Fernie and Fernie Alpine Resort Winter Season
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
Fernie has always been strong in community spirit. The majority of people that you ask in town will tell you that they moved here for the snow but stayed for the community. When the threat of COVID-19 first arrived in Fernie, it didn’t take long for the townsfolk to stand up. We have come together and, through many community initiatives, to support those in need, the best we can.
Help If You Need It
The taskforce, Elk Valley COVID Support Team, was created to help keep our community stay safe by minimizing social contact while providing essential physical, emotional, and spiritual support to those who are isolated or quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They aim to ensure people’s essential needs are taken care of including:
– Picking up and delivering groceries and medications
– Emotional support through phone call check-ins
– Pastoral care such as pastoral counselling, prayer and grief support
You can visit their website www.evcst.com for more information, to volunteer or donate.
I love seeing all of the brilliant ways our local businesses have come up with to move their stores online, by phone order, and even providing delivery.
Many of our restaurants are now offering take out services and freezer meals. If you are able, this is a great way to continue to contribute to the local economy and take the worry out of what’s for dinner tonight.
Fernie Catering Co has been curating goods from the local food community to create Artisan Food Baskets. They are amazing! What’s included changes every time, but you can follow along on their Facebook page to grab one for yourself and support local businesses.
Shred Kelly hosts a weekly Saturday Night Cocktail Party on Facebook Live. Every week features different musical guests, and for one hour, they shower us with good times, funny chat and great music.
We may be a small city, but we have a mighty music scene, and these talented artists are working hard to continue to bring live music to our ears.
It’s a wonderful way to feel a sense of togetherness, have a virtual drink with your buddies, get the kids dancing, and feel like you ‘did something’ on a Saturday night!
The Stream Fernie – Online Events Calendar Facebook page is a great resource that has brought all of the live streaming events, activities, parties, classes, etc. together in one place. From trivia to online exercise classes and library programs, everyone is sure to find the next fun event to attend.
Can you hear the cheers and horns? From Isabella Dicken Elementary’s teacher parade to the Fernie Birthday Train, you will often see, or hear, the spirit of the community. Having a birthday in isolation can be lonely, so the Fernie Birthday Train is rallying members of the community to join in and help make everyone feel special on their big day.
They also organise drive-by appreciation for our essential workers to show gratitude and love by driving by our grocery stores, hospital, ambulance and police station. What an awesome bunch of people!
Lifting spirits is so important during this uncertain time and I love seeing so many windows (on both houses and businesses) adorned with posters and decorations that do just that. I especially love seeing The Loaf’s window display which was painted by the Gadd family. It is a great way to put a smile on your face.
Need More Info?
Tourism Fernie has a list of our local businesses stating whether they are open, closed or have adjusted hours and online/pick-up purchase options. You can find it here.
It is inspiring to see how we can band together and bring strength and hope to the town.
Brighter days are coming.
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