Jenny Peterson rips down Mr. Burms on Sunday, during the opening weekend at FAR.  Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Jenny Peterson rips down Mr. Burms on Sunday, during the opening weekend at FAR. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Calgarian nabs first chair as summer starts at FAR

Trevor Beblow was first in line at Fernie Alpine Resort’s Timber Chair on Saturday. It was the fourth consecutive year the Calgarian has nabbed the first chair of FAR’s summer season.

Beblow rolled into town at approximately midnight on Friday and said he was up every hour on the hour all night long in anticipation of being first in the lift line.

He got up at about 6:30 a.m. when he and his friend easily managed to line up before anyone else.

Being first on opening day was an honour, he said.

“It feels amazing. I want to go for ten years. I just love the vibe of Fernie, a lot. I love the people, the type of terrain that we ride out here. I’m just a mountain biker at heart and I’m really happy to be here.”

Beblow works at Bow Cycle in Calgary. Riding a Kona Operator and sporting a bandage to help protect a newly inked tattoo, the 38-year old reflected on the significance of getting first chair.

“I’m in the industry,” he said. “I’m in the lifestyle and that’s what I want to focus on.”

Beblow said he completed 176 descents at Fernie Alpine Resort last season and is aiming to break 200 this season.

“I think I’ll be able to do it,” he said. “Just getting a feel for the first day out. Wheels on the ground, safe and sound.”

His friend John Churchill also made first chair for the second consecutive year. Churchill said he hopes to make it through the entire summer after a back injury cut his last season short.

Out in front of the day lodge, a group of artists were painting murals on rails for FAR’s terrain park.

Mark Kowalchuk, who does in-house graphic design for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, spearheaded the initiative to beautify the features for the hill’s skiers and snowboarders.

He was painting an image of a wizard taking a selfie.

“It’s like he’s capturing the moment,” said Kowalchuk.

Dejana Lukac, a Fernie artist originally from Croatia, was painting a rail with a tribal face and some nature in the background.

Drew Hampson, another Fernie artist, was going freestyle on his rail.

“I’m doing a bunch of flash pieces,” he said while painting an image of a skeleton with a lumberjack toque.

Though the powder is long gone, there is still fun to be had at FAR in the summer including lift access hiking and biking, scenic trail rides, mountaintop dining, zip lining and more.