Articles about Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort
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!
This March 2,
In the 2018/19 winter season, the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation for the first time received more applicants than its budget allowed. It was a very eye-opening and
We are happy to announce that as of today, we have commitments totalling $500,000 towards the $1 Million
“I am inspired and humbled by the generosity of people and the trust they have in the foundation to ensure youth in the Elk Valley are provided equal opportunity to experience and chase their
The event created excitement and awareness of the campaign and its fresh brand, and what it could mean for the communities of the Elk Valley. Emily, along with the board members at EBYF are ready to grow and evolved to the next level. “Let’s enable new fundraising channels to meet the forever growing demand,” she added.
“The EBYF provides an essential platform to improve the lives and opportunity of youth in the Elk Valley. We are proud supporters!” Jay Zammit, Donor
“All of us at the EBYF are humbled by the generosity of the Fernie community. We are 50% of the way to our goal as we launch the Legacy Campaign. With the support of the Fernie community, we are confident we can meet and exceed our $1 million
“We are very proud to support this great Foundation! The kids in Fernie will now have a vibrant, consistent funding source to help achieve their dreams! Emily’s commitment to Fernie, kids, sports, excellence and community make the EBYF an exciting reality in funding these endeavours. Thanks to Emily and Rosemary for doing so much for Fernie and its kids.”Andy Cohen, Fernie Alpine Resort
For more information on the campaign or to donate, please visit theEmily Brydon Youth Foundation website.
When Claire Smallwood moved to Fernie last year, she brought with her a passion and drive to initiate opportunities for women and girls in the Elk Valley. In the USA, Claire co-founded SheJumps a non-profit
“What inspires me about my work with SheJumps is the chance to create opportunities for women and children who would normally have none, and to plant the idea that it is possible to live an adventurous and inspiring lifestyle, no matter who you are or where you come from.”Claire Smallwood, co-founder of SheJumps
On 25th March, Claire teamed up with Fernie Alpine Resort to bring the girls of Fernie the ‘SheJumps presents Wild Skills Jr. Ski Patrol’ event and it was a huge success! 4 professional patrollers, 6 passionate volunteers, and 32 incredibly stoked girls (8-17 years old).
Young girls learnt about mountain safety & First Aid while working with the strong women on Fernie ski patrol. Throughout the day girls were taught a range of outdoor skills that are utilized by ski patrollers to keep them safe on the mountain.
This was the first Jr. Ski Patrol event in Canada. It was exciting to see young girls excited about mountain safety and expose them to positive female role models in the local Fernie community. One participant said, “Today was the best day of my life.” Well, hard to top that!
We are very lucky to have Claire here in Fernie and look forward to working with her to provide ALL women and girls with the spark that will lead to a lifetime of outdoor learning and empowerment.
Ahh, Spring! The sun comes out, flowers start blooming, birds start singing. But hold on, there’s still so much fun to be had at Fernie Alpine Resort! So slap on some sunscreen, sport those sunglasses, slay some spring skiing, and get ready for one full-on spring activities blog!
Who doesn’t love spring skiing in a neon onesie? Why not take the opportunity to pull out those spandex leggings and sexy headbands and join us for Kokanee Retro Weekend! On March 30th we’re heading back to the ’80s in style, with a nonstop party that’ll leave you wanting to bust a move. Starting at 1:00pm to 5:30pm, join us in the plaza for the Kokanee Event Gardens, where DJ Rocswell will be spinning your favourite retro beats. If you’re like totally not done dancing, the legendary Griz Bar has you covered! From 8:00pm we’re bringing the Hot Tub Time Machine Tribute Celebrations, so you can party till you start saying “tubular” and “righteous”. Join us for the most radical blast to the past Fernie has to offer! Ok, we’re done with the ‘80s slang.
Continuing the ‘80s extravaganza on March 30th AND 31st, we’ve got one just for our epic snowboarders! Celebrating the freedom to ride after the days when snowboarders were outlaws, we’re bringing back the Dirty Dancer Banked Slalom, and it’s better than ever. You asked we delivered; this epic event is now happening over two days! The course runs through Dancer Gully in Lizard Bowl and is open to riders of all ages (intermediate riding level recommended). We have two types of categories available, an open category for any intermediate rider looking to give banked slalom a try, and a pro category for all you advanced riders. Categories are – Open Grom (14 and under), Open Youth (15 to 18), Open Adult (19 and up), Pro for Men and Women, and Pro Masters (40 and up). Helmets are cool, which is why we require each rider to sport one for the event. Registration is open and can be accessed by clicking here.
For some spectacular family fun, join us on April 6th for our Griz Kidz Winter Carnival presented by Telus. The plaza will be buzzing with some super cool games and activities for kids 12 and under. Activities include a special performance by Circus Kasai at noon, face painting with Keya and Rachel, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and carnival games. Activities start at 11:00am to 3:00pm and are absolutely FREE.
The final weekend of the season brings two ever famous crowd pleasers, Raging Elk Powder, Pedal, Paddle Relay and the Coca Cola Slope Soaker. On April 13th, join us for a tradition that goes all the way back to 1984. Teams of two to five people have the opportunity to get their competitive side on and ski, bike, paddle, and then run for the title of PPP Champion. This fun and intense relay race will be followed by a BBQ in the plaza, with epic tunes from our featured Fernival bands. Categories for the relay include Men’s Team, Women’s Team, Mixed Team (must have at least two females), and Family/Youth Team (must have at least two youth under 18 years old). Click here to check out the full details and rules.
On April 14th, end your season with a splash and join us for the Coca Cola Slope Soaker. Creative and crazy costumes are encouraged for this spectacular event, where participants can see if they have what it takes to ski or ride across our Slope Soaker pond. Extra prizes and points will be awarded for creative costumes, effort, crowd reaction, biggest splash and much more. But we didn’t stop there! All registered participants are entered in for awesome draw prizes from our amazing sponsors. So dive right in and check out all the details by clicking here.
And now for the event, you’ve all been waiting for, the biggest end of season celebration Fernie has to offer, Fernival is loud and proud and coming to you on April 13th and 14th! We’ve got two local Kootenay bands lined up for you on April 13th, punk rock legends The Runs, and the outstanding BCDC. At 2:00pm, rock out to the spectacular beats of The Runs, and then stick around till 3:30pm to check out BCDC. April 14th is a day you won’t want to miss because we’re sending off the season with Five Alarm Funk. Enjoy their intense arrangements and heavy groove, starting at 3:00pm. So bid farewell to the season with us by jamming out in the plaza to some awesome tunes and a party you won’t want to miss.
Well, in the words of someone famous, that’s all folks! Thank you for creating memories with us that will last a lifetime.
We’ll see you next season! Cheers!
They are the first people you see when arriving at the base area of Fernie Alpine Resort. With a smile on their face, and a bright and cheery hello, a Mountain Host is never too far away to hand out advice on what to do, where to ski, where to go for the best nachos in town – anything, they’ve got you.
There are 39 Mountain Hosts currently volunteering at FAR. Often referred to as a ‘dream job’ you will see them all over the mountain just waiting to help out a guest in need. On a busy day, there will be up to 10 Hosts, covering the base area and both sides of the upper mountain. Their role can range from helping to change signboards, assisting people with directions, or providing help down the mountain.
Check out this awesome video on Fernie Alpine Resort Mountain Hosts!
We are very fortunate to have many long-serving Mountain Hosts, 3 have been volunteering for more than 25 years and received a Lifetime Pass here at Fernie. Charlotte is actually in her 31st year of Hosting which is just incredible!
Some fun facts
– The average years of Hosting is 12
– This year we have five 1st year Hosts
– The average age is 68
– The youngest is 49
– The oldest is 84
– We have 17 that are over 70
– 3 Host couples come from the East every year
This year for the Griz Days Parade, our Mountain Hosts, in uniform, acted as parade marshals which earned them lots of thanks from grateful parents along the route. Always going above and beyond for their community, it was a wonderful sight to see them walking alongside all of the parade floats.
The Mountain Hosts aren’t all work and no play! They have a social committee & have about 3 parties a season. They even hand out awards at their end of year party- one particular award goes to the person with the funniest “screw up”. The basic rule being that you cannot be injured in doing the “screw up” as we don’t want to encourage people to strive too hard for this notoriety. It’s always a good laugh!
In March this year, we had the sad passing of Roy McLean, a much-loved host of 15 years. In tribute 18 Hosts, and may other friends and family, participated in “Roy’s Run” down Falling Star to commemorate him on his favourite run. This is to become an annual event.
It is a rewarding job providing local knowledge and meeting people from all over the world. The frequent guest reply of “You are living my dream!” is a nice reminder of how fortunate we are to be here in Fernie.
The Mountain Hosts are a great addition to Fernie Alpine Resort. These volunteers give up their time to make sure that our guests always have a friendly face close by if they ever have a question or need a helping hand, and we are very lucky to have them!
After playing hard on the slopes, there is no better way to top off a day of greatness than enjoying some delicious food. Here at Fernie Alpine Resort, we have something to satisfy every craving thanks to our excellent restaurant selection. So, hang onto your shirts and loosen off those belts, we’ve got a mouth-watering food blog coming your way.
The first stop on our food adventure was the ever famous Griz Bar. Legends of old spin a tale of naked bar slides, but that has yet to be confirmed. The Griz Bar is the ultimate apres-ski destination and has everything that you would expect. Classic bar food, awesome music, and an upbeat atmosphere where the thrills of the day can be retold in all their glory. Crowd favourites at the Griz Bar feature a group-friendly plate of loaded nachos, as well as a wide selection of juicy burgers. After much deliberation, I decided on the BBQ Chicken Cordon Gouda Burger. Let me tell you something; it sure was gouda… hehe, see what I did there? It’s everything you’d expect from a spin on the classic cordon sandwich, with loads of dynamite flavours especially when it comes to the pesto mayonnaise. Cajun Spiced Potato Chippers satisfied my salty craving along with the addition of a slightly spicy but totally addictive sauce. After 2:30, the Griz Bar offers an array of deep-fried basket options, and much more if you’re looking for a ride on the decadent side. Overall, if you’re looking for the party after riding on the slopes, then head over to the Griz Bar.
Our next stop was a hop, skip, and a jump across the village to Legends Mountain Eatery. Legends is the kind of place that brings out my indecisiveness. Why? Because there are loads of items on their menu, which means there is something for everyone. Legends has a great family atmosphere, cheery servers, and makes you feel at home. The great thing about Legends is the variety of food and beverages offered. Speaking of beverages, I kicked off my meal the right way by having dessert first. I felt like a little kid at Christmas receiving my hot chocolate with a snowman made of marshmallows floating on top. A crowd pleaser on their menu is definitely the brisket, and what better way to enjoy it than on top of poutine and mac and cheese!
If you’re having a cheat day, you can’t go wrong with the Brisket Mushroom and Onion Poutine or the Brisket Mac and Cheese. The brisket is soft, tender, and rich in flavour, then add the cheese on top, and it’s a match made in heaven. For a great après ski appetizer, give their Crispy Chicken Wings a try. I couldn’t decide what sauce to get, so I split the difference between Honey Garlic and Smoky Brisket BBQ, both of which satisfied my craving for sweet and tangy. Legends also has an array of vegan and vegetarian-friendly options to be enjoyed. So, if you’re looking for a legendary meal (the puns just keep on coming), stop on by and pull up a chair in Legends.
Last but certainly not least, we visited the ever-renowned Lizard Creek Lodge for a dining experience with Cirque Restaurant. If you’re picturing modern crystal chandeliers, cozy fireplaces, classy cocktails, and majestic mountain views, then you’ve obviously been to Cirque! Cirque has the feel of a chic mountain chalet, plus all the charm you would expect. Sit down in Cirque, and you’ll automatically feel like royalty. Cocktails are their specialty, and they boast quite a large selection including the crowd favourite, English Rose. The English Rose cocktail is irresistibly tangy and refreshing, and for all you Instagrammers out there, it is just as visually appealing as it is tasty. For a delicious après ski snack, Truffle Fries are the way to go at Cirque. Seasoned with truffle oil, parmesan cheese and chives,
these fries are well suited to share or to enjoy while flying solo. Another fan favourite is the hearty Venison Pie. This dish features rich and tender meat, a crunchy puff pastry, and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Happy Hour happens every day from 3pm to 5pm, where you can enjoy feature cocktails, draft, and pitchers at discounted prices. So why not grab a cocktail, sit by a cozy fire, and reminisce a beautiful day on the hill at Cirque.
Whether you’re celebrating at the Griz Bar, making yourself at home in Legends, or treating yourself at Cirque, Fernie Alpine Resort is the place to be for any food desire. You’ve worked hard and you’ve played even harder, so join us for dining experiences you’ll never forget.
This weekend Fernie Alpine Resort Ambassador, and local Freeskier, Caleb Brown will be competing in the Soulines Backcountry Freeski/ride event in Nelson, BC. A truly unique event, Soulines is designed to deliver a technical blank canvas of world-class terrain to a hand-picked group of avid backcountry enthusiasts. 3 days of cliffs, pillows, chutes and high-speed open faces – this event has it all!
Nestled 14km off the highway, a 3-day base camp is set up next to Kokanee Glacier. 40 of the best skiers and snowboarders arrive at this invite-only event, for the ultimate backcountry experience, but it goes beyond that.
Soulines mission statement reads like this:
“Bringing together a group of like-minded winter backcountry enthusiasts and providing them with a venue to learn, grow and progress their avalanche awareness skills and riding abilities.”
I caught up with Caleb just before he headed off to Nelson –
I wasn’t planning on doing any competing this winter until I learned about Soulines, which is actually similar to an event I had dreams about creating myself.
It is right up my alley, sledding, ski touring, winter camping and freeskiing all combined into one event.
When I learned that it was invite only I wondered if my resume would make the cut, but after a month of anticipation, I got the invite. Since then it has been at the top of my priority list for this winter, and I can’t wait to be out there.
My girlfriend, who was the one that turned me on to the event, is also invited and it’s her first big mountain competition so I also can’t wait to see how she does. That being said, there are 8 out of 40 competitors on the roster from Fernie, which is a huge contingency and awesome for the hype of the town!
Events like this (even though this is a one of a kind!) always give me new perspectives, and I am excited to see how I look at things prior to this competition.
Having followed this event for a couple of years, I am so stoked to see Caleb amongst it. I have no doubt that he’ll be throwing down crazy lines all weekend long.
Good luck, Caleb!
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