Fernie is renowned for its legendary powder, and its fairly steep, often ungroomed, lightly wooded terrain is surprisingly fun for brave novices. It’s a pleasantly quiet resort too, and is mild for the Canadian Rockies.
The resort itself sits just above the old mining town of Fernie, and you can either stay in resort or a bus ride away in the town. There’s more going on in town – the centre is pedestrianised, with lively bars for après or later, good places to eat, and friendly locals.
Fernie is all about the snow – quality and quantity. Skiers of all abilities should try the ungroomed runs, and the ski schools play to the resort’s strengths and teach classes of all abilities to enjoy the abundant powder. Meanwhile, the resort has begun to groom more runs, and piste-lovers will have exclusive use as everyone else enjoys the snowfall elsewhere.
Experts and good intermediates will be in heaven in the thick snow and tree-shelter, with serious steeps and nearby cat-skiing options. There are slow lifts and long traverses to some of the terrain, and sudden snowfalls can cause delays while they sort of the avalanche risk, but it’s a small price to pay. Fans of Fernie will hear nothing against it – this is a very much-loved resort.