This weekend marks the season closure of Fernie Alpine Resort. Despite the ski hill being subjected to unfavourable skiing and snowboarding conditions, this weekend’s closing celebration is sure to be a fun-filled event. Several events will be taking place at the resort, including the Raging Elk Powder, Pedal, Paddle Relay, Fernival and the Coca Cola Slope Soaker.
I moved to Fernie from Ontario last May and even though Fernie had little snow in comparison to their typical blanket of powder, I had one of the best skiing seasons I’ve ever had. Skiing powder was a brand new experience for me and it is one I wouldn’t trade for years of skiing in Ontario. Although there were very few powder days here in Fernie, the days when the Griz did deliver 20 cm or more of snow were spectacular. Skiing in snow that wasn’t man-made was a new experience for me and I often found myself having to stop half way down the hill to stretch my legs and catch my breath. After skiing here in Fernie, I know that what I was doing back in Ontario wasn’t true skiing. It can’t even compare. Even skiing in the rain had its perks, as you were often greeted by soft snow at the top of the hill when there was rain at the bottom of the hill.
On weekends when skiing wasn’t in the books, there was likely to be something going on at the ski hill anyways. From the Griz Days Dummy Downhill to Hot Dog Day, there always seemed to be something happening at the Resort.
I feel like a lot of locals take skiing in such a beautiful place for granted, following the 20 cm powder rule too closely and refusing to ski on days that are far from perfect. I, on the other hand, wouldn’t trade my skiing experience in Fernie for anything. For me every day of skiing was a treat as well as a challenge. Being greeted by picturesque views of the mountain was all I needed to keep me satisfied. I now understand why tourists travel far and wide to ski these mountains.
As the season comes to a close, I’m looking back on my skiing experience without dwelling on the unfavourable weather conditions. I’m looking back on my winter season and remembering it as a great experience, after all, many skiers and snowboarders don’t even get a chance to experience skiing in the Rocky Mountains.