We at Fernie Alpine Resort have not always been graced with the excellent snow conditions we now enjoy. Not until recently did we come to realize how we became the beneficiary of some of the best packed and powder conditions in Western Canada.
As the legend goes, a baby boy was born back in the year 1879 amid a cruel and bitter winter. It is said that the baby was born in a grizzly bear’s cave high in the mountains. Sometime later the resident bear awoke, mean and ravenously hungry. A terrible battle ensued between the two – one fighting for his life and the other for his dinner.
Well folks, as the story continues, the town’s people went into the mountain that very next day to discover the source of all the noise from the previous night. They looked high and low on the mountain, then known as Snow Valley. Once one of the men thought he saw a little boy wearing a bear coat and hat nimbly leaping from rock to rock on the lofty peaks. His friends all laughed at him and jokingly accused him of seeing things, and the incident was soon forgotten.
Recently, some of our avid ski-tourers were ascending the peaks above the Resort Area in the midst of a massive snowstorm. While taking a short breather, they happened to glance upward upon the peak they were climbing. There on the very summit stood the most fantastic sight. While of standard height, this man had shoulders six feet wide and carried an enormous musket eight feet long! The bulk of this man’s 300 lbs. was made to look even more impressive by the bristly grizzly coat he wore. A bear hat was pulled down, shadowing his eyes. As the skiers watched, he stood shooting that giant musket into the clouds and still more snow fell from the clouds. This, of course, delighted the skiers who loved that particular brand of powder snow.
The skiers schussed down the mountain and excitedly told everyone they met of their experience. Some of the town’s elders remembered the sighting of a little grizzly-clad boy so long ago, and the discovery of massive bare-footed tracks high upon the snow-covered peaks.
In recognition and admiration of the man who became known as “GRIZ”, the town’s people held a festival all week. Sporting events, competitions, parades and gatherings marked the gala week. The citizen who best embodied the spirit of “Griz” through that week was made honorary Griz for the rest of the year. To this day this festival continues every February in tribute to our powder king. The best powder and packed snow conditions in the west also continue to blanket our mountains.
This winter, you owe it to yourself; come and experience legendary ski conditions.
Come and Experience the Legend!