Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort has a well-deserved reputation for excellent snow conditions and spectacular scenery. Elephant and Mammoth Head provide massive rock backdrops to an extensive playground just waiting to be explored. With over 8m average snowfall there is usually plenty of powder.
If you like to ski hard, fast, steep and deep...then Fernie is definitely the place for you. This place is definitely a real die hard skier/boarder mountain. Located in BC near the Alberta/USA boarder this resort is small and growing fast with an enormous amount of terrain to choose from.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Fernie is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains reasonably close to the US border. The ski resort is a five-minute drive from the town of Fernie. The nearest town with an airport is Cranbrook, which is $150 taxi ride away. There are also cheaper shuttles but they do not meet every plane. There are regular flights to Vancouver.
Its remoteness means no crowds on the slopes with lots of areas to explore. Your ticket also gets you access to the sister resort of Kimberley just over 100km away. Mostly chair access across the resort now. It is challenging for the intermediate to advanced skier/snowboarder.
I would recommend this resort if only for the variety of terrain, and prices are reasonable. The terrain is great for the intermediate or advanced skier and is well worth fighting through the hoards of tourists that frequent this resort. Fernie by no means is a locals resort. If you want to see Fernie before it gets to big go in the next season or two, this place has been ear marked for mega expansion. 
Pretty remote and unless you like to drive then it is a series of connecting flights and a shuttle especially if you fly through Vancouver.
Little nightlife in the resort itself.
Not really a place to take a first timer or beginner as most of the runs they will not be able to appreciate - Kimberley would be better suited for them.
Because the Lizard Range overhangs a lot of the hill there can be significant closures for avalanche control after a big dump. Or is that a "Pro"?
The runs off the Timber Bowl Quad have a long, flat run out at the bottom to get to the base.
Phone: (1 250) 423-4655
Fax: (1 250) 423-6644
Postal: Fernie Alpine Resort, Ski Area Road, Fernie, BC Canada V0B 1M1
Being remote self-drive is a nice way to go but it is a long way from Vancouver or you could come from Calgary. Alternatively you can get a connecting flight into Cranbrook and catch the bus from there.
There are shuttles that connect Fernie with other resorts, such as Lake Louise and Panorama.
The resort has lodge and chalet style accomodation and depending on your budget is where the quality and size of what you want comes into it. However it is mostly hotel/apartment style accomodation close to the slopes with the chalets further down the mountain in the Timberline area.
I stayed at the Wolf's Den, probably the closest to the slopes and surprisingly for the type of accomodation quite cheap. The prices are per room and not per person and ours unexpectedly came with two queen beds. It had private bathroom, TV, and bar fridge with a communaal area near the foyer to watch TV, read and meet other people. They also had spa facilities and lockers for skis.
If your after luxury accommodation in either hotel or self contained apartment style then you can't go past Lizard Creek Lodge. Excellent restuarant and lounge, undercover parking, lockers, spas, swimming pool, hire shop, gift shop etc. Very close to The Elk quad chair.
There is a lot of accommodationn of various types in the actual town of Fernie. The town is a real town with real people doing real jobs, so it has everything you would expect in a small town. There are frequent shuttle buses between the town and the resort.
Also consider the various bed and breakfast places in and around town, just do a google on B&B's in Fernie.
- Adult (18-64) $69.00
- Senior (65+) $55.00
- Youth (13-17) $48.00
- Child (6-12) $22.00
- Adult (18-64) $74.00
- Senior (65+) $60.00
- Youth (13-17) $53.00
- Child (6-12) $22.00
Peak Season: Dec 23, 06 - Jan 07, 07, Feb 15-25, 07 & Mar 24, 07 - Apr 09, 07
The ski school we only tried with a private lesson to improve our technique and the instructor was helpful and enthusiastic. There was never a problem too difficult for them and the lifties, patrollers and staff were always cheerful and helpful.
Worth considering are the Harb Ski Systems camps run by Aussies Peter Stone and Scott Burns. These excellent ski camps provide proper skier alignment analysis and correction as well as great skiing technique coaching. Check details through Travelplan.
Skating and dog-sledding, ice skating, snowmobile, tobogganing, wildlife spotting and ice fishing.
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There are few eateries on mountain with most of them being at the base. There is a small range of places to choose from ranging from the hot dog style stand to the Daylodge cafeteria or head back to one of the lodges restaurants.
Fernie does have a few restaurants on mountain. The two most notable being the Griz Inn and the Italian restaurant at the front of the Wolf's Den. If you are in a self-contained apartment the grocery store under the Wolf's Den has a small selection of food similiar to a 7 eleven but you have to go into town to the bigger stores.
Bars & Entertainment
Fernie isn't what I would call exactly huge on nightlife on mountain. Most restaurants and bars are down in the town itself, which is only a 5 min drive away anyway. The town community hall regularly has on entertainment and the bars have the usual bands and loud music etc.
There is a grocery store in the resort but it has a limited range. There are no fresh vegetables or meat available, but a large range of tinned and bottled food as well as dry goods.
The town of Fernie is not far away, and there are regular shuttles. Fernie has an Overwaiteas which is like a large Coles or Woolies.
Pick up your $10 & $20 phone cards at the grocery store, easily the cheapest way to call home.
Rank beginners start on the mini moose and might moose lifts. After that the Deer and Elk Chair lifts access wide open daily groomed rolling slopes perfect for all ages of beginner and intermediate skiers and riders.
Grooming can be hit and miss.
Fernie has a lot of advanced terrain with great bowl skiing and narrow chutes.
Out of Bounds
Parks & Pipes
Coal was discovered in the Crowsnest area of Southeastern British Columbia more than 100 years ago by prospectors looking for gold. In 1897, William Fernie reported a major discovery which led to the formation of the Crows Nest Pass Coal Company. The mining community which emerged in 1897 was named Fernie, in honour of the miner whose efforts helped to establish the new industry.