Ski patrollers at Fernie Alpine Resort

Safety reminder from FAR’s ski patrol

The number one goal on the mountain is to have fun. It is the ski patrollers that often determine what is open and what isn’t.

The number one goal on the mountain is to have fun. It is the ski patrollers that often determine what is open and what isn’t.  The Free Press got out opening day to get some safety reminders about why runs may be closed to the skiing and riding public from ski patrol at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR).

“Things are closed for a reason. Priority one is to go out and have fun on your given day. You are out skiing, there is no reason to get too upset or aggressive about closures,” said Shane Lanthier, a four-year ski patroller.

Many of the runs may seem ride-able in the top sections, but do not have enough base snow to ski or ride out of.  As the season goes on and the resort gets more snow, closures can have many causes.

“We may be working in the terrain and we do not want people in there so something bad does not happen to us,” said Lanthier. “Just for personal knowledge, an AST [Avalanche Skills Training] 1, is geared towards recreationalists.”

“You do not need to get into the crazy snow science or all those things. But it gets you thinking about the terrain you’re in and aware of the conditions. So instead of going to go ski and not knowing why stuff is closed you know ‘I totally know why this is closed, I get why I am not allowed in there right now’,” he said.

It is also important to remember that although you may know the terrain, have the correct tools and safety equipment and have the skills to ascend or descend, other people will likely follow you.  These people may not have the same knowledge, experience, and set ups making it dangerous.

“Whether or not you know what you are doing, if you go to the backcountry all the time, this is not the place where you can do what you want. If one person goes in there then 500 other people are going to go,” said Lanthier.

It is the resorts responsibility to all of its customers to provide areas that accommodate everyone’s abilities.

“You have to cater to everyone’s skills and abilities. That is the big one for safety. Just don’t take it so seriously. Have fun and go skiing, if you really, really need to get first tracks all the time, start looking at backcountry,” Lanthier said. “When you are here you are our responsibility.  We play it on the safe side, and we don’t take chances. There are hundreds of people here, from first day on skis ever, and been skiing forever.”

In a perfect world, every run would be open all the time. Since skiing and snowboarding relies on nature for temperatures and snow it is unavoidable that there will be closures.

“It is a strange thing, people get this powder frenzy on. We have stuff closed for a reason. We want people to get out there and have fun. Ideally we would have all the terrain open and it would be a great time but that is just not the nature of it because we also have to make sure it’s safe.”

 

Just Posted

Glory for Fernie Ghostriders in four-point weekend

Riders back at home on January 25-26 for games against the Kimberley Dynamiters and Nelson Leafs

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing man

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Spike in Jaffray bear calls cause for concern

In 2018 there were 38 calls about bears spotted in the Jaffray area, compared to one call in 2017.

Snow on the way for Elk Valley

Winter weather advisory issued for East Kootenay with up to 15cm of snow expected over the next week

Snow removal still an issue for mobility challenged in Fernie

Disability advocate sees little improvement in sidewalk clearing; City promises to review policy

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Announcement made Saturday evening from Europe

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Fernie film festival tickets selling fast

Local links to films, shorts featured in 11th annual Reel Canadian Film Festival lineup

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Most Read