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Notification Alert

SUMMER MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Fernie Alpine Resort

Introduction

Mountain biking, hiking, and other activities that take place at Fernie Alpine Resort involve the risk of injury. The information contained in the Safety and Risk Awareness section of this website is intended to inform you of the risks, dangers, and hazards that you may encounter at a resort area and help you to stay safe while enjoying these activities. Whether you are a participant in these activities or a parent or guardian of a minor participant, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the Safety and Risk Awareness information on this page.

Emergency Line

Bike Patrol

If you require assistance from bike patrol on the mountain, dial 1 (250)-423-2426

Exclusion of Liability - Assumption of Risks (mountain biking, hiking, sightseeing)

The use of resort area premises and facilities and participation in activities at resort areas involves various risks, dangers, and hazards. It is a condition of your use of the premises and facilities that your participation in these activities that you assume all risk of personal injury, death, or property loss resulting from any cause whatsoever, including negligence, breach of contract, or breach of any duty of care on the part of the resort area operator. Your legal responsibility as a user of the resort area premises and facilities or participant activities at the resort area is explained in the following notice, which you will see posted at the resort area.

Mountain Biking, Hiking & Sightseeing

Mountain biking, hiking, sightseeing and other mountain activities involve various risks, dangers, and hazards including, but not limited to the following:

  • Changing weather conditions;
  • Exposed rock, roots, and other natural objects;
  • Trees, tree stumps, and forest deadfall;
  • Variation in the terrain may create blind spots or areas of reduced visibility;
  • Variation in the surface or sub-surface;
  • Cliffs, overhangs, and other exposed areas;
  • Snowcat roads, road banks or cut banks;
  • Collision with lift towers, fences, vehicles, equipment, or structures;
  • Encounters with domestic and wild animals including dogs, and bears;
  • Collision with other persons;
  • Loss of balance or control; slips, trips and falls;
  • Accidents during mountain bike lessons;
  • Negligent first aid;
  • Failure to act safely or within one’s own ability or to stay within designated areas;
  • Negligence of other persons; and NEGLIGENCE ON THE PART OF THE OPERATOR and its directors, officers, employees, instructors, agents, representatives, volunteers, independent contractors, sub contractors, sponsors, successors and assigns.

Mountain Biker's Responsibility Code

The Mountain Bike Responsibility Code provides the basic rules of conduct and must be followed by using all the terrain, and is consistent across all Resort Areas of Western Canada.

  • Ride in control and within your ability level
  • Protect yourself
  • Do not ride if your ability or judgement is impaired by drugs, alcohol, or fatigue
  • Inspect and maintain your bike
  • Obey signs and warnings
  • Inspect trails and features
  • Be lift smart
  • Look out for others
  • Be visible
  • Cooperate

Lift Safety

If unfamiliar with a lift’s operation, first watch others and learn, or ask for assistance.

  • Slow down before approaching the entrance to a lift
  • Have your lift ticket visible to the ticket checker
  • Obey all posted instructions
  • Load and unload only at designated areas
  • Remove backpacks and camel-backs before riding chairlifts
  • Always lower safety bar
  • Do not swing or rock the chairlift
  • If you fall while loading off the lift, keep your head down and crawl quickly out of the way
  • Remove headsets before reaching the lift-loading
  • Make certain no loose clothing or backpacks are caught in the lift before unloading
  • Remove stereo headsets before reaching the lift loading and unloading platform
  • If lift stops or moves backwards, never attempt to jump off
  • Move quickly away from the unloading area
  • Children under 4'7" must be accompanied by an adult on the chairlift.
  • Young children must be accompanied by an adult and must be capable of walking on their own in order to ride the chairlift.  When adults are riding a lift with small children, please help them load and unload. Do not allow them to ride the lift alone. You are responsible for your children and their actions.

Relative Trail Difficulty

Mountain bikers should be advised that a Green Circle, Blue Square, Black or Double Black Diamond trail at Fernie Alpine Resort is not necessarily the same as a similarly rated trail at another resort. The system is a relative system that is only valid at this area. Bikers should work their way up, beginning with the easiest trails, no matter what their ability level may be, until they are familiar with the trails at this area.

Marking, Flagging, Fencing

Be advised that all poles and/or flags, fencing, signage, padding, equipment or objects or other forms of marking devices are used by the resort area to inform you of the presence or location of a potential obstacle or hazard. These markers are no guarantee of your safety and will not protect you from injury. It is your responsibility under the Mountain Biker's Responsibility Code to avoid all obstacles or hazards, including those that are marked.

Drones or UAV's

Personal or recreational use of Drones or UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) are NOT permitted at any time within the Fernie Alpine Resort Area Boundary and/or village.

Carrying Children

Fernie Alpine Resort does not allow guests to bike while carrying infants in any type of backpack or baby carrier. Guests who are riding the chairlift (to sightsee/hike only) are allowed to carry children.  Please refer to the Lift Safety section for information on riding the chairlift with children.

Alpine Precautions

Always wear sunscreen, sunglasses/goggles, and a hat, even on cloudy days. Wear proper clothing and appropriate footwear for complex alpine terrain. Hiking at elevation is hard work, make sure to carry water and stay hydrated. Pack our what you pack in, INCLUDING biodegradables that can attract animals.

Lightning/Severe Weather Safety Protocols

On days when there is a risk of thunderstorms, guests will be alerted and asked to take caution and keep a close watch. In situations where the lightning is close by, the chairlift loading will be paused while the storm passes by. The chairlift operation will resume when the thunder/lightning activity in the area has stopped. Weather is known to change quickly in the mountains so be prepared for a quick change in weather. Guests who are on mountain during severe weather should seek shelter, or safely make their way to the base of the resort or top of the chairlift.

Wildlife Awareness

  • Be advised that Fernie Alpine Resort is home to a variety of wildlife, including bears, moose, deer, elk and cougars. Please do not approach, feed or disturb the wildlife on resort.
  • Bears are commonly seen around the resort, having a good understanding of Bear Awareness and how to react if you encounter one is extremely important. Please advise our lift operations team if you spot a bear or other wildlife that may become a hazard to other guests.
  • For information on how to stay safe in wildlife country, please visit the WildSafeBC website.
Quick Bear Safety Tips

Do not run: Bears can easily outrun humans.  By running you may trigger an attack.  Pick up small children and when possible, stay in a group.  Back away slowly and speak softly.
Give the bear space:  Back away slowly and talk in a soft voice.  Do not approach the bear or make eye contact.
Leave the area or make a wide detour:  If you cannot leave, wait until the bear moves out of the way and ensure that the bear has an escape route.
If the bear rears up on its hind legs:  It is curious and trying to see you or catch your scent better.  It is not a sign of aggression.  Back away slowly and talk softly.
Watch for aggressive behaviors:  A bear may display aggression by swinging its head from side to side; making vocalizations such as huffs, snorts, whoops, or moans; displaying teeth or claws; jaw popping; swatting at the ground; staring with eye contact; panting; or laying it's ears back. These behaviours usually indicate that the bear is stressed, acting defensively, and asking for more space.  Attacks rarely follow, but this is a warning to leave the area.

Safety Signage

Closed

This sign indicates that the following trail is CLOSED. Trails may be close for several reasons such as trees have fallen onto the trail, ditches or holes have rendered the trail unsafe, race or other events are taking place, or perhaps machinery is operating. Lift access privileges will be revoked for entering these areas when posted as closed. PASSES WILL BE REVOKED FOR BREACH.

Merge

This sign indicates that other trail(s) are about to merge ahead. When you see this sign be cautious and keep an eye out for bikers coming from the other trail.

 

Caution*

This sign indicates that the terrain ahead requires extra attention. This may be due to a change in higher complex terrain, exposed hazards, higher consequence areas, and any other hazards that may be a danger if not properly handled.

Road Traffic

This sign indicates that the trail you are currently on is about to intersect with a maintenance road. Before crossing, look both ways and be sure that no maintenance vehicles are coming.

 

Mountain Biking Safety

Children of 5 years of age & under are not permitted in the bike park. Children between 6 and 12 years of age must be accompanied by a parent / legal guardian (18 years of age or older) or be registered in a Mountain Biking program. The parent or guardian must sign the Bike Park waiver for the Child.

In case you encounter a situation that requires the bike patrol, please contact them at 250-423-2426.

Fernie Alpine Resort follows the Canada West Ski Area Association (CWSAA) bike responsibility code which strongly recommends the use of proper safety gear when Downhill Mountain Biking. The best protection from abrasions are properly fitted full-faced helmet, gloves, long pants, long sleeves, leg armour, arm armour and solid running shoes. Protective gear is available to rent at the Fernie Alpine Resort Rental Shop.

Be aware of wildlife and report all sightings and encounters to the nearest staff member. Always ensure that your mountain bike is in good working condition, and carry the gear required for minor repairs to your bike, and/or replace a flat tire. If you are unsure, our repair staff would be happy to assist you.

Please note: Our staff reserve the right to refuse access based on weather, trail conditions, quality of guest equipment (see below) and/or a combination of these factors.

What To Wear

Mandatory

  • Helmet
  • Mountain Bike with front suspension (suspension exceptions may be made for junior bikes if the parent/guardian is familiar with appropriate trails)
  • Mountain Bike with disc brakes & 20″ wheels on junior bikes, or 26″ wheels on adult bikes
  • Closed-Toe Shoes

Recommended

  • Full Face Helmet
  • Full Suspension mountain bike with hydraulic disc breaks (suspension exceptions may be made for junior bikes if the parent/guardian is familiar with appropriate trails)
  • Gloves, long pants, long sleeves
  • Proper leg, arm and chest armour
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