or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fernie and Jasper in January?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We are likely heading back to Alberta with Lake Louise and sunshine as our main stay. We are going to do either one or other (or both) of Jasper or Fernie as an extra on the side, but dont really know what to expect. We were in Jasper last year and it was pretty good (though no fresh stuff), but they did mention to us that (inspite of it being rough in Alberta) the snow was pretty good. Fernie I know was tragic having heard all about it while on lifts in LL, I have also looked at http://far.redtree.com/cgmrep.html which seems to suggest that January is really very variable.

So can anyone more local to these areas give me a good opinion on conditions in mid January? Is Fernie really so prone to being soggy at the time of year? Is Jasper typically a bit thin?

Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 11
Rain incidence in Fernie is random and not predictable. January is in general a good month to be there as its Pac NW moderate climate will usually not be that cold, and spring conditions less likely than later in the season.

Jasper, like Sunshine and Lake Louise, can be very cold, and if it's a low snow year coverage can be sketchy in January.
post #3 of 11
In the two seasons I've spent in Fernie, January has offered all the snow/weather conditions you can imagine....
Real deep pow, rain, sun and brutally cold temps....
Come to think of it... I think we actually went through all those in less than 2 weeks in 2002. Not in that order though...

If it rains in Fernie, Castle Mountain usually is a good option...

Don't know if that helps you though!
post #4 of 11
why not wait and see if Jasper get snow and if ferniw gets rain, go on the road when it is good?

both are hit and miss, jasper without snow is common, as is fernie with rain (anytime)
post #5 of 11
You guys are scaring me... I'll be in Fernie for a week 27th December. I had to come at this time as I own a shop and only get a window of couple of weeks for this trip. I'll be in Blackcomb/Whistler for the second week.
post #6 of 11


Just remember that once you are in the Fernie-Jasper corridor there are lots of alternatives if conditions are lousy at both mountains. Half-way in between are the Banff resorts as well as Kicking Horse (all of which may have very different snowpacks than what you would find at Fernie and Marmot). Within a short day from Fernie you also have Castle, Panorama, Whitewater and Red Mtn as well. Last year was not particularly good for a lot of the Pacific NorthWest, but Sunshine and Marmot did very well (folks seemed to be divided as to whether it was the best year for Marmot in five, ten, or twenty-five years--but everyone agreed it was the best for a long time).

Odds are that one hill in the area should have good conditions by the middle of January--if not it's a one day drive to Big White, Silver Star, and Sun Peaks. Just be flexible--there is lots of good skiing in the area.
post #7 of 11
The driving between regions is formidable. I think the realistic option at that time of year is to be based at Fernie since it gets the most snow, and if it's too warm you have Castle and The Big Mountain, both slightly higher and no more than 2 hours away.

Red and Whitewater are 5 hours drive one way. Lake Louise and Kicking Horse are at least 4. Panorama and Kimberley are closer, but it takes a huge season for those to have good natural snow by December. It's a full day drive one way to Big White/Silver Star/Sun Peaks.

The previous post's advice is like going to Colorado, and if you don't like the snow driving to Utah. It's doable, but requires a tolerance for long drives and flexibility on finding last minute lodging. B.C. is a big place, and few of the roads are like Interstate highways. I've been up there nearly every year since 1997 and normally confine myself to one region. Last year's Tropical Punch induced me to make an exception and spend 2 days at Kicking Horse/Lake Louise despite flying in/out of Spokane.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips guys. We cant really be all that flexible to be honest, we are a 3 generation party so need things booked before hand and we are additionally not willing to drive (we live in a climate where we never have to drive in snow). Our transportation will be scheduled or private transfer stuff, so once we are in resort, there really isnt much chance to go to somewhere a few hours down the road, even moreso because we will probably go with a package where ski tickets are already included!

Lake louise is our safe spot..... it is just where to spend the other 3 or 4 days..... by the sound of it, it is 6 of one, half dozen of the other...... is that right?
post #9 of 11
Most people would probably suggest Fernie as the better bet. If you're staying in the Banff/Lake Louise area you may also be able to take a day bus to Kicking Horse or Panorama as well (if snow conditions warrant). Either Fernie or Marmot is a solid drive from Banff/Lake Louise, but the one road to Jasper (the spectacular Icefields Parkway) is always at risk to be closed by storms that time of the year. (Actually if you're not used to driving in winter conditions, you will probably want to take a bus to Jasper if you go as there inevitably are pretty dicey conditions when you pass by the Columbia Icefields on your way up the parkway).
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
We were caught out by the parkway being closed last January, we did manage to get from LL up, but it was an 8 hour trip through the wilderness (on a bus).

It looks like the jasper accomodation can be cancelled up to 72 hours in advance, so i think it is a case of finding something in fernie with similar terms and then just going to the one with best conditions just prior to departure.


post #11 of 11
Yes you should go to Fernie, but I would advise against public transportation. This is an area where it's much more convenient to have your own wheels.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel