Local legend Greg ‘G-Money’ Barrow snagged first chair at Fernie Alpine Resort’s (FAR) opening day for the twentieth year in a row this morning.
Making sure he upheld the tradition, Barrow, who also owns Fernie’s Edge of the World snowboard shop, set up a tent at 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, weathering a frigid sub-zero night to catch the first powdery turns of the season.
“It’s just fun to do – I like winter camping,” said Barrow, who was all smiles this morning despite his frost-coated tent.
“I was fine, but it was chilly. I was surprised with how chilly it was, I think it’s just a wet cold.”
While Barrow parked his set up outside the Timber Chair, father-son duo, Jeff and Will Johnson, braved the cold while sleeping in front of the Elk Chair.
“It’s kind of just a fun thing that Will and I get to do,” said Johnson, who is no stranger to the overnight feat.
“It’s typically super busy leading up to the start of the season, and it’s nice to set the time aside and just go and hang out.”
The pair have made the winter camp out a tradition as well, having braved the elements to make it onto first chair for the past three consecutive years.
Johnson, who used to be a lift attendant at FAR back in 1996 and 1997, chose the Elk Chair this year due to its sentimental ‘Old Side’ association.
“That’s why we come to this side, it just feels like home,” added Johnson.
With both chairs spinning as of 9 a.m. on Dec. 10, this year’s ski season is officially off to a slightly different albeit epic start.