Articles about Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Summer
As our Summer Season opening was announced last week, I want to take a minute to tell you where we are as a resort and how we got here.
First of all, everyone at Fernie Alpine Resort shares in the admiration, respect and concern for our medical community and essential workers. Many of us have spouses, partners, parents or kids who are working long, stressful hours to help make sure we are safe and cared for if needed.
The last two and a half months have been the strangest in my 48-year career, and we all know how much the stress and uncertainty have affected our families and our community.
After deciding as a company to cease operations on March 16th, our community, our team and frankly the entire mountain tourism industry have worked tirelessly to get to the exciting announcement that we will be opening for summer operations on June 27th.
All of us at FAR want you to be able to enjoy the mountains, lakes, rivers and pathways that define our home. Our team put their efforts into high gear to figure out a way forward since that crazy day in March and now feel we have a summer program we can be proud of while ensuring the safety of our guests and our staff.
Some things will be very familiar at the Resort while other aspects of our summer operation will feel different, even strange. But rest assured, with an abundance of caution and a goal for a safe, sustainable program, we will offer Mountain Biking, Hiking and Sightseeing seven days a week from June 27th to September 7th. Legends Mountain Eatery will be open for dining and relaxing, and Bike Rentals and Retail Goods will be offered.
We will continue to confer with Fernie’s local Health Care community about our operations and ensure that we are in step with their needs and guidelines.
Opening a mountain resort during these times is a complicated, challenging exercise, one in which every aspect of human interaction needs to be thought through.
Some of the changes you will encounter this summer are:
- When you arrive at the Plaza or Lizard Creek Lodge, you will see signs and team members asking you the basics: Are you experiencing symptoms of COVID-19? Have you been out of the country in the last 14 days? Do you live or work with anyone who has any symptoms?
- The purchasing of lift tickets, food and bike rentals will be handled at our ticket windows or Guest Services Desks in the plaza.
- You will be able to purchase meals and drinks at the ticket windows and receive a voucher to give to your server at Legends. These will already include taxes and gratuities.
- Our vast selection of seasonal gear will be available in the Retail Cabin, now reserved for you to have the time you need to make the best choice in apparel or equipment.
- You can buy your lift ticket and bike rentals at the ticket window and hand over your rental voucher in the bike shop, now located in the Slopeside Deli.
- You will be riding the Elk chair by yourself unless two or more people from the same household are together.
- Your tickets will be scanned through a distance and barrier system.
- Line ups will be spread apart to meet provincial health guidelines.
- Thursday Night Races will go ahead. The event will take longer so that we can ensure safety but will still be super social and fun!
- We do expect there to be longer wait times during busier periods and hope that you understand the necessity of this process. Our commitment to providing top-notch trails will remain the same.
- Dining and drinking will be offered both indoors and outdoors, and tables will be spread apart to ensure our guests and staff safety.
- If dining at Cirque Restaurant or Legends Mountain Eatery does not fit, we can deliver delicious meals, beverages, beer, wine, liquors and a complete menu of groceries to your home, condo or room. Our delivery staff are waiting to hear from you! We will deliver your order at your direction to ensure you are safe while visiting us. Our menus will be available on our website. You will be surprised at the depth of choices, but again, our primary goal was to make sure you are safe and comfortable.
The smiles will be real, the appreciation great and the welcome warm. We are proud to be a part of this community, and we will always be there.
We do anticipate that changes will continue to happen and will adapt as necessary.
We look forward to a great, safe summer and know that the Ski Season is just around the corner.
All the best!
Andy Cohen and the Entire Team at Fernie Alpine Resort
A wedding in the mountains is a dream for many, and luckily for you, we are in the business of making dreams come true!
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Fernie Alpine Resort goes above and beyond to understand your vision, mix it with our uniqueness and offer you a variety of venues that will help your dreams become a reality.
The joy is in the journey, and your choice of a magical mountain wedding, whether it be intimate or extravagant, rustic or elegant, becomes effortless with our passionate staff dedicated to taking care of your every need.
On January 19th, 2020, we will be at The Wedding Fair in Calgary. This event is the largest, most respected and sought after wedding show in Alberta.
Look for our Fernie Alpine Resort booth and stop by to see us!
Whisk your guests up 5,662 feet on the Timber Express Chair for an unforgettable experience. This unique mode of transportation will leave your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.
Say ‘I do’ surrounded by the spectacular views of the Lizard Mountain Range. With space for 100 guests, your ceremony will be sure to impress. It’s not just a stunning location; you can have a traditional ceremony with a sense of adventure! No celebration is complete without a champagne toast to the newlywed couple, luckily Lost Boys Café is licenced.
Take the Elk Quad Chair up to say your vows on a deck that looks as if it is suspended in mid-air and overlooks the beautiful Elk Valley. It’s not just a breathtaking location; you can have a traditional ceremony that makes you feel as if you’re on a secluded mountainside setting with enough room for up to 100 guests. The mountains will take care of the decorating for you, but a beautiful arch really sets the scene with this unique location.
Lizard Creek is at the base of the mountain so that you can start your new life together with Fernie Alpine Resort as the backdrop. This space is perfect for those wanting to be surrounded by the mountains without taking your feet off the ground. With space for 120 guests, the lawn provides a tranquil area attached to Lizard Creek Lodge and Cirque Restaurant. It’s a stunning location for your guests to witness you saying, “I do!”.
Located in Lizard Creek Lodge, Cirque Restaurant can accommodate 120 guests allowing for an intimate ambiance and embodies the true feeling of a romantic and elegant mountain destination wedding. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow you and your guests to enjoy the view of the Lizard Mountain Range as you celebrate the beginning of your new life together. Cirque has elegant fixtures, luxurious linen, leather chairs and a four-sided fireplace that are perfectly themed for a chic mountain wedding.
Our largest venue, The Griz Lodge, can accommodate up to 200 guests allowing for all your friends and family to make the invite list. Bring your creative mind to infuse this space with a little magic of your own, transforming it into a venue fit for an extravagant affair. The Griz Lodge is located at the heart of Fernie Alpine Resort and is within walking distance to both the Timber Chair and on-hill accommodations.
Fun fact, The Griz Lodge was part of the set for the movie Hot Tub Time Machine, making it a unique wedding venue.
Located in the village plaza, your guests will enjoy celebrating the night away in this legendary venue. The rustic mountain charm creates an ambiance of casual comfort, allowing you and your guests to relax and party hard. Fernie Alpine Resort’s most iconic venue, the Griz Bar, features vintage skis and photos lining the walls making this the perfect reception space for couples looking to add some of Fernie’s ski history to their wedding day. The Griz Bar can accommodate 80 guests allowing for an intimate affair.
From helicopter rides to the top of the mountain for unforgettable photos, to a uniquely chilling experience in our Ice Bar, we are excited to help bring ‘a day that you will always remember’ to life.
You can find our Wedding Guide with more information here.
We would love to speak with you; please contact us to discuss how we can go above and beyond to get you the wedding of your dreams.
Stacey Charest Weddings & Groups Coordinator | Phone: (250) 430-7163 | E-Mail: email@example.com
Did you know that in the summer, we have a whole team of people dedicated to preparing our skiable terrain for winter? We call them the Saw & Brush Crew and this year, the stars aligned, and they were able to take the resorts ‘haircut’ to a whole new level. The early season conditions will be incredible (what alders!?) and some of our most loved runs on the mountain, think Boom, Buck-shot, Suprize and Black Cloud will offer you a very different (FUN!) ski/ride experience.
The most significant change is thanks to the FrankenCat! That’s what we call the new mower-cat that was created here at Fernie Alpine Resort. Our Vehicle Maintenace Crew have outdone themselves by constructing a machine that can tackle terrain that was previously unattainable.
Blair and Alina (our grooming/mower-cat extraordinaires) were able to cut every inch of mowable terrain across all 5 of our bowls. In fact, thanks to the use of a winch, they were able to access very steep terrain that has never been mowed before (see below for a HUGE list of what runs were mowed). This is exciting news! If you combine that with the work that our saw and brush crew completed over the summer (see more here), the alders didn’t stand a chance. Our early season conditions are set up to be some of the best yet!
Mowing timeline over the years:
1987 – The first (recorded) mowing was in the Fernie Snow Valley days, by Fernie legend, and previous owner, Heiko Socher. They used a European hand mower (walk behind) to mow the Lizard and Elk runs.
1988 – We upgraded to a John Deere 350 Dozer with an attached ditch mower
1993 – We moved onto a bigger Dozer, John Deere 550 while using the same ditch mower
1996 – We changed to a Bush Hog Mower
2007 – The BR-350 #19 snowcat was converted to a mower with a mulcher on the front and fitted with a Winch on the back
2019 – Cat #19 BR350 and cat #33 BR350 were combined to create ‘FrankenCat’. It was fitted out with a THC Cancela TTH-350 Hydraulic mower. The #33 cat has been part of the FAR grooming fleet as a winch cat since the 15/16 season. This machine was a favourite for many of the operators in the Grooming department.
The #19 snowcat is a special machine to us as it was the first BR350 that Fernie added to their grooming fleet, and also the first BR350 with a winch. This machine even borrowed by Lake Louise for the FIS Alpine World Cup!
The creation of the FrankenCat has allowed us to make our terrain even better, and a huge credit is owed to the Vehicle Maintenance Mechanics and Jeff’s entire team, who worked incredibly hard to make all of this happen for the Resort.
Another cool fun fact: Tim, who joined the Mechanical staff in April after many years of dreaming of being a mechanic at the ski hill, was assigned to work on FrankenCat as his first major project. FrankenCat was the first Groomer that he has worked on. Shane provided a ton of guidance during this project; Dan and Rob also had the lovely task of replacing the hammers inside the mower (which was not an easy job). The new hammers cut the alders like a Samurai sword.
Let’s hear it for the Shop Crew, Blair and Alina! Give them some yee haa’s when you’re cruising down Sib Ridge in the early season.
Runs that have been mowed:
Lower North Ridge
North Ridge – winch
Upper Kodiak – winch
Bear – winch
Upper North Ridge – winch
Siberia Ridge – winch
Silk Trail – XC Short Loop
Upper Falling Star
Runs that were cut by the Saw & Brush Crew:
Bomb Drop (upper Cedar Bowl)
Stag Leap – up to Megasaurus
Decline – up to Megasaurus
Skydive – up to Megasaurus
Griz Lift line (in between China Wall and Ballet)
Timber Lift line above Rock Landing to White Pass load
The annual Brushing Program for the Fernie Ski Resort is having a very successful summer. The cooler weather and lower Fire Danger ratings have allowed the crew to keep working through the dog days of summer without restrictions due to Fire Danger. The crew this summer has also been doubled to allow us to catch up a little on the past couple seasons where High Fire Danger has shut us down or limited our progress. The crews have been hard at work in many areas across the mountain.
There has been a new line cut down Snake Ridge as well as cleaning a new line down the North Boundary for those that are looking for the Steep and Deep that Fernie is famous for.
Additionally, we have been working on core areas on the Lizard Side that focusses on terrain that is open at 9 am on most big snow days. The Sunny Side has had a new haircut that extends down onto the China Wall and old Griz Lift line that will provide some early deep turns on those Pow Days.
Boomerang and Boom Ridge has received another mow and will be prime for early season riding providing steep turns right out of the gate.
New Side lovers will also see some changes to the lines in the Alpha Centauries and Currie Chutes areas as well as the lower elevations of the Big Three as we cleaned up the exits from those thigh-burning runs. In addition, core areas around the Timber Bowl, Surprise, Black Cloud have all been touched.
Our Summer Mower Cat was rebuilt from a repurposed Snowcat this Spring and will be out in anger this fall to mow many of our main runs including all our beginner terrain on the lower mountain and runs where all the rocks and obstacles have been removed such as Bear, North Ridge, Kodiak, and many others.
It is a giant mountain, and we have excellent growing conditions. People ask why don’t you just cut it all? Sounds like a good idea but when you are standing at the bottom of Cedar Ridge looking up at acres of 12 foot high Alder, you start to feel pretty small. When you dive into Cedar Ridge early season and have that perfect line top to bottom down the King Fir don’t forget to think about that person that has spent their summer on the end of a saw making that possible.
We are looking forward to an awesome season.
There are many things in this world that we take for granted. The way that we move and our freedom to walk, run, ski and bike are undoubtedly some of them.
It’s not so hard.
Want to go skiing? Go.
Want to climb a mountain? Go.
Want to go downhill mountain biking? Go.
I have a question, what if you had no legs? Would the ‘go’ be as easy?
This past Saturday was International Ride MTB Day, and we had the honour of having Mack Adams, a shredder from the Elk Valley, spend the day with us here at Fernie Alpine Resort. Mack is an upbeat guy who is always keen for a chat and, ALWAYS keen to send it on the mountain with his friends.
You wouldn’t guess it to look at him, but Mack is a double amputee who lost both of his legs at ten months old due to a congenital birth defect. He hasn’t let that stop him.
At the age of 12, Mack learnt how to bike, using outriggers (adult training wheels), with the help of Mark Hall, owner of GearHub. He then tried his hand at dirt jumping but found that his true biking passion lay with downhill mountain biking.
So, once again, with the help of Mark from GearHub who loaned him a Rocky Mountain Maiden, on Saturday Mack was back up at our bike park, in the pouring rain, getting his laps in. At one point I asked him if he was doing ok. He answered, “Yeah, but my ankles are starting to hurt.” His friends told me that these kinds of jokes had been flying around all day. His stoke was high, he was having fun, and watching him do his thing was inspiring! What a great way to spend International Ride MTB Day.
Mack has a dream of riding every trail that we have in one weekend, and Fernie Alpine Resort is working with Mack to help him make it happen. He is also a keen basketballer, volleyballer and loves to play his guitar – basically, nothing will stop him once he has set his mind to it.
What a legend.
Downhill mountain biking in Fernie is exhilarating, and often breathtaking.
The downhill trails here at Fernie Alpine Resort are in prime condition and riding beautifully.
Come and check out what it’s all about, and advance your skills, in one of our mountain bike camps or lessons!
NEW! ADULT CO-ED DOWNHILL CAMPS
Are you comfortable on green & blue trails but want to develop your downhill riding skills? Join us for our new adult co-ed intermediate weekend camps – focusing on progression to more technical descents, roots, rocks, drops, jumps & obstacles. With small group sizes, our certified professional coaches will help take your riding to the next level. Camp includes 10 hrs of coaching over two days, lunch, lift tickets, and bike maintenance session. Ages 18+.
Dates: July 13 & 14 / August 10 & 11 Time: 10am – 4pm. Price: 2 day camp $229 / 1 day camp $139
WOMEN’S MOUNTAIN BIKE CAMPS
MTB designed by women for women! These camps are catered to various levels of riding ability and are led by qualified female instructors. Camps include skill sessions, bike maintenance, lift tickets, instructional trail rides and lunch.
Dates: July 13 & 14, 2019 / August 10 & 11, 2019
Time: 10am – 4pm
Price: 2 day camp $229 / 1 day camp $139
MOUNTAIN BIKE PRIVATE LESSONS
For the beginner or hardcore rider — have a lesson tailor-made to suit your skills! Rates are based on 3 people per lesson — price includes instruction only. Lift ticket is required. Participants receive a 20% discount on bike rentals for the day of their private lesson.
DISCOVER MOUNTAIN BIKING
Discover the thrill of Downhill Mountain biking under the expert guidance of one of our bike coaches. Learn the basics and gain confidence! Minimum 3 people per lesson and a maximum of 10 people per lesson. The clinic includes a 3-hour coaching session, 3-hour bike rental and 3-hour lift pass. Rates based per person. For ages 8+.
Days & Times: Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am-1pm
PEAK TO PARK TO PINT BIKE TOUR
Join us for a fun afternoon of biking! Starting from the top of the chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort, cruising downhill to Mt Fernie Provincial Park and then pedalling through town to enjoy a refreshing sampling of East Kootenay beers! Includes guiding, lift ticket, and post-ride sampler drinks. Guests then have the option to take our complimentary shuttle back to the resort. Minimum 2 participants. Ages 19+.
Fridays & Saturdays
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
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!
The Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) is forever grateful for the passion of their employees, guests and especially the home towns where the resorts are located. In each town there are people who have supported the resorts for many years and in an effort to give back to these communities, the Community Summit Fund was born. 2007 marked the first year of the Summit Fund program, with an initial five-year commitment, RCR donated over $150,000 to over 100 community organizations. After the first five years, RCR decided to officially renew the Summit Fund indefinitely and continue to donate to organizations, schools and charities each and every month.
At Fernie Alpine Resort, our Community Summit Fund has helped transform the local Fernie community by supporting sustainable local projects that help create positive opportunities and outcomes for its citizens, especially youth.
In the last six months, we have donated just over $11,000 to 22 different local organizations and projects including:
Fernie Chamber of Commerce – support of 2018 Griz Days
Fernie Mountain Film Festival
Local athlete, Andrea Byrne – Freeski Competition support
Fernie & District Arts Council – support of the Out of the Box: Dumpster Project
Fernie Secondary School -support the ski/snowboard team to attend 2018 provincials, teaching classes on outdoor trapping traditions, new school fitness room equipment, annual scholarship program
Emily Brydon Youth Foundation
Fernie Alpine Ski Team – support of FAST Film Festival 2018
Isabella Dickens Elementary School – support annual spring tea fundraiser
Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club – support club to attend swim meet
Elk Valley Society for Community Living
Canadian Adaptive Network – support Fernie Disability Awareness Night
Fernie Golf Club – support 100th anniversary commemorative display
The Ghostriders Adventure Camp
Wapiti Music Festival Society
City of Fernie – support for Canada Day celebrations
Fernie Heritage Cemetary and Restoration Society
Fernie Tennis Community Association – support of East Kootenay Open 2018
East Kootenay Foundation for Health – support for 2018 Starlite Ball Fundraiser
Friends of the Fernie Heritage Library
The Community Summit Fund isn’t just about cash donations, but it’s also about being involved in the community ourselves. Our very own Robin Siggers is a great example of an employee giving back to the community. Robin is involved directly with the Fernie Ski Touring & Trails Club. He also volunteers his time working on the Fernie Dirt Jump Park – using the RCR loader, he moves dirt and shapes the jumps. On top of that, he’s a regular contributor to the Fernie Trails Associations crew – working nights maintaining the trails.
For more information on the Fernie Alpine Community Summit Fund and how to apply for a grant, please visit: https://skifernie.com/summit-fund/.