Hundreds line up onto the street in Fernie to gain entrance to the Ski Swap. James Snell/The Free Press

Ski swap kicks off ski season in the Elk Valley

The Fernie Alpine Ski Team Annual Ski Swap ushered in ski and snowboard season on Saturday. Twenty per cent of all sales went to the Fernie Alpine Ski team. Participants, eager for good deals on quality equipment, lined up out the door of the Fernie Community Centre and onto the street.

Jay Carter has been involved in the Ski Swap for 11 years. He was busy helping gear hunters get outfitted.

“My wife and I have been primary organizers for at least five years now,” he said. “We’ve got more gear this year than ever before. I like to think Fernie citizens are gear hounds that want to get new stuff. We had a guy yesterday that dropped off 40 pairs of skis. He needed to get them out of the garage. That’s just one guy.”

Carter said that being a store owner and active skier makes him think of the Ski Swap as the beginning of ski season. He has his hand on the pulse of Fernie Ski culture.

“Everybody waits for this,” he explained. “I always say, what else are you going to do in Canada in the winter? [Skiing] is probably the best family sport available. People live for it, and being a bike shop and ski shop I always laugh because we depressurize in the summer. People come here from all over the world. They move here for the winter and tolerate summer.”

Carter has skied all over the world.

“Fernie for sure is my favourite place to ski in Canada,” he explained. “It’s one of the reasons we chose to live here. Fernie is possibly in the top three [ski areas] in North America. Jackson Hole and Snowbird have their own thing, but nothing touches Fernie on a snow day.”

Serena Wanstall, a new skier from Australia, recently moved to the valley to ski.

“I’ve been in Fernie for 2 months now,” she said. “I’m so excited. I have heard that Fernie is a great powder mountain and that it’s a really great ski area. A lot of people are trying to convince me to start skiing now [in addition to snowboarding]. I am tempted by all the skis on sale here.”

Wanstall said her family is excited for her, but they want her to come home.

“I put that on my to-do list,” she said with a smile. “I wasn’t expecting [the Ski Swap] to be this busy. I didn’t even know there were this many people in Fernie. It’s pretty exciting.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teck donates land to Elkford Housing Society

The land donation ceremony took place on January 16

Fernie Hotel supports through bushfire fundraiser

Sunday Funday at The Fernie raised thousands for Australian Bushfire Relief On… Continue reading

Ridgemont trail network closed to public

On January 10, 2020, the Fernie Trails Alliance issued a press release… Continue reading

New plane for Air Search and Rescue Association

The new Cessna 182 will also be used for Angel Flight services

Fernie Chamber of Commerce signs lease for downtown coworking space

By: Brad Parsell, Executive Director Fernie Chamber of Commerce The Fernie Chamber… Continue reading

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Kobe Bryant killed in California helicopter crash: reports

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Griz Days ressurects old fan favourites

Ice sculpting, bed races and smoosh skiing making their return to the winter festival

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Most Read