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Trip to Fernie - looking for advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey epicskiers. I'm going to Fernie in about 3 or so weeks.  I've only been there on two trips before and at the time I didn't ski as well as I do now, so I don't have any knowledge about which terrain/runs to take.

 

Right now, I am a level 7 skier. The pair of skis that I want to use at Fernie are Nordica Enforcers, they are considered mid-fat or something like that. Anyway, I'd like to ski some challenging runs while I'm there. The most "challenging" run I've done so far has been this one tree glades at Revelstoke and also "The Ultimate Steeps" double black at Lake Louise on the backside, and I didn't find either of them too difficult.

 

Is there anyone with knowledge of Fernie that has recommendations of places to go? Thank you in advance.

 

EDIT: Oh and if there any epicskiers going to be in that area during that time, let me know.

post #2 of 10

Bring water skis and a rain slicker... no joke.

post #3 of 10

Today would have been a good day. It was great at Castle, at least. i think they are getting the same system.

 

Hopefully you will luck out with a nice storm. Otherwise, exracer is probably right. April can be really warm southern BC/Alberta. Lets hope for the best!

 

Great tree runs at Fernie. I don't ski there often enough to provide a guide, but I personally like the old side better. Most days i would be riding the boom chair and haul back.....

 

I was meaning to ski fernie more this year, but I have only made it out once. The 75/80 lift ticket seems high to me, and it is hard to justify when i have a pass to a closer hill. Checking the site, they are charging the high rate for the last 3.5 weeks of the season......

 

Maybe next year they will offer a discount card so I can get my Fernie Fix. :)

 

If you haven't been to Castle, it is worth a trip from Calgary. It hasn't been the best snow year (no chutes!), but the skiing has still been pretty good. The hill is known for its long fall line runs (and high winds). It's not everybody's favorite hill, but to borrow a beer slogan, "those who like it, like it a lot."

post #4 of 10

double post

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the comments manchester81. Unfortunately, I can't just decide where to go spontaneously. On the weekend I'm going to Fernie, we have good friday so I will have a friday off from work. I made bookings in advance on a deal I found with a hotel. I wouldn't be able to afford going there and paying the normal hotel price. Also it's hard for me to justify going to Castle when Lake Louise is only 2 hours away and has consistently had more snow. Castle is a 3 hour drive and I'm only willing to do a 3 hour drive if there is a lot of snow. I only have time on weekends since I have a full time job. I'm actually taking this thursday off as a vacation day, I'm hoping for some good weather at Louise or Kicking horse for a day's trip.

 

EDIT: Actually looking at the snow report at castle's site, they've had nearly 50cm in 48 hours. I'm thinking on Thursday, I might just go to Castle then if the conditions are good. Wake up early in the morning and leave at 5:30am, that'll be fun heh.

post #6 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangSVT View Post

 

. Also it's hard for me to justify going to Castle when Lake Louise is only 2 hours away and has consistently had more snow.

 

EDIT: Actually looking at the snow report at castle's site, they've had nearly 50cm in 48 hours. I'm thinking on Thursday, I might just go to Castle then if the conditions are good. Wake up early in the morning and leave at 5:30am, that'll be fun heh.


 

Haha. It hasn't been the best season at castle, but it has picked up in the last couple of weeks. It usually will have more snow than Lake Louise, except in the very early parts of the season. The snow stays good for a long time on the backside of Louise, but they don't get a lot of dumps.

 

As of today, the season totals at mid mountain are castle: 515 cm, louise: 273cm. Tough to compete with Louise's terrain though.

 

It takes about 2 hours to get to castle once you are south of the city. Getting out of town is the hard part, especially if you are coming from the NW.

 

Thursday should be a great time. Like I said, I had a blast on Monday and it is still snowing.

 

After hyping castle, I'll  give you some things to consider. If you check the trail map, everything south of drifter is closed...... I am hoping that the chutes will open sometime before close date, but we are running out of time!  Drifter itself if a great run though, as is everything on the far north. Check the temps. Castle is lower in elevation than the Banff areas and warm weather comes earlier.

 

The biggest issue with Castle is the wind. Tracks are often covered over night by drifing snow, but if the wind is too high during the day, the top chair will close and you are left with a small hill.

 

That said, i still think it's worth checking out. They have the longest fall line runs in the region and it can compete with any hill on the right day. If you have a pass or discount card to other hills , bring them with you. I think they offer half day rates for pass/card holders to certain resorts.

 

 

 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yea I have a Louise discount card, apparently I can get a half day rate, plus I think I get a discount since I'm a student, or something like that.
 

I'll keep checking conditions until the last moment before I leave thursday early morning. It's gonna be either Louise or Kicking Horse or Castle. I live in SW Calgary by the way, so I get out the city pretty quickly.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey manchester81, thanks for persuading me to go to Castle. I was there yesterday and it was great. It was very windy on the top chair (red chair) but it was worth it. I got to ski with a bunch of Norquay ski patrol people which included this friendly girl from canmore. They didn't know the area well either, but we found our way around. It was probably the best ski day I've had all year.

post #9 of 10

That's awesome! I was up today. It was great up top but pretty mushy at the bottom by the end of the afternoon. Still hard to beat a day in the sunshine.

 

If you are down this way friday-monday, let me know. We can hook up for some turns.

 

Definately try to make it next year. The chutes are great fun when they are open!

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Oops I guess I forgot to check here on Friday night. I was at Castle on saturday as well. I went with a co-worker who snowboards. He had grown up at some place in northern BC where they get a lot of snow so he was pretty awesome at snowboarding. We had a great time at Castle. The lift lines were short, and the top chair was nowhere near as windy as on thursday.  We did just about everything we could.  We did Drifter and the blue next to it.  We did North Star (i think) and the one called North Bowl, also most of those glades under the red chair, like the one called "Show Off" and the one with all the small trees sticking out next to it where it's steep.

 

Overall we had a really good time and I will definitely be going there as often as I can next season. As far as I can tell, Castle is as nice as Revelstoke and Kicking Horse. I mean, the chair lift is pretty slow, but there's no crowds and the price is very reasonable for (especially with Louise discount card and student discount).  My moment of the day on saturday was when we were doing North Bowl and the view from there is incredible and the fact that there was nobody else there, just skiing those trees there was wonderful. My snowboarding friend also did a 540 and some 360s off a couple natural jumps and we just generally had a great time.

 

I should mention that the lower half of the mountain was definitely in "spring" conditions and after about noon it was pretty slushy, but that didn't take away from the fun we had there.

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