FAR celebrates 60 years: ‘Different to any other ski hill that I’ve experienced’

Competitors in the Ski Ballet which took place near the top of the Elk Chair on April 2, 2022, the day of the Fernie Alpine Resort’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Left to right: Guilaume Hinse, Paul Stutz (winner), Jean Francois Helie, Kyle Pollock, Trevor McArthur, Ross Frazier, Marielle Flottat, Kelly McEwen. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Competitors in the Ski Ballet which took place near the top of the Elk Chair on April 2, 2022, the day of the Fernie Alpine Resort’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Left to right: Guilaume Hinse, Paul Stutz (winner), Jean Francois Helie, Kyle Pollock, Trevor McArthur, Ross Frazier, Marielle Flottat, Kelly McEwen. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Ski Ballet competitors getting ready to climb the hill for their performances at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Ski Ballet competitors getting ready to climb the hill for their performances at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Left to right: Karla Nash, Leighann Christensen, Kelly McEwen, Marielle Flottat at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Left to right: Karla Nash, Leighann Christensen, Kelly McEwen, Marielle Flottat at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
From left: Jean Francois Helie, Paul Stutz, Guilaume Hinse. The men were having fun practicing for the Ski Ballet on April 2, 2022, which was the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Fernie Alpine Resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)From left: Jean Francois Helie, Paul Stutz, Guilaume Hinse. The men were having fun practicing for the Ski Ballet on April 2, 2022, which was the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the Fernie Alpine Resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Jean Francois Helie doing Ski Ballet at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Jean Francois Helie doing Ski Ballet at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Paul Stutz won the Ski Ballet to the song ‘Let It Go’ from the movie Frozen. He competed in the Ski Ballet at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Paul Stutz won the Ski Ballet to the song ‘Let It Go’ from the movie Frozen. He competed in the Ski Ballet at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Jean Francois Helie and Guilaume Hinse at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Jean Francois Helie and Guilaume Hinse at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
From right going around the table: Devon Arnold, Mike Hock, Kyle McKenzie, Oliver Klagg, Adrian Hay, John Bressett, Mike Whalen, Stephen Pynn, Jackson Stewart, Scott George. The group, mostly from Vancouver, was at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)From right going around the table: Devon Arnold, Mike Hock, Kyle McKenzie, Oliver Klagg, Adrian Hay, John Bressett, Mike Whalen, Stephen Pynn, Jackson Stewart, Scott George. The group, mostly from Vancouver, was at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
From right to left: Stephan Wiebe, Daisy Wiebe, Summer Wiebe, Kalyn Wiebe. The family was at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)From right to left: Stephan Wiebe, Daisy Wiebe, Summer Wiebe, Kalyn Wiebe. The family was at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
DJ Goffles Waffles was playing tunes at the Bear’s Den at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)DJ Goffles Waffles was playing tunes at the Bear’s Den at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
From left: Breylan Fiset, Bryson Aistine, Keegan Kjargaard, Brayden Minshull. The group was dressed up in costumes and boarding at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)From left: Breylan Fiset, Bryson Aistine, Keegan Kjargaard, Brayden Minshull. The group was dressed up in costumes and boarding at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)
Young Charlie Hanman and FAR ski instructor Kai Clarke at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)Young Charlie Hanman and FAR ski instructor Kai Clarke at the Fernie Alpine Resort on April 2, 2022, the day of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the resort. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The Griz was kind on the morning of the day of the Fernie Alpine Resort’s (FAR) 60th anniversary weekend celebrations.

Though spring had already sprung and a week of warmth and sunshine graced Fernie leading up to the celebrations, on Saturday (April 2) morning, the snow was falling and the colourfully-dressed skiers and boarders were happily hitting the hill for some runs in the final weeks before the year’s extended season comes to a close on April 17.

READ MORE: FAR extends winter season to celebrate 60th anniversary

Though the snow stopped falling early in the day, the spirits remained high at the hill.

The ‘60th Anniversary Celebration Weekend’ featured events on Saturday and Sunday at FAR (though the actual anniversary happened earlier in the year, on Jan. 10).

Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, a BBQ and beverage garden kicked off at the Bear’s Den near the top of the Elk Chair, leading up to the 1 p.m. Ski Ballet Competition on Lower Ballet.

The competition brought a crowd and lots of laughs. The winner was Paul Stutz, who was dressed in a golden cowboy outfit and did his routine to the Frozen song ‘Let It Go’.

Live music at the Griz Bar ran late into the evening, and on Sunday, more festive events were planned at the Bear’s Den, with a ‘Mogul Bash Competition’ kicking off at 1 p.m. on lower Bear Run.

Participants in the weekend’s events were encouraged by FAR to wear retro ski gear, and the colourfully-dressed people certainly came out in force.

Kai Clarke, a ski instructor at the hill since Dec. 24, was dressed up in a batman costume Saturday morning and giving a lesson to young Charlie Hanman, who was dressed up in a Superwoman outfit.

“It’s the 60th anniversary, everyone’s sort of dressed up, and (a lot of people are) participating, which is really cool,” he said.

Clarke, who has skied at lots of hills including Banff and going as far as Italy, said FAR was “so much different to any other ski hill that I’ve experienced.”

“Super fun, people are just so laid back,” he said.

He said there are a lot more locals at FAR than in places like Banff, the latter of which he said is “fantastic” but “purely tourist-y”.

“I’m not a local myself, but it’s nice to be surrounded by more local community… It’s much, much smaller, but I love the feel of it… I’ve really enjoyed the culture and the day-to-day working life here, it’s been pretty awesome.”

Charlie’s father Jeff Hanman shared a similar sentiment to Clarke.

“It’s just great to be here, and we’ve really enjoyed skiing here in Fernie. It’s just an amazing town and amazing community spirit.”

READ MORE: ‘Huge milestone’: Fernie Alpine Resort turns 60 years old

READ MORE: FAR opening day kicks off with heavy snowfall, hundreds at Timber Chair


@fishynewswatch
josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fernieSkiing and Snowboarding

We are experiencing technical difficulties with our commenting platform and hope to be up and running again soon. In the meantime, you can still send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or submit a letter to the editor.