A typical powder day in Fernie, BC
All winter long, you methodically check in with Ron Lakeman of Fernie Alpine Resort’s Alpine Weather Report (he’s the man, and he’s honest), and it’s looking extremely good for the next couple of days. The storm is on its way, and it has the potential to be big. Like, Champagne Tuesday big.
After work, you head on home and prepare your things.
“Hmmm, if I get to the hill by 8am, I can grab first chair and ski hard for a couple of hours and make it back to my desk before noon.”
Perfect. You have a nice dinner, periodically checking the forecast and weather outside, and decide to head to bed at a reasonable hour to ensure you’re at your best in the morning… but the falling snow glowing in the street lights just outside your window has you too excited, and by 6am you’re checking the Griz Plot Mountain Cam on Skifernie.com… and that’s all it takes. The 10-15 is easily 30cm+, and the stoke is way up. The coffee is on, you call in your Big Bang Bagel to pick up en route, and get ready to go.
The early bird not only gets the worm, but also the parking space. You know exactly where you’re headed, and meet a few like-minded and familiar people as you buckle your boots and take the short downhill traverse to your lift of choice. Having grown up in this valley, the Old Side is where you’re headed as you’ve been skiing it since you were three and know well how and where it holds snow on any given powder day.
The ride up the Bear Chair is silent with anticipation, not a line can be seen in the pristine runs below, and your mind is busy with plans on how to execute the next two hours of heaven. Cedar is only open from the ridge, so you decide to ski PS I Love You to Boom… and it’s definitely the right choice. The crystal flakes kiss your face, and your own laughter and breath reach your ears. Then it’s Cedar Ridge, and Linda’s Run, and….. Cedar is open! You arrive just in time and help to put in the traverse to Steep and Deep…. When you get fresh tracks on this pitch, you know you’ve played the morning well and that it couldn’t get much better. You have just enough time for a couple of more laps on Snake, and then happily make your way across the mountain. Perfection.
There is really no better start to the day, and it looks like tomorrow will be much the same… you’ve checked in with Ron, just to be sure.
Checking your Ski Equipment now is very important for many reasons, here are the 3 top reasons;
FAQ: I get asked all the time ‘Why should I check my Ski Equipment, as I’m not a great skier and spend lots of time on the beginner slopes with kids…”
My Answer: I always say try these- once you try new skis you are on cloud nine. Technology advancements, ski shape, size are some of the many reasons the new skis really do make a difference. You owe it to yourself as it will enhance your skiing skills, make skiing easier and give you more control on the slopes.
FAQ: I have a pair of skis in the garage- is it okay to use them?
My Answer: The key here is check the bindings- visit your local ski shop or most ski resorts have tune up shops in the rental areas as well. If you live in Calgary visit your local ski shop like the new Sporting Life store located in Southcentre mall to have a pro look at the bindings to make sure they still are in good shape and meet current binding standards.
FAQ: Do I really need to check the condition of the bases and edges of my skis?
My Answer: Now I don’t get my skis tuned all that regularly as I ski mostly in soft, powder snow. But if you are visiting ski resorts that have hard snow or icy conditions regularly then you should definitely get your skis tuned more often.
Ski towns are generally run on a couple of simple rules;
There are no friends on a powder day
The 20cm rule (cms may vary by town)
To put it another way, ski towns are run by snow. And lots of it. Those epic powder days that ski bums dream of. Those drool worthy runs where you feel as if you’re literally floating through the snow. Those moments longed for with snow hitting you all the way up to your face. YES! Your face. We don’t let opportunities like those pass us by in a ski town, hence why when Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort receive 20cms or more of snow in a short period of time, it’s not uncommon to see ‘gone riding’ signs posted on closed shop doors and why there isn’t even time to give your friends a call before heading up to the resort – every man for themselves! After all, that’s why we choose to live here – why haven’t you?
Here are some of our best envy inducing recent powder moment. What are yours? Tell us about it in the comments.
Are you kidding me?
All the pow
I can’t even..
To die for
This is too much
It’s not even fair
Can I get a snorkel over here?
That’s it. I’m done.
Wake me when it’s winter.
Photos by Brad Lorriman, Robin Siggers, Powder Matt and Abbydell Photography
Our winter Early Bird season pass sale ends on Saturday, June 25th, order your season pass or multi week ski school lesson online through the RCR Webstore before the deadline for the best savings of next season.
Don’t forget about those lessons! Get the kids in multi week programs or sign up for one yourself and brush up on skills. Kids & Teen lessons available as well as Ladies Clubs, the Breakfast Club and more for adults. View and buy ski school programs through the RCR Webstore.
NEW this year buy a $500 Food & Beverage card for just $399 when purchased with your season pass! Find out more about this new Member Benefit and all the others on the RCR Webstore.
That’s what the experts are saying. And while many people across Canada may be rolling their eyes, for winter outdoor enthusiasts it’s music to their ears.
What is La Nina anyways?
La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. (According to Wikipedia)
Okay, but what does that really mean?
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada – “In B.C. there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. A little cooler, a little bit more snow..”
Read more about what exactly La Nina means and more from Dave Phillips on the CBC website.
For a longer and even more scientific explanation of La Nina visit the Weather Network website.
La Nina = Happy Skiers & Snowboarders
Don’t forget to order your Fernie Season Pass before the end of the Early Bird Season pass sale on June 25th – order online through the RCR webstore now!
Grom Snowboard (15 and under)
1st: Jordan Webber
2nd: Stone Fichter
Men’s Snowboard (16 and over)
1st: Richard Hoeksena
2nd: John Graham
3rd: Luke Meeds
1st: Evy Conn
Grom Ski (15 and under)
1st: Sam Goodison
2nd: Kale Wenzlawe
3rd: Shaw Miles
Men’s Ski (16 and over)
1st: Brayden Detta
2nd: Jessy Collings
3rd: Erik Halliwell
1st: Ivy Wright
2nd: Nell Smith
3rd Amy Shipley
Congratulations to everyone!
Thanks to all of our volunteers, competitors and sponsors for participating!!
1. Get Fit
It’s on everyone’s list! Did you know that you can burn more than 350 calories per hour just by skiing or boarding? Make the healthy choice and get out on the hill more often this year!
2. Improve your skills and perfect your powder turns
Our Winter Sports School offers a great variety of programs for everyone from beginners to experts, kids and adults. Steep and Deep Camps, Learn to Ski/Snowboard, Kid’s Adventure Camps, Specialized Coaching and so much more! Check out https://skifernie.com/rentals-lessons/telus-winter-sports-school/ for a full list of the programs available.
3. Make new friends
Start a conversation with your fellow lift riders. Who knows? You might find a new riding buddy or carpool companion!
4. Get ready for the backcountry
We offer an area to practice your beacon searching skills on the hill (take the White Pass chair to Upper Heartland and follow the signs). Avalanche Awareness Day at FAR is Saturday, January 16th; Come and learn from the Fernie Ski Patrol about staying safe this winter. Outfit yourself with a selection of avalanche safety gear at the Sports Alpine Retail Shop. Take an avalanche course through College of the Rockies or other local course providers.
5. Ski new hills
Fernie Alpine Resort is located on the Powder Highway, with lots of ski hills to be found nearby. Check out our sister resorts: Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Nakiska Ski Area for a great variety of terrain.
6. Upgrade your gear
Pick up a new pair of goggles, an extra jacket or a better base layer. We offer a selection of soft and hard goods at Sports Alpine Retail Shop. You can also demo some of our High Performance gear from the rental shop to help you make an informed decision on your next big purchase.
7. Pamper yourself
The Spa at Lizard Creek Lodge offers a full menu of spa treatments and massages. Finish off the evening with a fine dining experience at Cirque Restaurant. Head to http://lizardcreek.com/ for more information.
8. Try something new
There are many on-snow activities available at Fernie Alpine Resort. Head to the rental shop to try fat biking, grab a pair of snow shoes or cross-country skis and hit the trails. https://skifernie.com/rentals-lessons/rentals/
9. Get first tracks
Be the first ones up the chairlift and carve the fresh snow with our First Tracks program. Register by 4:45 the night before, and you can leave your trail for everyone else to be jealous of.
10. Experience True Après Ski
Head up to the Legendary Griz Bar for a pint with your friends after the last run of the day, or visit the new Ice Bar at Lizard Creek Lodge for an exclusive Vodka tasting experience.
Written by Jordan Johnson
Photos: Robin Siggers, Nick Nault, FAR Patrol, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Nakiska Ski Area, Jordan Johnson