Fernie is located about 4h south west of Calgary. If you hit the mountain after a lot of fresh snow it will be a bit of a pain ‘til the whole resort is open. They open the lower part of the mountain and then step by step the remaining part. It can take hours or even days ‘til the last bowl is open. Listen to locals, follow locals, or ask the ski patrol what’s going to be open next. Sometimes you will have to wait a while on top of the mountain but if there are dozens of locals waiting somewhere you can be sure that it will be open soon. To miss the opening by a minute will be “fatal” – you will see what I mean with that. If you don’t need the deep powder take your camera and wait ‘til they open one of the closed bowls. You can’t imagine the excitement of the locals when hundreds of crazy skiers rush down the same untracked bowl.
Fernie is awesome with a great variety of green, blue, black, and double black diamond runs. No matter what your skiing / boarding abilities are you will be busy for days just to explore the whole mountain. Powderdays are crazy. 10”+ and all the locals simply call in sick or close their shops at least for the morning hours. Long lines ‘til about 11 AM so make sure to be at the chair at least half an hour (better one hour) before opening if you intend to make first tracks.
If you have $$$$ “The Lizard Creek” SkiIn-SkiOut and absolutely great rooms especially the apartments. If you have $$$ or $$ www.fernielodgingco.com; they have various hotels and apartments on the hill. SkiIn and/or SkiOut. If you have $ or $$ try to find something in Fernie rather than on the hill.
If you like a special lunch break (atmosphere and quality of food) including a real wood fire place. You should try “Lizard Creek” right at the base of the Elk chair. Dinner as well at the “Lizard Creek.” Dinner down town: Don’t miss “The Old Elevator” at www.oldelevator.com.
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