Our Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew have been working non stop on our trails in anticipation of opening this Saturday, check out what’s going on and get stoked to ride the bike park this summer!
With the recent glading in upper tree island under the Elk Chair, the start of Mr Berms has been moved off the open ski run into this tree island with a brand new section of trail – machine made with wide flowy berms, mellow grade, suitable for all abilities.
New Green Trail
Our trail crew is busy working on a connection off Mr. Berms and going to base. The new trail will hopefully be called Duff Dynasty. Look forward to wide, machine-made, mellow, fun berms and rollers though cedar forests on this new trail.
Ben’s Big Rig
Ben’s Big Rig is being re-machined thoughout, berms and transitions re-shaped, and a new traverse at the Elk top to eliminate need to ride down summer road.
L’il Miss Buff It
The singletrack off Cedar Trail (built 2 years ago) is now rebuffed and named “L’il Miss Buff It. The goal is to eventually connect this trail with Hobbits Trail for the ultimate beginner loop (Boom-Cedar-L’il Miss Buff It-Hobbit Trail-Base).
And There’s More!
• New connector from Mr. Berms to Hornet
• New connector from TNT to Bin Logdin (no uphill pedaling on the road)
• Double Creek and Far Out now a multi-use trail (hike and bike)
• Re-tune on mid-Rumplestumpskin in progress
• Bike Thief below Diamond Back corner was re-worked last fall before the BC Cup race…riders can enjoy it this season!
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt” – Margaret Atwood
This is the time of year where dirt is everywhere. It stows away in pant cuffs, boots, coat pockets, travels into trucks, washing machines, stains the floor of your shower, and somehow even manages to find its way into that delicious P B & J sandwich you brought for lunch. Escape is futile as we decidedly surrender the battle of cleanliness in exchange for battling time, Mother Nature, and host of other challenges to bring you Legendary Summer 2014 at Fernie Alpine Resort.
With just one week left until opening day on June 28th, we are feeling the crunch. After a week with some sort of rain almost every day, our trails were a soupy mess with the new cuts specifically being totally unworkable. Instead, we spent our time amping up high traffic favorites like Top Gun and Bin Logdin, and rebuilding the berms and widening the upper section of Ben’s Big Rig. Now with a weekend of sunshine and warm temperatures under our belt, we can move forward to put the final touches on the all new sections of Mr. Berms and Duff Dynasty, albeit a week later that planned.
We were able to plow the road to the Timber Chair unload last Thursday…a momentous occasion when you consider that we had over 4 meters of settled snowpack this winter. Our Bike Crew, the Saw Crew, Mechanics, Cat Drivers, Carpenters, and Millwrights labored away to ensure we can deliver the dark side on opening weekend. The uppermost section of Timber sidetrack will remain closed for now (still completely buried under snow) but riders can expect to have Rumplestumpskin from the 100% road to base, Bike Thief from top to bottom, and TNT from the four way intersection with Rumplestumpskin (above the White Pass Load). There will be occasional snow, and there is still much work to do but we figure that the stoke factor may blur some of those blemishes as your slay your favorite Timber trails for the first time ever on opening weekend.
The final countdown is among us. I, for one, can’t wait for the day when I am moving less dirt and riding more of it. I hope you fellow Loam Rangers are also dreaming about crushing berms, dreaming of some new trail combo’s, or sampling some of our new trail improvements. Just a reminder that as part of the Fernie Trail Alliance Roll and Sole Trail Festival, the resort will be hosting a DH race on opening Saturday. For more information or to register check out the events section of our webpage www.skifernie.com/summer . In the meantime, we have got lots more dirt to move. See you in five days.
Your Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew
Bless me Bike Park for I have sinned, it has been one week since my last Trail Crew Confession. We have been bombarded this week with requests for the inside scoop on what has been happening in the Bike Park. It feels like a public flogging some days but I assure you, it is not sloth, we are just toiling away with our heads down, eyes on the prize only a short few days away. We are proud to say this will be the most legendary summer at Fernie Alpine Resort yet.
The Bike Crew set forth unto the mountain this week with a solid schedule of machine and hand work but our plans quickly changed. Unfortunately, we were plagued by machine issues and lost a few discouraging days waiting for parts. Rising above our wrath, the time out enabled our crew to chase the Timber side snowline. Our alpine trails are usually out of consideration this early in the season as deep snowpack and heavy blow down can take weeks to mitigate. But, with newly found “free time”, we headed up, shovels and snow pants in hand. Discouragement soon turned to lusting about rousing these epic trails back to life from their winter sleep and we began digging. The drier sections received some detailed buffing, with most of our focus being on the middle section of Rumplestumpskin. Looks like we will be able to offer TNT, Rumplestumpskin, and Bike Thief for the first time ever on opening weekend.
As we speak, the mini hoe is back in service and working in the rain to cut the last new stretch on Mr. Berms. What now looks like a swath of destruction will start coming together this week as hand crews move in to shape the lips and berms. A sneak peak at the new work left the Bike Team wiping drool from our dirt stained faces, lusting on who will get the first ride. We love a loamy single track descent here at Fernie Alpine Resort, but this new machine made trail will be manageable for less confident riders to access Eville and Honey Bee yet will still allow advanced riders to “flow and show” their way to base.
The crew has also been greedily fixing a few of our own personal arch nemesis sections of trail – confident that if it bugs us – it bugs you too. There is a small route change to the Deer Trail around a previously rooty and eroded fall line section. We continue to pick away at repairing some other tired sections of trails as well. Alternate Flight Pattern needed dirt work and root removal; there is new rock armoring additions in some chronic bomb holes; and the usual minor wood work repairs to old technical terrain features. As always, we are on a mission to ensure the trails at FAR are sustainable; able to handle high levels of traffic though out the dry season and, of course, ensuring your #ferniestoke meter is revving on high all season.
On another unusual, but very cool note, deep, late melting snow packs are holding grizzly bears lower down in the valley than usual this time of year. It is hard not to be envious of them watching us from the ski runs, lazing in the hot summer sun, gorging their furry bellies on dandelions. We are kicking it into high gear with just two weeks until opening day. Taking a lesson from these gluttonous bears as we too, fill our bellies and fuel our muscles for the final trail work assault.
Hopefully, our hard work this week is retribution for the lack of Bike Park updates and photo posts. We look forward to seeing your rejoicing dirty grins in BOTH our lift lines on June 28th, 2014. This mountain is our church, biking is our religion, and for all you fellow believers… welcome home.
Your Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew
Another push of the pedal, another turn of the cranks, a well oiled chain, and the bike park gears keep going. Your FAR Bike Crew is ardently back in the saddle …spinning our wheels getting this place ready for another awesome opening day on June 28th, 2014. Like pro cyclists who spend years perfecting their pedal stroke, until all phases seamlessly blend together into a powerful semblance of efficient energy, we too are just hitting our best stride.
Each season we draft behind the triumphs of previous summers, note and swerve around the mistakes, then charge forward in our Bike Crew peloton towards that famous “Legendary” acclamation. Our crew embarked on a not so glamorous ‘drainage campaign’ last year and the results have paid off. After a solid week of spring trail inspections, I am proud (and relieved) to say that things are looking pretty good out there. This translates into the ability for our team to hammer forward on some detailed maintenance we have been longing to complete and, furthermore, to add a few new projects our guests have been begging for.
With two weeks until the lifts start spinning, our preparation plan is as follows. Mr Berms has been totally rebuilt and moved into the newly gladed tree island under the Elk Chair. We have reduced the grade, added some flow, and look ahead to a much smoother, and more sustainable trail surface. There is an improved access from Mr. Berms over to Eville and Honey Bee via the “Hurtin’ Albertan” connection on Hornet. Further to that; we have built an entirely new trail from the Bear Chair load elevation to the base area (our crew is calling it Duff Dynasty but who knows if that yellow jersey will stick). In addition, we have reworked Ben’s Big Rig to mellow the fall away sections and improve the berm to berm rail-ability for those cruising with more speed. These upgrades will promote progression within our bike park and open up a whole new network of creative trail to trail connection options.
With this steady cadence, a solid pit crew of dedicated employees, and the co-operation of our best friend – Mother Nature, it looks like a clear race to the finish line. As tired muscles become the norm, hands thicken with calloused palms, and dirt tattooes into skin, we settle into our bike crew niche and keep pedaling to deliver your Legendary Summer 2014.
Your Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew
Each spring, in that unsavory time between winter wonderland and legendary summer, I gladly leave this snowy valley behind in exchange for desert single track, warm sun, and unfamiliar scenery. This it the best time to escape the tumultuous spring weather that drowns our valley town as we wait for mother nature to get to work so the Ferine Alpine Resort Bike Crew can start ours. Biking has given me a passport to travel the world, crossing items off my top ten-must-do-epic-seven-wonders-bucket list; however, like the wizard says – there is no place like home. The more I travel, the easier it is to appreciate the un-Googleable wonders right here in my own backyard. To hold you over until official trail work updates start, here is my secret list of the 7 legendary wonders of Fernie Alpine Resort. I invite you to escape here and try one…or try them all for yourself this summer.
1) Capture a moment of pure visceral flow – get on a bike! The resort makes it easy: ride the chairlift up and search for your favorite way down any of our 41 trails. My personal recommendation: a once highly- guarded Patrol secret blend – now an official Thursday Night Race series favourite lovingly called the “Hurtin’ Albertan”. Start with the cruise-y upper section of Mr Berms, switch over to Hornet at the second exit for a little technical riding, then over to Eville to finish with some flow.
2) The Elk Valley is home to many groves of ancient trees, many of whom had just sprouted when the Inca and Aztec civilizations began 800 years ago. Take a stroll out Red Tree Road with our very own legendary interpretative guide, Nature Bob. Learn how all things great and small, young and old, from salamanders to cedars seamlessly work together and how each day the forest can change to tell a different story…if you just take the time to listen.
3) The Leap of Faith obstacle within the Fernie’s Aerial Park is the ultimate comfort zone busting challenge. While there is an entire tree top network including obstacles of increasing difficulty (and with you safely secured to an overhead cable!) this 5 foot leap through the air between canopy platforms is a sure way to disprove any self imposed personal limits you have set. While pretty much anyone with a sense of adventure can participate in the aerials park or zipline, I recommend it as the ultimate first date or team building challenge.
4) A mountain full of adventures will certainly work up an appetite. Head to the plaza and grab yourself a Beavertail! A true Canadian desert, these addictive, whole-wheat pastries, are hand stretched, float cooked and served piping hot with melted butter and your choice of toppings.
5) Fernie is an ‘upside down mountain’ meaning that, thanks to folding and faulting from plate tectonics, the oldest layers of rock are up on our mountain peaks while the youngest are at the valley bottom. So, if you are looking for a beach vacation to an ancient sea bed, take a stroll to Polar Peak along the ridge walk trail. If you search closely, you can find fossils of ancient corals and bivalves along the rock wall to the East of the Lost Boys Café washrooms or along White Pass Way.
6) The next time you are our enjoying the view, take time to consider who is watching right back! You are truly a visitor in wildlife habitat at Fernie. Lucky guests may catch a glimpse of a black bear munching dandelions on an open ski run, observe playful columbian ground squirrels perched outside their burrows, you may hear an elk bugling, or see some cliff swallow chicks poking their hungry beaks from their nests. One of the coolest ways to enjoy the wildlife at the resort is with a kids “Howl at the Moon” overnight camp out at Lost Boys Café…leave your parents at home!
7) My all time favorite wonder of Fernie is the ability to wander. Fernie Alpine Resort is a small part of a network of inter-connected bike and hiking trails situated around a river flowing with its own adventure. While this wonder is about creating your own unique experience, I can set you off in the right direction by suggesting another Fernie staff favourite: catch the last chair ride of the day up the Elk, head out Boom Trail, onto the Gorbie Loop and exit out into the provincial park by heading out your choice of Verboten, Snake Bite, or Gorbie Road. Finish your trip with a dip of your toes in the Lizard Creek and then head into town for a post adventure.
The Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew has started summer trail work, keep checking back with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and our website for updates as well as photos of our work, or to share your personal favourite Fernie wonders with the rest of us.
Your Fernie Alpine Resort Bike Crew
For the best deal on Mountain Biking this summer purchase the RCR Rockies Dual Mountain Bike Pass – offering lift access to both Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort Mountain Bike Parks – with the RCR Rockies pass you’ll have access to over 50 top notch Mountain Bike trails! Sale ends June 28th – Buy & Save now!
Fernie Alpine Resort’s Official Opening Date is June 28th – visit us for the Aerial Park and Zipline Adventure, Guided Hikes/Tours, Tennis, Mountain Bike School, Mountain Top Lunch at Lost Boys Café, events all summer and more!
Fernie Alpine resort will open for summer operations on June 28th! Visit us this summer for adrenaline pumping Mountain Biking, swing through the trees in the Aerial Park and Ziplines, take a guided hike along one of our upgraded hiking trails or enjoy the views during lunch at the mountain top, Lost Boys Cafe!
Book your summer vacation to Fernie Alpine Resort by calling 1-800-258-7669 today!