While it’s been feeling a lot like spring here in Calgary, it’s been dumping at Fernie all week. If I had a little more freedom in my life right now I’d have been there since Wednesday! This morning Fernie is reporting 38cms in 48hrs – most of that falling on Friday – and 101cms for the week. What a week of outstanding snow conditions!
There were more than a few happy faces revelling in the freshly fallen snow. This gentleman certainly seems to be in a jolly mood!
Robbin Siggers described my sentiment exactly on the Fernie FB page, ‘Um if you are not here, what are you doing with you life?’ I also liked Mike Shaw’s reply, ‘working to afford your crazy prices.’ This is true but there must be other ways to afford more time in the mountains. Derek Ryder is making it happen at Sunshine and so are hundreds of lucky souls who were skiing mid week in Fernie. In my opinion, the magic of Fernie is found in the Alpine Bowls. There’s a article on the FernieFix blog providing some entertaining opinions on the 5 Bowls of Fernie. (If you’ve never skied Fernie, or are planning a trip there, I recommend checking out the FernieFix blog.) But I have to agree there is something special about the massive bowls that Fernie has to offer. One of my favourite things to do on a powder day is to ski all the way around Lizard Bowl a descend through the trees. There’s a tiny hike up before you drop in but it is totally worth it. Same goes for the traverse over to Snake Ridge. On a powder day you’re likely to be tempted by all the fresh tracks on the way over but my recommendation is to go all the way first, then start working your way back on subsequent runs.
Curry Bowl is another one of my favourites when there is a good dumping of fresh snow. I’ve been there many times waiting in a line for the rope to go down at the Curry Bowl entrance from White Pass chair – my pulse quickens just remembering those moments. I also remember hiking from Lizard Bowl into Curry before the new lifts went in. The heart rate definitely hit the red zone on the way up and again on the way down. Pure excitement! My first day skiing Polar Peak last year was also a powder fest. It opened just after lunch and prevented us from calling it a day at 3PM as originally planned. I certainly have an abundance of great memories from Fernie even though I only ski there once or twice a year.
I know how great it can be at Fernie, I think the pictures tell the story of how epic it has been there this week. The great thing is that this kind of event happens multiple times per season. Of course it’s not constant powder, there was a 3-4 week drought in January when conditions became rather sketchy. But when the Griz brings the snow it really is a shame if you can participate in the fun. My recommendation is to go there – now. Well, maybe not tomorrow because they are expecting highs south of -20C. But it will be sunny and warm by mid week and with two weeks worth of fresh snow the conditions will be fantastic.