asked who was Joey’s biggest hero, he didn’t hesitate for a moment in telling us it was his mother. She has a glowing reputation of getting people who are older or with restrictions to take pride in physical wellness and activity. By creating a program called Pathway to Wellness, she is truly rejuvenating her community one step at a time.
“Her pride and motivation in everything she does and her drive to make a change has always inspired me to do my best and take pride in everything I do, whether it is work or play.”
She sounds like she’d fit right in with the Fernie style, that’s for sure!
What else can we say about Joey? Well, how about mentioning his amazing talent as an artist?! Joey’s philosophy towards art is a “no rules” kind of approach. His passion for art was sparked at the tender age of ten years old, and was encouraged even further by his art teacher throughout high school. In describing his work, Joey says “I started with a lot of doodling, and then the painting aspect just naturally came along with that graffiti style of art, and now has developed into a vibrant rendition of landscapes and other abstract work.” Joey’s art is a magnificent combination of vibrant abstract colours and landscapes inspired by our mountainous surroundings. Perhaps due to the fact that he believes anything can be inspiration, people who know and recognize Joey’s artwork may describe it as “colour with motion”. Pictured in this post is a piece that Joey is most proud of, drawing inspiration from vibrant colours and his time spent fly fishing this summer, which has just found its forever home in Saskatoon.
How can you check out more of Joey’s incredibly unique artwork? We’re glad you asked! Keep a watchful eye at Fernie Alpine Resort, because you never know, Joey’s art just might make an appearance. But in the meantime, check out all his latest work by following him on Instagram @joeykozart.
Hey, Ladies! Looking for something fun to do in the outdoors with your girls this Saturday? Well, look no further! We, at Fernie Alpine Resort, are excited to be partnering with SheJumps to bring you, International Women’s Snow Day. This special day, tailored just for you lovely ladies and girls, is packed full of activities, opportunities to learn, and the chance to give back.
Before we give you all the details, let’s talk about the powerful organization behind this event, and for that we caught up with SheJumps founder and executive director, Claire Smallwood.
A passion for skiing was sparked in Claire at the tender age of five, and from that point on she never looked back. Thanks to babysitting and mowing lawns, Claire’s passion for skiing turned into a fire that continued to burn all through high school. This eventually brought Claire and her friends, Lyndsey Dryer and Vanessa Pierce, to a life altering revelation. What if they took the often solo sport of skiing, and turned it into an opportunity to unite women in their passions?
“Our main idea was to recognize the gifts that encountering fear and fun in the outdoors had afforded us as individuals, and the desire to bring that magic to women and girls of every background”, said Claire when describing how they came to their vision. Through this simple question, a bright new organization was born.
So, what exactly is SheJumps? Simply, creating opportunities for women and girls to get together through outdoor activities. SheJumps hosts a variety of winter and summer activities, from skiing and snowboarding, fat biking, fly fishing, SUPing and surfing. But they don’t just encourage activity, they also give women the opportunity to learn new skills by offering training for avalanche education and certification, bike maintenance, introduction to navigation, group hikes, and ski and snowboard tuning events. This is all based on their unique concept of Jump In, Jump Up, and Jump Out, which not only encourages women to try something new and gain more skills, but also inspires them to pass on the flame to the next generation. Through the aforementioned adult programs, SheJumps is able to offer subsidized youth programs for girls 6 and up, which creates the same wonderful opportunities to experience, learn, and be empowered.
SheJumps also partners with community organizations to reserve 50% of their youth programs for at risk or low-income girls. Their dedication lies in empowering women and girls to “keep our feet on the ground and head in the clouds, above chaos and drama”, as their magical mascot, The Girafficorn, represents. SheJumps is all about fostering confidence, pushing through challenges, and inspiring the female community to get together and help others grow in their own journey.
Feeling all fired up? Why not bring your fire to International Women’s Snow Day on January 12th! This is a day to celebrate the power of women who come together and accomplish their goals. We have planned a day exploding with fun activities like morning yoga, first tracks, SheJumps women’s breakfast, a mountain tour, avalanche education, and of course, après ski!
Don’t ski but want to attend the day anyways? You are welcome to attend yoga, an inspirational breakfast with Claire Smallwood from SheJumps, and the après ski event. Whether you’re signing up for the whole day or participating in individual events, don’t miss the opportunity to unite with other women and share your passion. Thanks to SheJumps and International Women’s Snow Day partner K2 Alliance, you will also have the opportunity to bid on a sparkling new set of skis at the event, the proceeds of which will support the Junior Ski Patrol program that SheJumps is hoping to bring to Fernie in the spring.
You won’t want to miss this adventure filled day, so bring your girlfriends, coworkers, mothers, sisters, daughters, anyone else from the female community and come join us this Saturday and keep your eye out on social media for a special Instagram contest running during the day!
For a full schedule and how to sign up, please visit our website.
You can also follow the event on Facebook here.