Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Winter Season
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
Undoubtedly a little bias, we think that heading to Fernie Alpine Resort during any time of the year is a good idea, there’s just so much to do year-round! BUT, there are a few particular reasons why you should plan your girls road trip to Fernie in the early ski season. With the long anticipation of winter, early season turns are the perfect excuse to get the gang together to welcome the change of pace and to kick off your season. With the crisp fall mornings here and winter thoughts creeping in, here’s why you should get your girl’s trip on the calendar for this upcoming December.
EARLY SEASON SNOW, IT’S ALL YOURS!
While the base accumulates rapidly, the falling snow provides untouched powder ripe for the shredding! By booking your trip earlier in the season, you’ll get in on the blank canvas that coats Fernie Alpine Resort and get it all to yourselves! Visit mid-week early season, and the resort will feel like a private mountain experience, zero lift lines and impeccable snow for your girls trip!
EARLY SEASON DEALS
The saying “the early bird gets the worm” couldn’t be more true when you book your girls getaway for the start of the season in Fernie. Purchase multi-day lift tickets a week in advance for substantial savings or book lift tickets and accommodations at the same time for a killer deal. Keep eyes on skifernie.com for additional early season specials that will seal the deal!
BEAT THE HOLIDAY RUSH
Holidays are all about spending time with family, taking it slow and basking in each other’s company. A girls shred trip is much more about the shredding. When you hit the slopes earlier in the season, you’ll get your fix of serious shred days so that you’re content to hang back and do the family program around the holidays without a case of the antsy pants, which your family will be grateful for.
GET YOUR SKI/SNOWBOARD LEGS BACK EARLY
You’ll surely stay ahead of the curve when you sneak in a ski trip in the early season. You’ll work on your stamina and be able to handle big days without getting jello legs. You’ll Thank Yourself for starting your season early and see the progression in your skiing and riding ability.
When it comes down to it, any woman’s week or weekend at Fernie Alpine Resort makes for a fun trip packed with insightful conversations, silly shenanigans and memorable moments. We hope your annual (or soon to be annual) girls road trip to Fernie Alpine Resort is filled with powder, small lift lines and great deals! Enjoy finding your much-anticipated mountain bliss with your lady crew this upcoming December.
Words & Photos by Abby Cooper
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!
So, you’re planning a vacation to Fernie Alpine Resort, or maybe you’re trying to find fun activities while the kids are home from school, or you could just be looking to create some memories with friends. You might be wondering, what’s going on at the ski hill over the holidays? Well, it might be quicker to ask what ISN’T going on! Get ready for a holiday activity blog that’ll blow your stocking right off the fireplace!
Planning to sleigh (hehe, see what we did there?) the mountain on December 23rd and 24th? Join the big man himself as he shreds some pow 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.
Jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to ride in a one-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.
‘‘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, 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. Do you like après ski drinks? Do your kids like decorating Gingerbread houses? On December 27th at Slopeside Café, with your purchase of a beverage between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm, receive a Gingerbread house decorating kit free! One Gingerbread house per family while supplies last. But our artistic spirit doesn’t end there! Head back to Slopeside Café on December 28th and January 4th between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm for even more creative fun. Receive a surprise arts and crafts kit to create a holiday memory you can take home with you (supplies are limited). Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s more! On December 30th why not go on a photo scavenger hunt, taking place all over the hill. Between 9:00 am and 10:30 am, pick up a list of clues at Slopeside Café and then the hunt is on! If you find a clue, take a picture and post it on Facebook or Instagram with #lovefernie. Once you’ve found all the clues, head back to Slopeside Café between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm for some epic prizes!
Want to wind down after a crazy day on the slopes? Join us for après S’morey Time on January 3rd at Slopeside Café between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm, and be enchanted by the tale of the Griz and other great legends. More après ski activities and games you won’t want to miss will be taking place at Slopeside Café between December 26th and 30th, as well as January 1st through to the 5th.
Did you know Fernie Alpine Resort has supervised kids’ activities going on through the holidays? Well now you do! December 23rd, 24th, 26th through 30th, January 1st to the 4th, The Griz Kidz Activity Night will be hosting games, crafts, movies, and pizza. Drop the kids off from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on the top floor of the Mountain Pantry (entrance via Fernie Slopeside Lodge parking lot) and enjoy the evening, kid free!
Do you think shredding the slopes shouldn’t be limited to 4:00 pm? Neither do we! Which is why we are offering Night Skiing on the Mighty Moose December 22nd to 24th and December 26th through to January 5th.
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. Uptracking Guided Tours available every Saturday will take you through a beautiful forested trail to the Bear’s Den where delicious hot beverages can be had. Then after all that hard work and exercise, head back to Cirque and reward yourself with a cocktail. For a chill Saturday activity between 7:30 and 8:30 am, why not enjoy a Stretch and Warm Up at Lizard Creek Lodge before you hit the slopes? Nordic Sundays are 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. Craving even more exercise? 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.
Our fantastic Griz Kidz program continues on New Year’s Eve, where activities such as a pizza and dance party, games, snacks and a movie are happening all night long! Two options are available for this evening of fun; drop the kiddies off early at 6:00 pm, or drop them off a little later at 9:30 pm. This event is completely supervised by our Winter Sports School staff and runs until 12:30 am.
Help your kiddos develop their passion for sliding on snow by signing up for our Ski and Snowboard Camp, January 1st to the 4th!
Enter the New Year with a BANG by joining us in the base area for a multitude of family activities, followed by a wondrous fireworks display presented by TELUS! All activities are free and no reservations are required. But don’t stop there! Bring in the New Year with a party at Cirque Restaurant with local band, Cold Cuts! The Griz Bar is ringing in 2019 with live music from our favourite New Year’s Eve band, the Todd Band, and Legends Mountain Eatery will be bringing in a party like it’s 1999!
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 Events at FAR 2018-19!
For Guest Services contact: 250-423-2435 or [email protected]
For Winter Sports School contact: 250-423-2406 or [email protected]
The act of sliding on snow is a mystical experience. It is a romance that only those captivated by its spell can truly understand. It can go beyond infatuation, beyond addiction, beyond reason, and in some cases, beyond the realm of impossible. It connects us to ourselves, it connects us to each other, it connects us to nature. Once you are drawn in, it is a lifelong passion. We sought out a variety of individuals, united by the love of sliding on snow, to find out just what gets their hearts beating this season.
The coming of a new season will rekindle the flame for adrenaline junkies and fun-seekers alike. An unmistakable flame resides in the heart of Greg ‘G-Money’ Barrow, a man whose local fame needs no introduction. Greg is a magnetic character whose Southern Swagger is iconic. Why G-Money? In the days of his youth, Greg delved into the world of basketball; and when making a shot the crowds would chant ‘MONEY!!’ Not what you expected hey…?
With the concept of carrying ski poles being a put off, G-Money took to snowboarding in 1982, and after traveling across North America he took the advice of his friend and hero, Craig Kelly, and opened Fernie’s local snowboarding haven Edge Of The World. Why build a whole lifestyle around snowboarding? “Because of the feeling,” said Greg as he flashed his charming smile. “You can’t get that feeling anywhere else.” So, what makes G-Money stand out from the crowd? Besides sporting the latest and greatest snowboards, Greg holds 18 consecutive first chair victories at Fernie Alpine Resort. We could tell you what it takes for Greg to snag first chair every year, but we are sworn to secrecy by The Griz himself. We CAN tell you only a snow-lover could commit themselves the way Greg has. Even though Greg wonders if a brave challenger will ever present themselves, his title still goes undefeated and at the grand age of 70 he once again found himself the first in line on opening day this season.
What makes a group of 10 and 11-year olds leave the comfort of their beds at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday? The hope of winning first chair at Fernie Alpine Resort does! This season we have to highlight the spirit and enthusiasm of brothers Will and Ben Johnson and friend Tain Prentice, who were sitting proudly with G-Money on first chair. Only slightly less enthusiastic, Ben and Will’s father, Mr. Johnson, described the new season as “The Year of the Dad” and is very pumped to be giving his well-deserved new skis a try. He went on to say, “There are a lot of reasons why I love skiing, but the elimination of distraction and just being able to let work and life go, being able to crank it up and feel the wind on your face. I don’t know, there is nothing else like it.” Lined-up on opening day were hundreds of skiers and snowboarders who felt the same and were eager to welcome in a new season.
But what happens when chasing a feeling becomes a matter of life and death? Caleb Brown, a born and bred local and avid skier, knows these consequences all too well. Caleb starts his account ominously by saying, “We thought it would be fine, even though there were signs that it wasn’t.” March 21st, 2017, Caleb was caught in an avalanche that flung his body down a mountainside for over a kilometer. Having luckily lived to tell the tale, no one would have been surprised if he had given up skiing forever. But for Caleb, the sport is more than just skiing, it’s an addiction to adrenaline that dictates his every move. “There’s nothing like it,” Caleb said with a sparkle in his eye. “It is as close as you can get to flying without ever leaving the ground.” For Caleb, nothing brings him more joy than being on skis, in the woods, with snow falling around him. The feeling Caleb chases was too valuable to leave behind, so the season following the avalanche he found a new perspective and passion – skiing bigger lines than he has ever skied before. This season will look a little differently for Caleb, knowing he can hit those lines is finally enough, as in the end what really matters most is that he is here to continue to experience what he loves with his friends and family by his side.
The intoxicating feeling of sliding on snow is something that can be felt and appreciated at any age. Someone who was brought up skiing will often have family or friends who have cultivated that seed, as was the case for Krista Turcasso. Krista was taught to ski at the early age of 3 years old by a close family friend. Though originally involved in ski racing, Krista’s interests were turned to all-mountain skiing and the draw of finding solitude within white snowy peaks. The almost hypnotic feeling of floating on powder is something Krista finds exhilarating, but not to be overshadowed by experiencing skiing through the eyes of her daughters. Some of the many reasons why Krista enjoys time on the mountain include, “Creating that passion…Skiing is something you can have for a lifetime. To create something my family can do together and to see the girls get so excited about… [pushing] themselves to accomplish something – there’s nothing like it.” Krista, who taught her daughters to ski from the tender age of 18 months old, goes on to describe one of her favourite memories as watching her daughter discover powder for the first time and the absolute thrill of her disappearing skis! Krista and family are very excited for the season and all the adventures and memories they will create this year.
So, what’s the big deal about sliding on snow? As the snow enthusiasts throughout our blog have said, “THERE IS JUST NOTHING LIKE IT!” We can’t wait to see how you will celebrate SNOW-FUN with us this season! What made you fall in love with skiing or snowboarding? Let us know in the comments below!!
Let’s get straight to the point; winter tends to overstay its welcome. With major snowstorms lasting into April earlier this year, Mother Nature definitely took longer than expected to bestow warmer temperatures upon us Canadians.
Living in this wonderful, snowy nation, there are some crucial lessons to learn in order to thrive in the ‘Great White North’. Most importantly, is realizing the importance of making the best of your environment and conditions (especially the long winter months we so often endure).
Our initial instincts are to stay warm and cozy during blizzard-stricken months, huddled indoors with blankets, warm drinks, a crackling fire and taking in an unhealthy amount of Netflix, while silently praying that our neighbour or significant other will shovel the walkway. Winters have such great potential though, why surrender such glorious opportunities to see the remarkable beauty Canada boasts in its backyard?
Exploring the outdoors throughout all four of our Canadian seasons is a revitalizing experience for us, which should be taken advantage of to refresh our frame of mind. It’s a chance to discover new adventures just a snowball’s throw away. We’re all familiar with making the most of warm temperatures during the summer months with patio season and backyard lounging in full swing. The winter landscape can be just as inspiring too, when given the chance.
If you need more convincing, here are a few of Canada’s premiere winter activity destinations:
Fernie, British Columbia
The shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs along 2nd Avenue in Fernie are some of the Canadian Rockies’ hidden gems, with surrounding mountain peaks looming over the glow of its downtown streets.
Located just down the road, Fernie Alpine Resort is home to some of Canada’s most legendary powder, with an average snowfall of 30ft. From epic downhill skiing to leisurely snowshoe and groomed cross-country skiing trails, the resort has activities for the whole family. It also offers plenty of weekly programs to get you outside and even yoga classes to help you find your winter Zen. Their on-mountain accommodations along with a local shuttle to town make for a perfect introduction to Canada’s winter activities.
Kimberley, British Columbia
If you’re looking for a classic mountain town, you’ve found it. The town of Kimberley embodies the Canadian spirit with humble, welcoming locals and a relentless passion for nature. Kimberley is home to craft beers, great local dining, the oldest building in Canada and a variety of activities to enjoy outside.
With stunning scenery of the Kootenay mountains, Kimberley Alpine Resort is just minutes from town and offers great facilities and terrain for people of all skiing and snowboarding ability levels – from first-timers to seasoned slope shredders. Looking to stay on level ground? Try the area’s expansive snowshoe trails, cross-country skiing network or check out fat biking, one of North America’s favourite new activities (mountain bikes with wider tires for better grip in snow conditions).
Golden, British Columbia
One of the most famed locations along the Powder Highway, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and the town of Golden are conveniently located along the TransCanada Highway and ready to provide you a mountain experience like no other. Drop into Whitetooth Brewing Co. for locally crafted beers, or the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre for an up-close learning session with these amazing animals.
Delving deeper into nature, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offers Canada’s highest dining experience, the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at 7,700ft. Once you’re fueled up, hit the slopes of the Catamount Chair to learn the basics on your skis or snowboard, or bring your little ones to the tube park and natural ice rink at the base of the resort. Advanced skiers head to the top via the gondola for wide ranging bowls, ridges and chutes. If staying grounded is your preference, Golden is primed with world-class snowmobiling, along with plenty of rentals and tours available.
Life’s too short – and winters are too long – to miss out on a lifetime of adventure. Let winter activities revitalize your soul and help you look forward to the inevitable snowfalls each year. Meet Mother Nature halfway on this one and discover how rewarding Canada’s winter climates can truly be.
Who could have known that the first ever Dirty Dancer Banked Slalom event would be as successful as it was? Every snowboarder in town of course!
This event was special for many reasons but perhaps the biggest reason was that it really brought the snowboarding community of Fernie together in a fun, passionate and meaningful way. Between the local board shops sponsoring the event, locals of all ages hand digging the course for a week before the actual race and the high energy and support for riders of all ages and genders on race day, we couldn’t have asked for a better inaugural event day!
The event was fully sold out at 100 riders (with another 40+ on the waitlist) divided into various categories. Boarders got two timed runs down the banked slalom course which took place in the Dancer gully in Lizard Bowl at Fernie Alpine Resort.
Race day kicked off with the wee rippers of Fernie! We had 4 boys and 2 girl groms who absolutely slayed the course, all while looking adorably small compared to the giant berms they were riding!
Then we moved into the Open category. Since Banked Slalom events have their roots in the very beginning of snowboard culture when boarders were banned from most ski resorts, it’s important to celebrate riders of all skill levels. The open category was meant for riders who are just trying out racing and are out to have some fun and test their skills! First we saw the open women’s category, follow up by the open men’s.
Next up were the big boys and girls… the Men’s and Women’s Pro category. These racers really knew what they were doing, most of them clocking the course in under a minute! Due to huuuuge interest from the snowboarding men of Fernie, we split the Men’s Pro into three categories based on age, 19-29 went first, then the 30-39 year olds and finally the Master’s Division for those seasoned veterans of 40+!
Throughout the day, spectators either cheered from the sidelines of the course or enjoyed the view (along with a beer and burger) from the Bear’s Den where the DJ and announcer were stationed, making the energy high and infectious!
All in all we could not have asked for a better event and want to send a massive thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. That includes Commit Snow & Skate, Edge of the World, Boardstiff Snow Skate & Surf, everyone who helped dig and shape the course, all the volunteers on the day of who made things run smoothly, the timers, the forerunners, and everyone who signed up or came to watch! We can’t wait to make this event a Fernie staple and to keep celebrating the awesome community of snowboarders in the Elk Valley. You guys rule!
Interested in seeing event results? Click here: https://3atdoe9h52s12e9hqcxdp3ah-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Dirty-Dancer-Results.pdf
Want to see some photos from the event? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FernieAlpineResort/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10160258524730367