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Fernie Alpine Resort No Longer Powder Legend

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Fernie unfortunately is no longer a Powder Legend. Most Bowls are closed when 5cm or more fall. This leaves the hill to limited terrain and has continued to frustrate our guests. Since ownership was transferred to Resorts of The Canadian Rockies, prices have increased, terrain decreased, day passes are increased during prime time, terrain park closed, etc., etc., etc. Just a disappointed local

post #2 of 20

Welcome to 'Charlie's World'.  Corner cutting is his mantra.

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbertoewrn View Post

 

Just a disappointed local


 

No kidding, this is your second thread on Fernie.

 

I wanted to ski fernie a bit more this year, but dropping the free days from the Louise Card has kept me at Caslte. It was dissapointing for sure, but if there is a year to skip fernie, it is this one. Hopefully next year will bring more snow and improved ops.

 

Exracer: are you talking about Charlie Locke? I know he is back at Louise, but I didn't think he had anything to do with Fernie.

 

Anyway, we didn't complain as much last year when Fernie got dumped on. ;)

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Murray Edwards owns Fernie. When Charlie owned the hill, he ran it well, however did not pay his bills!!

post #5 of 20

We were just at Fernie for 4 days, the sking is suprisingly good for how little snow there is. Don't get me wrong its not great but it's not a disaster, And yes if it does snow they close all of the decent terrain. The issue I have is the gouging RCR does. I Bought 2 single cheese burgers an order of fries and a drink... wait for it... $25 freaking dollars. I am not a cheap person but that is just over the top gouging. We went to the grocery store that night and bought enough food to feed us 7 for 3 lunches for $50, then noticed almost everyone else was doing the same. I wonder if the bean counters at RCR have figured out how much they are losing by trying to make a 1000% profit on each burger. As well the feeling they are giving to their customers that they are going to get gouged at every opportunity.

post #6 of 20

Are they closing to perform avalanche blasting?  Or do they just close for no apparent reason?  Or are they too cheap to actually blast?

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

They close with a accumulation of 5cm. No questions asked this year. The next day if they are satisfied with the avalanche control the bowls are open. If not they bring in the Chopper. I do agree that they should take safety as a number 1 priority, however it has gone totally crazy. Today they open up the bowls (7cm) (not all from the top) from yesterdays snow. No slide (from the bombs they shot) came close to the areas we ski. I have been skiing here for over 25 years and given the hill is a challenge and avalanche control should be priority 1, this is not an exact science and history of the hill should be taken into account. Anyway just my opinion.

 

As far as $$$$, I could not agree more with your comment on $$$$. We have a place in Lizard and the main complaint we hear is the cost of skiing here and lack of customer focus. Again only my opinion.

post #8 of 20

From what i understand like Alta, Fernie gets tremendous amounts of snow. So they have to close some terrain during major snow cycles so they can do Avy control work. Better safe than sorry! Also we have heard that Fernie is well run and you arr fortunate to have a ski area that is still making it as many down here are in tough financial shape. Grass is always greener type thought.....good luck enjoy the POW as just checked the Fernie Alpine Resort snow report and your getting more snow than my home mountain...maybe i should write a rant about my home ski area.....a Happy Local

post #9 of 20

From what i understand like Alta, Fernie gets tremendous amounts of snow. So they have to close some terrain during major snow cycles so they can do Avy control work. Better safe than sorry! Also we have heard that Fernie is well run and you arr fortunate to have a ski area that is still making it as many down here are in tough financial shape. Grass is always greener type thought.....good luck enjoy the POW as just checked the Fernie Alpine Resort snow report and your getting more snow than my home mountain...maybe i should write a rant about my home ski area.....a Happy Local

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by manchester81 View Post

Exracer: are you talking about Charlie Locke? I know he is back at Louise, but I didn't think he had anything to do with Fernie.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbertoewrn View Post

Murray Edwards owns Fernie. When Charlie owned the hill, he ran it well, however did not pay his bills!!

 

I knew Murray Edwards had bailed Charlie Locke out, but I thought I read somewhere that Charlie was back involved again with RCR... or maybe I'm just getting my news and relationships confused. In any case, I'm sure the spectre of Charlie's cheap-ass business style still hangs over RCR. You're right about him not paying bills, though. It wasn't that long ago that I was hearing stories that suppliers to Lake Louise were stopping deliveries unless they received payment up front.

post #11 of 20
Quote:

From what i understand like Alta, Fernie gets tremendous amounts of snow.

About 2/3 as much.   I read Craig Morris' reports regularly for the 12 years he was dong them, and there is no question in my mind that Fernie is much slower to open terrain after storms than Alta, Snowbird, Jackson etc.  I recall in a discussion about Jackson and the 2 seasons without the tram, a knowledgeable snow safety person said, "The best way to do avalanche control is from the top down."  Fernie's lift placements below the peaks of the Lizard Range prevents them from doing that without calling in a chopper.

 

You want a big powder day on great terrain?  You're much more likely to get it at Castle than Fernie IMHO. 

http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=6384
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Charlie Locke was able to buy back Lake Lousie after 5 years for what he paid plus improvements (re: Local gossip). He's totally in control of Lousie which is NOT part of RCR. (Murray apparently owns a miniorty share) His news release said that he was bring back the Terrain Park and also going to try and make it more customer focus as well as more affordable for family, etc.. He has since got rid of the $5 surcharge on lift tickets for prime time which is standard at all RCR resorts. He has kept the Lousie Card which will not be honour at RCR next year. This year only reduced pricing if you have the card. Free days are only at Lousie.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

RCR does it again. More than half the mountain was closed for over a week (White Pass Chair Down) and still charged full price for a day ticket. Now after receiving 17cm overnight most of the hill was closed due to avalanche fear. Again no reduction in cost for the day skier.

post #14 of 20

Gee, down here in Whitefish when they had most of the chairs closed last Tuesday due to high winds, they reduced lift ticket prices to $29! 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbertoewrn View Post

 

RCR does it again. More than half the mountain was closed for over a week (White Pass Chair Down) and still charged full price for a day ticket. Now after receiving 17cm overnight most of the hill was closed due to avalanche fear. Again no reduction in cost for the day skier.


 

post #15 of 20

 

The Avy danger in Fernie is not trivial.  I spent three years there, did some patrolling and saw it more up close and personal than I care to think about. People die every year in that area----this year it was eight local snowmobilers.

 

That said, RCR has not been a very popular owner.  Moral among employees is abysmal, and relations with the town are very bad.  I can't see that will pay in the long run.  It is a shame to run a nice place so poorly.

 

Here's a bit on what can happen there:  Let's just say that "got wrapped up in the snow" is a euphimism for "got the living s**t knocked out of them", and that the "patroller on site immediately to help out" didn't get there by skiing over after the dust settled.

 

 

Quote:

About 300 kilometres away – at the Fernie Alpine Resort – nine skiers are recovering from a near miss with an avalanche.

 

Avalanche swept inbound at the Fernie Alpine Resort

Avalanche swept inbound at the Fernie Alpine Resort

They were within the bounds of the ski hill, when the avalanche swept in from outside the boundary.

 

Resort spokesperson Matt Mosteller says the skiers were partially buried, but "got wrapped up in snow" and were rescued quickly.

"There was a patrol member who was there, actually on the same area, and was on site immediately to help those people out."

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

Newfydog, thanks again for your comments. I do agree with the challenge that the patrolers have at Fernie. The year of the inbound avalanche was on Arrow (I was there) and the snow that hit the Arrow run was less than a 1/2 boot depth. Most of the snow does come down in the runs that the FACE LIFT Services(which is why it is closed most days) and then only a little will run past if major snow/wind/etc are present. As you know the more the snow is skied the less change of major slides. My only comment here is that they (RCR) close the bowls way too early. ie. Upper Cedar with 5cm new and Lizard with 10cm new (new rule this year!!) Again I do appreciate the challenge and great work most of the patrolers do here, but the person calling the shots (in my opinion) does not have a good feel/experience for this hill.

 

Anyway why did you leave Fernie?

post #17 of 20


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbertoewrn View Post

 The year of the inbound avalanche was on Arrow (I was there) and the snow that hit the Arrow run was less than a 1/2 boot depth.


 

We're talking about a different slide then,  The wall of snow that came down arrow was considerably more. Waaayyy more.

You don't work for RCR do you?  I'd write more about it but RCR wants it reported in their own spin.

 

I'm sure they could invest more at getting things open, but don't think the danger is always overstated

 

PM sent

 

 


Edited by newfydog - 3/18/2009 at 09:35 pm
post #18 of 20

RCR employee moral was low years ago, I can't speak for now. A good example was a fellow patroller quit and got a job with a heli ski outfit he came back and told us about it and the main theme was that they actually valued his input, our jaws just dropped. The extra wages and the food were just a bonus.

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 

Moral is very low I am told. They let go a few cat operators due to the lack of visitors. You would think grooming would be a high priority. I'm sure if the tickets were more reasonable more families, etc. would come. Not to mention if RCR would work with the hotels on the hill and in town, more affordable packages could be had. Lizard Creek Lodge tried to work something at the beginning of the season with no success.

post #20 of 20

closures over 5 cm???  that's what we call a trace down here...

 

KT and all it's steeps always open at 9:00 unless we have more than 100cm... in which case it sometimes doesn't open until an hour after closing.  usually it will still open within 20 minutes even with 100 cent.

 

that sucks....

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