Jeff and Graham Etue excitedly wait in line for their first chair of the 2020/2021 season. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Jeff and Graham Etue excitedly wait in line for their first chair of the 2020/2021 season. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Shred-y, set, go: FAR kicks off 2020/2021 season

The resort officially opened at 9 a.m. on Dec. 10, boasting 21 centimetres of freshly fallen snow

Following a nine month hiatus, chairs officially started spinning atop Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) on the morning of Dec. 10, garnering a socially distant crowd of excited shredders ready to slice into fresh powder.

Despite opening day having been originally set for Dec. 5, the timing of the last-minute delay turned out to be fortuitous as the Griz made an appearance overnight, blessing the resort with over 21 centimetres of fresh snow in the 24 hours heading up to opening.

While crowds were noticeably smaller than in previous years and guests are mandated to follow a number of physical distancing guidelines, the stoke has been palpable throughout the mountain all day.

Currently the resort boasts a seasonal snow total of 232 centimetres, and an early season base of 83 centimetres.

At the time of publishing, 35 runs are open, 19 of which are groomed. Accessible terrain includes runs on every bowl aside from Currie Bowl, which has runs both closed and on stand by. At the moment, a total of seven lifts are in operation.

The rail park is currently closed.

Despite the new snow, the resort is exhibiting early season terrain, prompting Matt Mosteller, vice president of RCR, to encourage all guests to exercise caution on the slopes, in particular during the first few days back.

“Wear a helmet, ski within your ability, make sure to check your gear…watch your speed on the slopes for these first few days to make sure that you’re skiing in control, and obey all on-mountain signage,” said Mosteller.

Guests are also reminded that outdoor shelters and gathering spaces have been removed, requiring mid-day warm ups to be made at vehicles or inside restaurants upon reservation.

Mosteller further urges people to continue staying local, skiing local, and following all guidelines.

For an updated account of lift and run status, along with FAR’s COVID-19 safety plan, visit FAR’s website at skifernie.com.

READ MORE: FAR out: Get ready to shred (locally)



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Skiing and Snowboarding

 

FAR’s information guides greet guests on opening day. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

FAR’s information guides greet guests on opening day. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Social distancing signs line the resort, reminding guests to maintain appropriate distance between each other.

Social distancing signs line the resort, reminding guests to maintain appropriate distance between each other.

Matt and Josie Majury prepare to snowboard down their first run of the season. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Matt and Josie Majury prepare to snowboard down their first run of the season. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Mountains peeked out from behind the clouds atop the Great Bear Express Quad. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Mountains peeked out from behind the clouds atop the Great Bear Express Quad. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Shredders cheer while on the chairlift on FAR’s opening day. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Shredders cheer while on the chairlift on FAR’s opening day. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)