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Schweitzer, Fernie and Whitefish

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Day 1 was Schweitzer. We only skied one run in the fog with 50 MPH winds. The winds got even worse and they shut down all the lifts at 9:30. I’ll have to come back another time.

 

Day 2 & 3 Fernie. There was almost no one on the hill despite being the Thursday and Friday before family day/pres weekend. Lots of great powder stashes all over the mountain. My favorite runs were off the peak chair, Mars and “Steep and Deep.” Tons of great skiable terrain with a comparably low lift capacity means fresh powder all day and even the day after the storm, great!

 

Day 4 & 5 Whitefish. The holiday weekend crowds resulted in lift lines for #1 and #7. Lines were pretty consistent at 15 minutes with a brief morning spike at #7 that was 30+ minutes. No lines at all other lifts. We got 10” over the weekend and even with the crowds, lots of runs were empty and untracked even at the end of the day.

 

I’m a big fan of Fernie and Whitfish now and hope to get back soon. Low crowds, low prices and big ski terrain was great. Fernie has a little more expert terrain and longer expert pitches. Whitefish has some expert stuff too and has a ton of great single black stuff.  My wife enjoyed the blues at both places too, especially since they were generally empty with plenty of groomed and ungroomed options.

 

The only minor negatives was lift 1 at Whitefish. Despite being the most important lift out of the base area, it doesn't open until 9:30.  The lift layout also requires you to take a long road to get back to lift 1 (I don’t know why they didn’t realign lift 1 when they upgraded it to a HSQ. A base near the base of lift 4 or by the day lodge would be much better.)  Again, these issues were very minor and I highly recommend Whitefish and Fernie.

 

Fernie: (It was foggy on and off so only a few pics)

great scenery

 

Typical (lack of) crowd in the white pass area

top of timber bowl lift

 

Whitefish:

East rim from summit

Elephant's Graveyard

 

Lift 2 area

 

Great views into Glacier National Park

post #2 of 4
I thought they opened pokey old chair four at nine AM for the holiday? As well as 2. But I do remember when I moved here from the East coast where they'd opened at 7:30 that this 9:30 thing drove me nuts. Much of our winter has very short days, so there's not much daylight for ski patrol to be heaving dynamite around until the days get longer.
They also used to keep the lifts open an extra half hour in the spring, but when we got new management that cared about actually turning a profit, that went away. :-(
Stayed away Saturday and Sunday. Same crowds as Christmas. You got some great snow.
Edited by sibhusky - 2/20/14 at 7:32am
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I thought they opened pokey old chair four at nine AM for the holiday? As well as 2. But I do remember when I moved here from the East coast where they'd opened at 7:30 that this 9:30 thing drove me nuts. Much of our winter has very short days, so there's not much daylight for ski patrol to be heaving dynamite around until the days get longer.
They also used to keep the lifts open an extra half hour in the spring, but when we got new management that cared about actually turning a profit, that went away. :-(
Stayed away Saturday and Sunday. Same crowds as Christmas. You got some great snow.


You're right, 2 and 4 opened at 9 so we got some runs in on the lower mountain.  Not a huge deal but a little longer ski day would be cool. 

post #4 of 4

Sounds like you had great timing other than Schweitzer. I have yet to make it to Fernie, that one's on my bucket list!

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