Guided hikes are making a return at the Fernie Alpine Resort. Pictured: One of the many popular mountain biking trails on the hill. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Guided hikes are making a return at the Fernie Alpine Resort. Pictured: One of the many popular mountain biking trails on the hill. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie Alpine Resort resumes regular programming this summer

Following the ease of restrictions, Fernie Alpine Resort restarts outdoor programming

Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) has brought back their summer programming now that COVID restrictions have eased up.

Karen Pepper, Marketing and Communications Manager at FAR, said last year the resort only ran private bike lessons in very small groups, but this year all programming has returned.

“We’re still doing all of our programming with small groups, but a little bit bigger this year,” Pepper said.

Despite most programs not running last year, Pepper said FAR still got a lot of guests for outdoor activities on their own.

“I think a lot of people understood it and a lot of families … I think a lot of people were just looking for things to do,” said Pepper.

For this year, while the regular programming has returned, there are still caps on groups, like the guided hikes which are capped at six.

“They get a very personalized guided hike,” she said.

“The guided hiking is really nice, because people who aren’t familiar with the area feel way more comfortable.”

Pepper said the guides are very knowledgeable about the trails.

“We’ve got some really great guides with different areas of expertise,” said Pepper.

“One of our guides is a real keen geologist … and then we have another guide who’s been guiding in the area a long time and knows a lot about the flora and fauna of the area.”

Duncan Maisels, a guide at FAR, said it’s better to have someone who knows the trails.

“If you wanted to go for a hike at the ski hill, why wouldn’t you just take somebody who’s been there before, who knows the way, knows the access points, where to start where to finish, any hazards along the way,” said Maisels.

“And more importantly all the great things along the way.”

Pepper said all of their trails are signed and there are maps for guests to use, but the guided hikes offer more.

“It sort of depends on the experience you’re looking for,” said Pepper.

“If you’re looking for something … with an educational component then the guided hike is definitely the way to go.”

Maisels said the experience is worth it because of the access you get from the ski lift and the views that offers.

“The fact that we run the lift means that for little physical effort you can be right up into the higher country,” said Maisels.

“And the views from being uphill are great. You’re looking down over the town and over the valley, and you’re looking up at the top of the cliff.”

READ MORE: Senior celebrates 500th hike up Kootenay trail



jasper.myers@thefreepress.ca
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