Articles about Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Summer
Scott Patterson has surfed all over the world, swam the English Channel in a relay, and represented Canada as an athlete three times in three different sports. He’s also spent the last 40 years in a wheelchair.
This summer, when the BC Cup Dunbar Series came to Fernie Alpine Resort, there were top athletes from all over the world—many of them were adaptive athletes like Scott. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t always pick these athletes to tell stories about, which stifles the growth of the adaptive category of downhill mountain biking.
Huddled under the Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association tent at the base of Timber Chair, I was surrounded by people in wheelchairs and the sleek, powerful adaptive bikes these athletes use. Almost exactly a year ago, my best friend Annijke Wade crashed while mountain biking, resulting in a spinal cord injury (SCI). This devastating injury turned Annijke’s world upside down, but making connections with the adaptive community has been a central part of her healing process.
The anniversary of Annijke’s accident (her “Alive Day”) fell on the same day as the BC Cup event at Fernie. Attending the event in Fernie had been a large motivating factor during her ongoing recovery. Annijke said, “It’s been an amazing experience to meet and be a part of this community. These are some of the top adaptive mountain bikers in the world. So many of the people here have been very integral in the last year of my life and have been willing to chat, connect and support from afar – it’s great to meet people in person.”
Supporting Annijke over the previous year made me aware of just how able-bodied our world is. It also made me realize that within the action sports world, there is so much we can do to address inclusion that will ultimately cultivate belonging for everyone, regardless of ability or background. Unfortunately, our society is so ‘able-bodied’ that we generally ignore the fact that at any moment, any able-bodied person can become a member of the disabled community with the tiniest accident, freak mistake, or miscalculation.
After learning so much about adaptive sports through Annijke’s injury, I’ll admit that I was surprised that this was only the second year there was adaptive downhill racing at the BC Cup level. While it is significant progress, there’s more we can all do to amplify the needs of the adaptive sport community and grow sports such as these.
Through my chats with the adaptive athletes and their support crew (most notably Mike Riediger, the executive director of the Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association), I began to understand that advocacy starts with representation. Given that this was the first year there was a full adaptive category for the Dunbar series (recognized within the BC Cup), my hope is that it’s only the beginning of attracting athletes from all over the globe.
“It’s my Christmas,” Sierra Roth, an adaptive athlete, said. Sierra raced motocross for 10 years before her accident. This was her first full year racing with her adaptive bike, made by Bowhead. Sierra said it’s the highlight of her entire year to be able to connect with other adaptive riders. “Not only is it community, but I push myself here and learn from others. I guess you could say I come for the racing, stay for the vibes.”
I asked a few of the athletes what people can do to support adaptive mountain biking and adaptive sports in general. Scott said, “Just come and watch the races.” He added that making trails that are “more adaptive friendly” is also beneficial for beginner riders, not just those on adaptive bikes.
Sierra doubled down on the need to increase awareness of adaptive riding. “It’s all about awareness. Once [people] understand what we need, it’s not that far outside of the norm. Adaptive trails and access make it easier for everyone to be involved.”
Ethan Krueger travelled from Vancouver, where he works as a Rehab Equipment Specialist, just to attend this race. This was his second year racing, and he sees so much more possibility than just being in the BC Cup. “It’s great that Dunbar recognized the adaptive category, but we need to spread the word of adaptive riding and racing into more of Canada and the USA. Not just recreation, but legitimize the sport globally… right now, they need to come here to do it.” He hopes that creating a pathway for more riders into the Paralympics will help establish adaptive mountain biking as a Paralympic sport.
Mike Riediger from Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association planned the entire adaptive event this year and hopes the exposure will get people excited, eventually filtering more adaptive riders into race development programs. “But it’s really about advocating for better access to trails,” Mike said. “It’s happening organically in British Columbia because our work focuses on creating advocates instead of leaving it to individual adaptive sport organizations to advocate.”
One of these incredible advocates was Kineret “Kiné” Muñoz. Kiné travelled from Puerto Natales in Chilean Patagonia simply to be immersed in the adaptive community. Kiné used to work as a guide in the famous Torres del Paine National Park before a car accident left her paralyzed a decade ago. Kiné spent this past summer travelling all over the US and Canada to meet with adaptive organizations and athletes to learn how to advocate and create something similar in Chile. “There’s nothing like this where I am. I have a dream of buying land and creating a space for other disabled people to come and learn how to bike.”
This model of educating the athletes and individuals allows advocacy to take a more organic route than relying on an annual bike race series. For example, my friend Annijke is supporting Kootenay Adaptive by working towards a goal of eventually becoming an adaptive mountain bike coach.
“I wanted to make new memories,” Annijke shared with me. “It was so important for me to begin to connect with the adaptive mountain biking world. I’m in awe. The level of skill and athleticism represented in the adaptive category is beyond incredible. Being able to witness this event has allowed me to see what’s possible and even given me some goals to set for myself in the sport and my recovery.”
Even though the downhill course itself is a bit daunting for new riders to try right away, it always comes back to representation. As a female athlete, I used to crane my neck to watch the glimpse of a woman grace the big screen at any annual ski film premiere. Now we are fortunate enough to see more representation across many intersectional identities, but there needs to be intentional investment and support from businesses, organizers, and bike clubs to ensure we are pushing to include the disabled community as well.
Tomorrow is the day, we open for summer 2022!
Enjoy lift-accessed mountain biking, hiking & sightseeing all summer long!
The Elk Chair will be open daily from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (with extended hours from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm on Thursdays).
Our summer operations run from June 25th to September 5th
Ben’s Big Rig is back for 2022 as a green run to access Deer Trail or to ride all the way down to Bear load with access to Lower Duff Dynasty. Ben’s Big Rig received dirt and machine work to build up berms and remove brake bumps. This work is still being finished off so may not be ready for opening day, but will be soon after.
During this summer’s first heatwave, it was extremely challenging to find things to do with the kids. With a Park Pass at Fernie Alpine Resort, and it being community week, I decided on an exciting, lift-access hiking adventure… I mean, how could they say no to a ride up, and a hike (downhill!) to the base?
Let’s be realistic, they said no. They are eight and six years of age, and pretty much immediately say no to anything we suggest! But somehow, I managed to entice them (somehow meaning the promise of a slushie upon completion) and off we went.
Armed with snacks, drinks, caps and sunscreen, we were well-prepared for the experience ahead. Even with the hot temperatures, the lift ride was comfortable and very entertaining. Examining the terrain below, remembering the names of the runs we skied just months prior, and noticing how many of the bike trails are the tree trails we enjoy so much in winter. Discussing whether they would be keen to try them on a bike one day. Watching the DH bikers head down at full speed, feeling both fully impressed and a tad anxious. “That looks scary!” although I catch a bit of curiosity in their eyes.
As we reach the top, the girls chat about the hike – Daisy Lane. The name is everything and they’re ready to explore. Exiting the lift, we follow the signs and easily find our way. It’s nearing the end of the day, so it’s like we have the mountain to ourselves. We can hear the bees buzzing and the birds chirping as we begin our descent under the Bear chair. After awhile, the girls recognize that unique feeling in their quads… the jiggly ‘walking down steep terrain’ feeling. I tell them, “it’s just making your legs stronger!” and they take it in stride.
We connect a few trails and get some relief from the sunshine, and the conversation jumps from there’s Fernie to how much longer to which flavour of slush we should get. As the base comes into view, we decide on a detour to hit the kids’ aerial park – perfectly situated in the shade of the beautiful cedar trees. They so wish they could go onto the ‘real’ aerial park, but know they need to grow a bit before they’re allowed, “it’s something to look forward to!” We look up to the platforms and ladders floating in the sky.
At long last, we reach the car. Our legs are covered in dust, we have a sweaty glow, and a cold and sweet slush has never tasted better. Next time, we’re keen on one of the hikes at the top of the Elk Chair. They’ve got their eyes set on taking the lift down… and another slush, of course.
For details on all hiking opportunities at Fernie Alpine Resort, visit their site which also includes a map!
Last year, when the pandemic hit and my two girls were suddenly home I felt a heavy responsibility to keep them active physically and mentally, on top of staying safe. Where better to take the learning than outdoors? Each week, I would shake things up by heading somewhere new and inspiring. Reading circle at Silver Springs. Science class in the Old Growth or at Matheson Falls. Gym class at the Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) Aerial Park. Many of our ‘classrooms’ I hadn’t been to in years, and some never! They were shocked, ‘but you grew up here!?’
Now, it’s been two years since we’ve left the beautiful bubble of the Kootenays. Two years! And while I am extremely fond of this area, it has begun to feel a little too… comfy. As an avid biker, I was feeling uninspired. Yes, we’ve done a couple of trips to the West Kootenays, but here I had ridden nearly every inch of trail countless times some in both directions. It made me think back to that time, at the beginning of the pandemic. How could I shake things up?
Years ago, before I had kids I spent a lot of time training for bike events and hit a similar wall. A park pass at FAR not only helped me to gain additional confidence on the downhill, it exposed me to new, technical terrain and had me excited about biking again. ‘That’s it,’ I thought. ‘There are over 30 trails over there!’ And I headed to Guest Services to get my pass.
Pass in hand, I went out on my first adventure. I decided to check out the newly established Uphill Enduro Route as I had yet to try it. Taking you up the access route, it is a bit painful to cross beneath the Elk Chair and the relaxed lift riders, but it is quick, to the point, and allows you to do a few laps while also testing your endurance.
For the first lap, I decided on Hollow Tree. I have ridden this trail numerous times as it was in two TransRockies events hosted at the hill. Forested, loamy, rooty, optional stunts. It is always a blast and over too soon. I hopped onto Monorail to finish off and got right into my second climb. Next, I decided to take upper Top Gun and then climb over to Bin Logdin to lower Rumplestumpskin. Again, extremely fun and I could have handled twice the length! This lap was flowier, fast and exciting… and had me easily convinced to head up again. This time, I decided on Will Power. We hosted Tears and Gears at FAR two years ago so I had only ever been on it to flag the course. Wow, it had me on my toes and it was nice to feel challenged. Similar to Hollow Tree but more narrow and steeper in sections.
Feeling inspired and fulfilled, I left wanting more. Next week, hiking with the kids. Chair lift up, hike down… should be easy, right?
- The Uphill Enduro Route is exposed and the last portion steep. Make sure to bring enough water to keep you going, consider electrolytes on hot days.
- While getting your pass, ask Guest Services about their Multi-Use Pass for just $5, which covers access annually to xc trails on their property.
- If biking in town, make sure to get your Fernie Trails Alliance – Fernie Trails Pass which supports building, maintaining and developing the Fernie Trail Network.
- Carve out some time for a rewarding post-ride refreshment at Legends – you deserve it!
If you follow us on any of our social media platforms, then you will see all that our Resort has to offer through the summer and winter months. What you don’t always see is all of the work that goes in behind the scenes to make it happen.
We have a lot of Crews – Trail Crew, Bike Trail Crew, Lift Ops Crew, Lift Maintenance Crew, Saw Crew, Brush Crew, Shop Crew, Patrol Crew – who all work together through the summer and fall to make it all come together.
This summer, our Trail Crew, who are the Swiss Army Knife of employees (they can do anything that’s needed on the mountain), have replaced the old wooden culverts with sparkly (👈 my word, not theirs 😉) new ones.
HISTORY LESSON – Back in the ’80s, to make a culvert the Trail Crew used their only machine, the skidder. They would find a couple of the huge old Larch trees (24″-36″ diameter) that were lying around in the forest and lay those along either side of the creek.
They would then place timber – mostly from Cedar trees (12″-16″ diameter) – across the Larch to cover the creek. They had a gin pole rigged on the back of the skidder so that they could pick the trees up and back them into place.
Along with a peavy, and some brute force, they could build a bridge over the creeks that would then be buried with dirt. Most of these culverts lasted about 30 years before the top logs began to fail.
That brings us to this past summer; it was noticed that the culvert near the Boom Chair was starting to fail, so our team went in, dug the whole section up, and replaced it with a new one. No trees were harmed in the making of this culvert.
One of the biggest changes happening at the resort is going down in lower Currie Bowl. This past spring, May 31st to be exact, we had very heavy rainfall that followed some very hot weather, and a consequential mudslide in Currie Bowl. As the debris flowed down, it damaged and plugged multiple culverts. Our Trail Crew, along with assistance from Fiorentino Bros and Ground Tech Engineering were able to get in there to repair the culverts.
Turning adversity into improvements, the spring mudslide remediation enabled us to improve the exit from Currie Bowl and widen the Gilmar trail.
As we move closer to winter, we will continue to bring you updates from around the resort, and the work that goes in before we can open our
Why take the chairlift if you’ve got an e-mountain bike! New this summer, we now allow uphill bike traffic (e-mountain bikes* or regular mountain bikes) on our specified uphill route at the Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Park.
E-mountain bikers will love the convenience of quick laps on this uphill only route, which accesses the Elk Side downhill trails as well as Lower TNT (from Rock Landing only) on the Timber side. Your laps can be short – deke off at access point A to rip down Honeybee, Eville, Holo Bike and Phat Larry’s – or take the longer pedal on up to access point B or C to access the rest of the DH trails in the bike park. Of course, those who like to pedal under their own power are also welcome! It’s a great way to stay and get fit, and enjoy the adrenaline of our DH trails too!
Uphill riders MUST have a valid Uphill E-Bike/Enduro ticket, or mountain bike season pass/day ticket in order to access our bike park trails. Please visit Guest Services to purchase your ticket.
Please note that the uphill route is open only during regular bike park hours:
Monday – Friday: 10:30am to 4:30pm (to 7pm on Thursdays)
Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am to 4:30pm
Please visit our website’s bike park trail map to see the new uphill route.
6 breathtaking views and awesome adventures you won’t believe are less than a days drive from Calgary
If you live in Calgary, you’re actually pretty lucky to! Being able to live in a beautiful urban area surrounded by gorgeous mountains is certainly something to be thankful for. On top of the views, being so close to seemingly endless outdoor adventure and activities are an accolade many cities don’t have to brag about. If you’re looking for outdoor fun while maintaining social distance, here are a few suggested short staycations to consider.
Views from town and the top of the mountain
Our first location is one that is already many Calgarians’ favourite short trip to make, Fernie, B.C. An easy 2.5/3 hour drive from the south end of Calgary along the Cowboy Trail you’ll drive right into Fernie’s town site, where you are literally surrounded by mountains on all sides. Continue through the town to Fernie Alpine Resort and you will not be disappointed. The views of the Lizard Range from the base of Fernie Alpine Resort are breathtaking enough, but by taking a ride on the Elk Chairlift you’ll get a view of the valley of Fernie, B.C that can’t be matched.
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Whether you take a hike or go by bike, be sure to stop, take a moment and soak up those views 👀 #HiFernie 👋 📸 on 07.06.20 . . . . . . . . . . #lovefernie #ferniealpineresort #fernie #bikefernie #hikefernie #ferniebikepark #ferniestoke #kootrocks #canadianrockies #photooftheday #hellobc #getoutside #kootenay #explorebc #explorekr
Hiking & Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse
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Pictured: if the stories your parents told you about their commute to school were true. 📷: @ajsergent . . . . . #thishorserules #goldenrules #goldenbc #kootrocks #explorebc #beautifulbc #beautifulbritishcolumbia #britishcolumbia #explorecanada #canadianrockies #rockymountains #purcellmountains #hikebc #hike365 #hellyhansen #feelalive #photooftheday #getoutside #kickinghorse #kickinghorsemtn #liveyouradventure #whererockies #exploremore
Continuing on, let’s go to Golden, B.C, home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and just a 2.5 hour drive from Calgary’s north side. One of the unique aspects of Kicking Horse is the view of 6 National Parks from the peak of the mountain. And guess what, the peak of the mountain is easily within your reach! Kicking Horse has gondola accessed hiking and dining that offer some of the most stunning views you’ll find. And if you’re looking for something a little more to get the adrenaline pumping, the views from Via Ferrata are intense not just due to the views but due to the fact that you’re dangling off the side of a mountain or the suspension bridge (all while harnessed in of course).
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Cruising up Terminator until the end of the month. 📷: @alpinewithv . . . . . #thishorserules #goldenrules #goldenbc #kootrocks #explorebc #beautifulbc #beautifulbritishcolumbia #britishcolumbia #explorecanada #canadianrockies #rockymountains #purcellmountains #viaferrata #photooftheday #getoutside #kickinghorse #kickinghorsemtn #liveyouradventure #whererockies #exploremore @hellobc
Hiking & Biking
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When it rains look for rainbows. 📷Leanne Albertson . . . . #mykimberley #kimberleyalpineresort #agoodplacetobe #kimberleybc #instadaily #photooftheday #eastkootenays #kootrocks #rainbows #thatviewtho #rainyday #destinationbc #explorebc #visitkimberley #kootenaylife #views
People love to describe Kimberley as a hidden gem in the rockies – and that’s exactly what it is. You’ll need to turn off the main highway to find this town but trust us, it’s worth the time. Not only can you hike up the ski hill at the resort to take in some of the gorgeous views of the town from the top of the mountain, but Kimberley, like the others above have an array of trail networks in and around the towns. One of the places that is a must do while in Kimberley is the short walk to the Marysville waterfalls, it’s another one of those hidden gems you don’t expect to find so easily and is definitely worth the short trek out to it!
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There is something so calming about watching a waterfall. 🎥@shannonbjarnason . . . . #marysvillefalls #waterfalls #calming #mykimberley #agoodplacetobe #kimberleybc #instadaily #videooftheday #tourismkimberley #kootrocks #powderhighway #destinationbc #explorebc #eastkootenays #beautifulbc #kootenaylife
Places to stay along the way
Even though you can easily visit any one of these towns and get back to Calgary in a day, staying overnight is always a nice option to have!
✅ Gorgeous slopeside mountain views
✅ Outdoor patios & in hotel restaurants offering take out
✅ Outdoor pools & hot tubs
✅ Close to all activities & adventures
✅ Convenient and safe – all our suites have full kitchens
Both of our feature properties at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort feature all of the above, making either location a great basecamp for your quick getaway or longer staycation.
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It's a beautiful day in the mountains to enjoy some downhill biking and then relax by the pool! Our pool is open to our guests on a reservation basis. Please speak to front desk agents for more information. . . . . . . . . . #lovefernie #lizardcreeklodge #cirquerestaurant #ferniehotelpool #ferniealpineresort #fernie #ferniestoke #kootrocks #kootrocks #canadianrockies #photooftheday #hellobc #canadianskiresort #kootenay #powderhighway #explorebc #explorekr #ferniehotel #fernieonmountainaccomodation
We realize this can be a difficult time to consider travelling, before heading out on your trip check on the Alberta & British Columbia government website for any guidelines or restrictions at your time of travel. To see what safety procedures and routines we have put in place visit our resort or hotel websites.
Fernie Alpine Resort COVID information.
Feature Photo by Powder Matt
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 protected]
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