Fernie Alpine Resort
WOW! Or as the online generation would say: OMG! WTF! Few Ski areas set up as nicely as Fernie. Five bowls make up Fernie: Sierra, Timber, Currie, Lizard, and Cedar. These bowls are filled with diverse ski and riding terrain. There’s always something worth skiing at Fernie.
I rolled into Fernie on my GNASA by coming North up Route 93 and then East on Route 3 which winds through a valley in the Canadian Rockies. It had been snowing for a couple of weeks. Somewhere approaching Morrisey you’re able to see the Lizard Range on your left and other mountains on your right. You realize that you’re in the Canadian Rockies and they are big and snowy and calling your name.
Ironically, my wife had called me from Nashville alerting me to the ¼ inch of snow that had fallen overnight. I sent her this picture.
At the base of Fernie its hard to appreciate what lies in front of you. Five serious bowls and Polar Peak. Think Back Bowls of Vail, Aspen’s Highland Bowl, Jackson’s Rendezvous Bowl and Taos’s Kachina Peak. Fernie bowls are a bacchanalian feast of snow and expert terrain. As if for ambiance and character, they even imported French speaking waitresses, Quebecois, to work in some of the village bars.
The five bowls and Polar Peak are not as big as Highland Bowl or Kachina Peak, but they’re very worthy mini-mes. More like medium sized mes. Each with an assortment of diverse terrain: chutes, couloirs, glades and bowls.
Expert Skiing at Fernie Resort
One could argue that Currie Bowl and Polar Peak, that sits above Currie Bowl, could be combined. This would arguably place this one area of Fernie among the top expert ski areas in all of North America. There are hundreds of double black and black lines in this area.
On a clear day, the views are stunning up top. On skier’s left is double black awesomeness: Barely Legal, the Bears (Grandpa, Papa and Baby). If your feeling like a ripper, try Polar Lift Line for the chairlift cheers. An added bonus on Polar is that if you have a non-expert skier with you (like a videographer), there are couple of intermediate trails down: Polar Circus and Polar Coaster.
Currie Bowl at Fernie
This is one bad ass bowl. There are ridge lines on both sides that offer amazing chutes, glades, gullies and bowls. Skiers left along the ridge you’ll find Concussion, Tom’s Run, Cornice Chute, Cougar Glades, Stag’s Leap, Sky Dive and Decline. Skier’s right you’ll find amazing glades like Bootleg, Anaconda and Gotta Go. There are also the 123’s. Split between Currie and Timber are the Knot Chutes (enter on Timber and ski into Currie).
Siberia Bowl at Fernie
From Siberian Ridge you can drop into a buch of glades or some marked runs like Morning Glory and Mars.
Lizard Bowl at Fernie
The ridge lines on both sides of Lizard Bowl offer fun bowls and glades. Skiers right offers a short hike to Corner Pocket, accessible even with thin snow by Ski Patrol laid tires. You’ll also find High Saddle, Saddle and Lone Fir. Further on the ridge you’ll find Easter Bowl and Easter East. On skiers left you’ll find Boomerang and Boomerang Ridge. Further along the ridge you’ll find Deep Space, Linda’s Run and Kangaroo. If your Squawk Palisades worthy, Lizard sports Headwall. Check out some lines here.
Cedar Bowl at Fernie
At the far end of Fernie you’ll find Cedar Bowl. Head out along Snake Ridge powder stashes and drops into Gorbie Bowl and Steep and Deep. If you like Chutes, you’ll find the K.C.’s half way down.
Timber Bowl at Fernie
If you’re new to Fernie and want to let them rip, consider Timber bowl. Lots of expert glade skiing. Stay high on the ridge lines, or Diamond Back, for the most challenging drop ins. There’s a fun run called Surprise, always worth the ride.
Morning Gloria in Siberia Bowl in AM. Corner Pocket and the Easter’s in Lizard Bowl. Ceder Bowl is mostly Northern facing and a great area to find great snow. Even Eastern areas like Snake Main will drop onto northern facing terrain like the KC Chutes.
Check out the village at the base. Its small but quaint and exhibits Canadian hospitality at its best. The local chain bar Kelsey’s is staffed with Quebecois waitresses. Try out your French or relish in the laid-back but definitely international crowd that finds itself at Fernie.