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.
If you could design the perfect ski town it would look like Fernie. Except Fernie, tucked into the mountains of southeastern BC, comes by its charm naturally. Brick and wood heritage buildings, which hearken to the town’s rich mining history, line inviting downtown streets where boutique cafes and gear shops reveal Fernie’s modern incarnation as a ski and outdoor paradise. Gaze south from the town along the Elk River Valley and you’ll be dazzled by the tantalizing five-pack of alpine bowls – Siberia, Cedar, Timber, Currie and Lizard – that unfold from the rugged Lizard Range and comprise the diversity of terrain that makes Fernie Alpine Resort a bucket list item for skiers from around the world. Ten lifts service 10 square kilometres of terrain with a vertical drop of nearly 1100 metres, and home to an astounding 142 named runs. That doesn’t even include the dreamy glades and secret tree skiing stashes too numerous to be known by anything other than local names. And then there’s the snow. Nature pays special attention to the legendary Lizard Range, a magical piece of geology that puts the lie to the claim that it never really snows in the Canadian Rockies. Fernie Alpine Resort boasts by far the deepest snowpack of any ski area in the Rockies, with an average nine metres of annual snowfall. From my home on the West Coast of BC, I’ve monitored Fernie snow reports over the years with the intense envy that only numbers like “-10C” and “30 cms of fresh” can induce in a ski bum like me.
But Fernie offers more than alpine bowls and steep tree skiing. Some mountains simply work well for families. Fernie is one such resort. When you stay on mountain, you can park your car and leave it in the underground parkade, whether it’s Lizard Creek Lodge or one of the other on hill accommodations. There’s no dreading the morning ritual of herding gear and kids across endless parking lots before you even get a glimpse of a chairlift. Plenty of thought went into the design and layout of the Fernie base area, ensuring that condos and lodges were located within easy striking distance of the lifts and ticket office. Put simply, Fernie embodies the ski in, ski out ethic. Click in, and slide down to the lift; it doesn’t get any easier. Advanced riders can feast on steep alpine and sub-alpine terrain like Corner Pocket, a spicy couloir that deposits you atop Lizard Bowl, or Gotta Go a steep drop through glades that funnel into Currie Bowl. Kids and beginners can get their kicks on the lower half of the mountains on green circle and blue square groomers, or in the mini terrain park, never far from a hot chocolate or a soak in the hot tub back at the slope side condo or lodge, where you can
rehearse your favorite lines from Hot Tub Time Machine (in 2009 Fernie was temporarily transformed into a 1980s ski resort for the filming of this John Cusack sci-fi comedy classic.) On those days when the family needs to rest the legs, or simply wants the afternoon off, you can hop in the car and in 15 minutes be strolling along main street Fernie, perusing for deals in the ski and outdoor shops, or enjoying an espresso or gelato at the Beanpod. Or perhaps the adults will sneak away for a craft brew tasting at Fernie Brewing Company on the outskirts of town. There’s a synergy in the Elk Valley that brings skiers and riders back time and time again. Fernie Alpine resort and the historic town of Fernie don’t compete for the visitor’s attention; they complement one another, and enhance the experience of skiing at a world class resort and soaking in the ambiance of an authentic mountain town with a long history of skiing and adventure.
Photos by Henry Georgi & Robin Siggers