Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Winter Season
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
RCR is proud to partner with MND Safety Solutions on a Remote Avalanche Control System (RACS) for the installation of an O’Bellx hydrogen exploder for the Dancer 5 slide path off of Polar Peak at Fernie Alpine Resort.
The O’Bellx Unit will provide the Fernie Alpine Resort Snow Safety Team with a remote control device to stabilize the Dancer Slidepath which runs from the top of the headwall off of Polar Peak, down into Lizard Bowl. This will improve safety for our Ski Patrol and provide confidence for opening the Lizard Bowl.
Further to our March 15th decision to suspend Ski Area Operations, after careful consideration of the quickly changing circumstances around Coronavirus (COVID-19), Resorts of the Canadian Rockies has made a decision to suspend ski resort operations for the remainder of the 2019/20 ski season at our Western Canadian Resorts, including Nakiska Ski Area, Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Here at RCR our number one priority is the safety, health and well-being of our Guests, Team Members, and the Communities which we live, work and play in. As tough a decision as this has been, we feel it is the right thing to do under the current circumstance.
In an effort to limit social interaction we will not be opening our guest service and ticket offices for the time being, both at resorts and our Calgary office. For questions regarding purchased products please email the address below (In response to this situation we are receiving an overwhelming volume of calls and emails, your patience is appreciated as work respond to these requests).
We sincerely apologize to you our guests for this inconvenience. As always, we truly appreciate the support which we receive from you and thank you for that. We will look forward to welcoming you back to our resorts and Mountain Communities in the future.
President/Chief Resorts Officer
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Dear Valued Guest,
After careful consideration of the quickly changing circumstances around Coronavirus (COVID-19), Resorts of the Canadian Rockies has chosen to suspend ski resort operations effective at midnight, Sunday March 15th, for a one-week period. This suspension will be in effect at all of our Western Canadian Resorts, including Nakiska Ski Area, Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Here at RCR our number one priority is the safety, health and well-being of our Guests, Team Members, and the Communities which we live, work and play in. As tough a decision as this has been, we feel it is the right thing to do under the current circumstance. We sincerely apologize to you, our guests for this inconvenience.
As always, we truly appreciate the support which we receive from you and thank you for that. We will evaluate a possible re-opening date for our resorts later in the week, and will look forward to welcoming you back to our resorts as things permit.
President/Chief Resorts Officer
Our Sports Alpine Rental Shops offer a variety of High-Performance and Mid-Performance skis and snowboards from Rossignol, Dynastar, Head and Burton.
We also have a selection of snowshoes, cross-country skis, telemark skis, and winter fat bikes for rent.
Check out the video below to see what our Rental Shop has to offer for your next adventure!
Life in the mountains is filled with beautiful moments, and every now and then, there are those times that you will never forget.
The best run of your life, the sweet, sweet feeling of the perfect pow turn, the first time you successfully went down a black run, standing on top of a ridge and seeing for miles and miles… those memories will forever be with you.
They help shape who you will become, and often, they will inspire a lifetime of adventures in the mountains.
Recently, Isla Gray, a 10-year-old shredder who spends a lot of time here in Fernie, wrote a school assignment on just that feeling, and we are excited to share it with you here. She did an excellent job of describing the feeling you get when you step out of your comfort zone and create a memory that will last forever!
By: Isla Gray
I peered fretfully down the narrow, steep chute. A dusting of powdery snow covered the run. I was vibrating so hard because I was slowly slipping down the slope. My hands clutched my poles tight. I took a deep breath and set off down the slope.
Earlier that day, I was skiing with a big group of people when they decided to go to Anaconda Glades. My parents asked me if I wanted to do something easier. With a look of determination glinting in my eyes, I told them, “ I want to do what everybody else is doing.”
To get to Anaconda Glades, you have to cross a long bumpy traverse. The traverse itself scared me out of my wits. I was shaking so hard I nearly fell off the narrow, bumpy ski tracks. Mainly out of fear, I clutched my poles in a death grip. Finally, we got to the top of the second chute along the high ridge. From here, you could see the town of Fernie, a glistening patch of light in the fog.
I looked down the run and came to the verge of tears. I didn’t even realize the soft powder pockets hidden along the run, only how steep it looked. At that point though, I had no choice but to set off down the run.
My skis made next to no track through the fresh snow. The steep chute was almost as narrow as my skis and I was having trouble turning. Anaconda really was like a snake, winding through the forest. Deep down in my stomach, I no longer felt like crying but enjoying myself.
After the first part of the run, it opened up a bit and the snow got less heavy. The fog had also lifted and the sun shone weakly through the grey clouds. I was glowing with happiness, so awed at what I had accomplished. All in all, doing Anaconda Glades was a good choice.
Twelve hours later it was my favourite run, although I had, at that time only done it twice. Along with Diamond Back, Morning Glory and Anaconda is a black run. They are the reasons I am such a good skier today.
Keep up the great writing (and skiing!), Isla! We hope that you continue to love life in the mountains.
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]
Fernie is a town full of magic. No matter the season, you will often hear people mention the ‘Fernie Magic’. This is especially true during the Holidays.
This year, Fernie Alpine Resort has a jam-packed Holiday Calendar that will help keep your spirits high and your family entertained.
Oh, what fun it is to ride in a two-horse open sleigh, hey! We think horse-drawn sleigh rides are a magical way to explore our very own winter wonderland! For only $15 per person, enjoy a scenic ride through Fernie Alpine Resort between December 21st and January 4th. Want to spread the holiday cheer with a bigger group? You have the opportunity to rent a private sleigh, available for a maximum of 11 guests. Hear the sweet jingle of our sleighs between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm daily.
Skiing is fun, but night skiing adds an extra element that kids love! The Mighty Moose lift will be lit up from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm so that you can ski under the lights and enjoy this fun experience with your family. Night Skiing on the Mighty Moose runs from December 21st to 24th and December 26th through to January 4th.
Today you can join us for an afternoon of crafts in Slopeside Cafe from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. The kids can get creative by making their very own Christmas decorations. This is a drop-in afternoon of arts and crafts. Our staff will be on hand to help with the creativity and fun!
Ski with Santa and join the big man himself as he shreds the lower mountain between 10:00 am to noon. Santa will be enjoying his après ski cookies and milk in the Daylodge between noon to 2:00 pm, so don’t forget to check if you’ve been naughty or nice and snap a picture with him before his big night.
‘Tis the season for giving, so in true Christmas spirit, we are hosting a multitude of fun family activities absolutely free! Starting December 26th and again January 2nd, Ski Run Bingo takes to the slopes. Mark off every run you ski on your bingo card and snap a picture for a chance to win some sweet prizes.
On December 27rd and January 3rd, you can take part in the Family Scavenger Hunt, which takes place all over the hill. Pick up your list of clues between 9:00 and 10:30 am at Slopeside Café (or anytime at Guest Services) and then the hunt is on! The clues will lead you to areas on the mountain and around the base area. Find as many clues as you can and take photo evidence of you & your family. Don’t forget to tag your photo to #lovefernie.
Help your kids develop their passion for sliding on snow by signing up for our Ski and Snowboard Camp from December 31st to January 3rd! Join us for a fun-filled week on the snow, with top quality lessons from our expert instructors. Focusing on skill development and guided discovery through fun activities on the mountain, our coaches will look for ways to challenge and improve on their existing skills.
Enter 2020 with a BANG by joining us in the base area from 7-9 pm for an abundance of activities at our Family NYE Activities & NYE Fireworks Presented By TELUS. Activities include arts & crafts, family scavenger hunt and more taking place in Slopeside Cafe. The evening culminates with a fireworks show on the Mighty Moose. All activities are free of charge. Please note this is not a supervised event. Please note, staff will be around to facilitate the activities but will not be able to supervise the kids.
Looking for a party? Bring in the New Year with a party at Cirque Restaurant. Enjoy a delicious 4-course dinner and then dance the night away while welcoming in the new year. Dinner seatings will be between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm. This year we have a DJ playing all evening, with the party really kicking off after dinner service.
What better way to celebrate at the Griz Bar NYE Party with a group of your friends while listening to live music by our favourite NYE band, The Todd Selleck’s. We’ll have NYE Party Favourites, a toast at midnight and our famous late-night poutine bar!
We are anything but boring here at Fernie Alpine Resort, especially with great activities and events happening almost every day throughout the week! Saturdays on the hill are jam-packed with loads of fun for all ages. Lizard Creek Lodge will be hosting a Kid’s Pool Party and Movie Night every Saturday, with a BBQ dinner thrown into the mix.
We have some great weekly activities to help you make the most of your time here in Fernie. Here’s a quick round-up.
For a chill Saturday activity between 7:30 and 8:30 am, why not enjoy Yoga & Stretching at Lizard Creek Lodge before you hit the slopes?
Nordic Sundays are a fun way to spend your Sundays, enjoy a guided instructional tour on our beautiful Nordic trail system.
On Tuesday, enjoy a Snowshoe and Dine experience you’ll never forget, where a 1.5 hour guided snowshoe tour ends with delicious pasta and wine at Cirque Restaurant.
On Wednesday’s you can try the fast-paced and exciting Vinyasa Yoga from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at Lizard Creek Lodge.
And finally, Ride and Dine on Thursdays with a 1.5 hour guided bike tour followed by burgers and beer at Legends Mountain Eatery.
Phew! So much to do and so little time to enjoy it! From all of us at Fernie Alpine Resort, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Check out the full holiday schedule by clicking Holiday Activities Calendar!
For Guest Services contact: 250-423-2435 or [email protected]
For Winter Sports School contact: 250-423-2406 or [email protected]
A Shuttle Season Pass is available for $299 plus tax (limited quantity available). They can be purchased from our Guest Service desk.
The daily #FernieStoke Ski Shuttle will operate daily between 8:00 am and 11:30 pm starting on December 14, 2019, until Sunday, April 12, 2020. Please see the schedule for bus stop locations and pick up/drop off times.
- $4 cash only each way
- Kids 5 & under ride free with paying adult/caregiver
- $35 for a 10 Ride Booklet*
The individual bus fare can be paid in cash on the bus with exact change only, no change is provided, or with a voucher from a 10 Ride Shuttle Booklet*.
*Booklets cannot be purchased from the shuttle drivers. Please pre-purchase them at the Guest Service desk at Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie’s Visitor Centre on Hwy 3 or at participating hotels/shuttle stop locations.
Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No pre-booking of seats is available.
The details and schedule are subject to change without notice.
Please call Guest Services for more information, 250-423-2435.
Two 24-passenger buses will be used in the operation.
The service is being operated by Fernie Alpine Resort. Funding for the purchase of the two buses was through the Resort Municipality Initiative.
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