Fernie averages up to 37 feet of snowfall a year, with the opening of a lift to Polar Peak has given Fernie the biggest vertical in the Canadian Rockies (3550ft) accessing 2,500 skier and rider accessible acres. Ten lifts service 142 named runs plus five alpine bowls and tree skiing in countless glades and chutes

Fernie's 2,500 acres pack in a lot of variety, from high open slopes to thick forest - but its distinctive feature is the lightly wooded glades in all the bowls. Quite a few runs go directly down the fall line. However you get the best out of the area with some sort of local guidance. Without it, you can end up in tight trees on slopes of double-diamond steepness.

Real powder hounds should try the local snow-cat skiing.

Slopes

  • Resort altitude: 1065m
  • Lower slopes: 1065m
  • Upper slopes: 2135m
  • Total pistes: 2500acres

For beginners

Surprisingly, pretty good There's a good nursery area served by two lifts (a moving carpet and a drag), and the lower mountain served by the Deer and Elk chairs has lots of wide, smooth trails to gain confidence on.

For intermediates

Getting better In recent years Fernie has made great strides to broaden its appeal. These days, the resort grooms quite a wide range of runs, including some great blue cruisers down all the bowls - but there are also quite a few blacks that get regularly groomed. The lack of crowds makes fast skiing on these runs a real pleasure. The groomed stuff doesn't add up to much when you compare it with many other resorts with the same sort of acreage, and after a big dump the grooming takes time. If you are not happy to try some of the easier ungroomed terrain you may find the place a bit limited. For the adventurous willing to give the powder a go, though, Fernie can be fabulous.

For advanced

Wonderful with guidance The combination of heavy snowfalls and abundant steep terrain with the shelter of trees makes this a superb mountain for good skiers, so long as you know where you are going. If you don't, consider getting guidance, to begin with at least. There are about a dozen identifiable faces offering genuine black or double-black slopes, each of them with several alternative ways down and all worth exploring. Pay attention to the diamonds: the doubles are the genuine article. Polar Peak is of limited vertical but serious double-diamond gradient; there is one single-diamond run, but even this can have a tricky entry. You can hike from here to a steep gated area where transceivers (and great care) are required. There are a few areas where you can do laps fairly efficiently, but mostly you have to put up with a cycle of long traverse-descent-run-out-lift-lift on each lap (with a third lift to get to the Polar Peak area). There are backcountry routes you can take with guidance (some include an overnight camp) and snowcat operations in other nearby mountains.

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Good For

Ability
  • Advanced
  • Beginner
In Resort
  • Family Friendly
On Slope
  • Boarder
  • No Queues
  • Snow Reliability

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