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PHOTOS: Fernival and Slope Soaker mark the end of ski season

Warm sunny weekend drew crowds of people to Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort held a spirited end-of-season finale on April 13 and 14, with Fernival music festival and the Slope Soaker event.

The warm 20 degree weather drew crowds of people to the hill to hit the last few runs of the season.

The weekend opened with a performance from The Steadies, a pop-rock funk band from Saskatoon. They played a groovy mix of original music, and they even introduced a never-before-heard song that was scheduled to be recorded in studio in the days following the concert.

The band’s front-man Earl Pereira found success in the music industry as a founding member of rock band Wide Mouth Mason, and opening concerts for the Rolling Stones and The Tragically Hip.

Little Bit Good Band, Fernie’s Griz Bar entertainers, opened for The Steadies.

The hot sun provided some relief for the 75 costumed people who plunged into a pool of frigid water at the bottom of the hill at the soaker on Sunday.

The Slope Soaker drew an international crowd this year, with participants from Edmonton, Calgary, U.K, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. Skiers and boarders raced a slushy course down the hill and tried to make a clean run across the pond or wipe out in spectacular fashion after a daring jump.

The judges voted Hamish Hepburn as the best overall performance. He caught serious air when he rocketed off the jump, and managed to squeeze in a trick before he plunged into the pool with wild applause from the crowd.

Charlie Alexander earned the title of biggest splash, after he cannon-balled into the pool and sent a wave of water into the audience that even soaked the judges.

Emily Fisher, wearing bright neon spandex, gracefully slid across the entire pond and on to the opposite bank, and snuck in a 180 twist on the exit. She claimed best water skim.

Lindsay Wolf, dressed as a suburban mom with a white bathrobe and hair towel, holding a glass of wine, garnered the loudest crowd reaction. She boarded across the pool without spilling her beverage, which drew whoops and cheers from the crowd.

Wolf said it was her first time participating in the event, and she had so much fun that she plans to return next year.

Kim King won best costume for the second year in a row. She dressed as Tom Hank’s character Chuck Noland from Cast Away, sporting a wild untamed wig of hair and holding beloved volleyball friend Wilson who she tossed to the crowd as she plunged into the pool.

She collected the same award last year with her husband, when they both dressed in Elvis costumes.

Dillon Thomas was awarded Best Showmanship. This daredevil approached the jump backwards and with a quick forward twist to reorient himself, nearly made it across the pool.

After the soaker, the crowd returned to the main square to listen to Mile High Club as they rocked 80s classics like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Jessie’s Girl,” and “Sweet Dreams.”

Lift attendant and award presenter Brad West said he was pleased with the inter-generational attendance at the event. Every age was represented, from young teenagers who showed up to execute their best tricks, to grandparents who came to spend time with their family.

About the Author: Gillian Francis

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