Fernie ski resort is often described as a mecca for powder hounds, with an excellent snow record providing deep terrain and mostly ungroomed lightly wooded slopes to thrill the adventure-seekers.
It also enjoys less extreme temperatures than other resorts in the Canadian Rockies making the skiing even more pleasurable. The resort itself, located a couple of miles away from the town of Fernie, is friendly and unpretentious and offers restaurants, bars and shops at the base of the mountain.
The much larger town is livelier with a more decent selection of shops and restaurants. The two areas provide a choice of accommodation, with the town offering more facilities and the resort being more convenient for skiing. Much of the accommodation in the resort is ski-in ski-out and reasonably priced.
Resort Altitude: 1,068m
Resort Skiing: 2,149m
Total Ski Area: 142km
Blue Runs: 42km
Red Runs: 58km
Black Runs: 42km
Cross Country: 14km
Set over 142km of slopes, Fernie Alpine Resort boasts a winter haven for skiers and snowboarders with over 142km of runs in five different Alpine bowls. The resort hosts 10 different lifts to whisk you up onto the mountains to enjoy beautiful views of the Rockies and surrounding areas. Its distance from any major city means that the slopes are usually quiet, giving you the chance to relax and peacefully enjoy the ski area.
The main appeal of this resort is the reliability of the snow. With constant powder and open terrain runs across a large number of bowls, the skiing here is free and effortless. Although advanced skiers are the most prominent, there is a good nursery area for beginners with wide, smooth trails and the ski schools have an excellent reputation.
More advanced snowboarders will love Fernie's challenging natural terrain and ungroomed slopes. Tree runs, powder bowls and a rail park will keep you happy for days and the possibilities to explore are practically endless. The limited intermediate pistes mean that the whole resort is not for everyone but there are definitely specific areas that are recommended.
The Winter Sports School offers lessons and programs for all abilities and levels, teaching you on some of the best slopes the Fernie Alpine resort has to offer. Lessons are either group or private, and are all taught by certified ski and snowboard professionals.
Fernie offers a Resort Childcare Centre for children between 18 months and 5 years. There are a variety of programs on offer that combine both skiing and daycare activities.
In the resort, there is a convenient selection of restaurants to choose from. Lizard Creek Lodge serves large portions of delicious food whilst Yamagoya, a Japanese restaurant, offers a unique experience in the mountains. For those who want to venture into the town, there is a wider selection of restaurants with everything from Indian to Italian, and the Brick House, which offers some of the best burgers in town.
After a day on the slopes, Griz Bar is the main location for drinks in the resort. For more late night entertainment the options are limited in the resort, but the town offers a much more lively selection of bars. The Royal Hotel and Park Place Lodge Pub are recommended by locals as the most popular places to go.
The town is full of things to do for those who aren’t skiing. Art exhibitions, a theatre, craft studio and other historic excursions present interesting opportunities to learn about the history of the town. An ice hockey arena and an aquatic centre are also available to explore. The main appeal for non-skiers, however, will be exploring the outdoors.