Fernie Alpine Resort, British Columbia
Find Adventure on Little Fernie’s Big Slopes
Fernie Alpine Resort is known for its great snow record and its old-time, western feel. The little town of Fernie was named for a prospector who discovered coal, starting a boom around the turn of the century. Now, the rush is to get to Fernie’s fantastic slopes. The resort boasts an average annual snowfall of 875 centimeters (29 feet). Snowmaking is not even needed!
Fernie’s 2,500 acres pack in a lot of variety for every level of skier. Beginners enjoy wide trails on the lower mountain as well as some long, winding runs down from higher lifts. Intermediates especially enjoy the tree skiing (helmet recommended) in addition to wide- open bowls and slopes. Heavy snowfall and lots of steep terrain pleases experts. Single- and double-diamond slopes abound and experts can also take backcountry routes with the help of a guide.
The Winter Sports School at Fernie Alpine Resort offers several options for lessons in alpine, cross-country, and telemark skiing, as well as snowboarding. Snowboarders enjoy a terrain park and half-pipe in addition to the regular slopes. Cross-country skiers slide over 14 kilometers (9 miles) of groomed trails on two loops with part of a trail running through the woods. Other winter activities include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, and dog sledding.
While Fernie is growing, at its heart it is an old mining town with a small-town feel. There are small shops in the historic district that sell sports equipment, novelties and souvenirs, and there are plenty of places to eat and drink. However, most people come to Fernie for the great snow and the slopes, not a wild party atmosphere. This resort is best for people looking for great skiing, a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with magnificent views that never end.