Let the ski and snowboard season begin!

Opening day at Fernie Alpine Resort-making history one chair at a time.

(Left–right) Joy

Fernie Alpine Resort opened today for a preview weekend to the delight of skiers and snowboarders who lined up early to be first in line to ride the first Elk Chair up the ski hill.

The sun crested, illuminating the crowds’ frosty breath rising with excitement, as the countdown to the first chair of the season began. First in line were eight and six year old Joy and Amy with their dad, Paul Attalla, and Greg Barrow.

It is Barrow’s thirteenth year riding the first chair, complete with a snowboard from his Fernie shop, Edge of the World, which opened in 1999.

Originally from the U.S., Barrow attended his first buying show in Las Vegas in 1982.  Jake Burton, Chuck Barfoot, Tom Sims, and Dimitrije Milovich were in the parking lot trying to sell boards out of their vans because they were not allowed in the Ski Show.

“That fired me up even more,” said Barrows. “By the mid 80’s there were about 25 Banner Elk (North Carolina) kids terrorizing the slopes and snowboarding got banned.  My kids said ‘Dad, let’s be a snowboard shop…it’s the future.’  So I took their advice.  After lots of meetings and begging we got snowboarding allowed back at the local ski resorts.”

Two adventurous little girls and their dad managed to join Barrow in his tradition.

“It was Joy’s idea to camp out,” said Paul Attalla. “She suggested we try to be first on the chair this year. When I told her it might be difficult because we’d have to get here really early before any one else, Joy suggested we camp out overnight,” said Paul. “I didn’t get home until 9 pm last night but Joy and Amy had their Barbie backpacks ready to go. I thought, ‘Wow, we’re really going to do this then.’”

The three arrived at midnight to set up their tent at the Elk chair and snuggled into warm sleeping bags to brave the minus 14-degree temperature.

FAR staff getting ready for opening day woke the family up at 7 am. Breakfast was a well-deserved chocolate, bagel and hot chocolate.

Joy and Amy come by their drive honestly. Their dad rowed across the Atlantic Ocean awhile back. In 2008, Paul rowed solo an epic 5,500-kilometres across the South Atlantic Ocean, in his 24-foot boat ‘Spirit of Fernie’ from the Canary Islands to Antigua, West Indies in 76 days.

Sunshine, a solid snow base, 34 groomed runs off of the Elk, Bear Express Quad, Boom chair lifts and the Haul Back t-bar made it a great way to make some early season turns,  and catch some speed and vitamin D. The short loop of the cross-country Nordic trails was groomed and track set too. FAR  opened early for a preview weekend Nov. 23 and 24 with its full season opening beginning next Saturday, Nov. 30.

Here’s to Ullr and whatever else will bring more snow for another winter of playing in the mountains with hopes the ski season will be as legendary as the four individuals who got it started today.

 

Just Posted

Fernie Alpine Resort opens for preview weekend

Fernie Alpine Resort will be opening for a preview weekend, this Saturday and Sunday

Local boys raise money for sick children in unconventional way

Four local boys have found a way to use their passion for… Continue reading

Skid Steer stolen from Sparwood Transfer Station

Elk Valley RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance with a theft that… Continue reading

Golf pro has big plans for Sparwood Golf Course

Golf pro looks to a promising future for golf in Sparwood

Ghostriders show grit and tenacity

Hard work and heartbreak; a reoccurring theme in Fernie’s past two hockey… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Whistler venues could see 2026 Olympic action

Calgary is looking to cut down on costs

Most Read