Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

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Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Powder Dan » Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:53 am

:lol: Incredible!! I believe that I have found the best place for the perfect mix- Deep Powder and Epic Terrain....I know that we all want to keep a secret but thought that all you powder seekers should know this is the place. Check it out and hope to see you up for the some turns. On this day started with line down Cedar Bowl with over 2 feet of new over the Holiday period and new snow falling I found great stash in skiers left on ridge line. Dry light and fun!
Happy New Year- Powder Dan[B]
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Sharon » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:20 pm

I believe that I have found the best place for the perfect mix- Deep Powder and Epic Terrain...


well, it is pretty good out there, but have you skied Kicking Horse? And how would it compare to Alta/Bird?

FWIW, I hit Fernie on a powder day and yeah, it was awesome, but I didn't think the terrain blew away some other places I've been to. BC has some awesome snow and terrain and the vibe is way cool out there. I plan to get back, but I'll go to Red Mtn because I really like the steep trees.

Did ya ride the meat hook?
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:10 am

I agree that Red's tree skiing is the best lift serviced I've ever seen, but Fernie's is not that far behind. And Fernie gets about 30% more snow. Both areas have had a bad run of seasons recently, extreme drought in 2001 and excessive rain in 2005. 2003 and 2004 also had a fair amount of rain. 2002 was the only really good season of the past 5.

Kicking Horse is reportedly in a familiar pattern now: great snow and terrain up high and crappy conditions on the lower 2000 vertical, which you are forced to ski to reload that gondola.
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby yak » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:03 am

I've skied all three.

I love KH's chutes off the top, but hated the traverses to the lower lines (kinda like Alta). But ya gotta love "fresh meat" Monday's!

We hit Fernie before and after cat skiing at Powder Cowboy. Fernie has nice steeps, especially the lower skiers left area. We got a huge dump when we were there so it was an out-of-body experience.

We also hit Red before cat skiing White Grizzly in an off year, so while we spent a lot of time in the trees at Red, it wasn't the best experience, but I could see the potential in a good snow year. (The bamboo storage boxes attached to the lift towers were 10 feet in the air, so we knew it was a way below normal year.) But the cat skiing rocked!
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Sharon » Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:22 am

2002 was the only really good season of the past 5.


Luckily, that was the year I went, and it was spectacular. Made me say "I gotta get back there". Yeah, I've heard it hasn't been so great since then. My finances have dictated trips to SLC the last 3 years, so I haven't been able to get back to BC yet, and with the weather patterns, it is probably fortuitous.

When at Fernie last time, we did have powder, but it was friggin cold (never got above zero), which didn't give me the best impression. While we did get some great pow, I didn't have the best overall experience there, so my judgement is a bit clouded. I know I should try it again some time. But first, I gotta get back to Red and WW, and the cat skiing out there is stellar and reasonably priced. Well worth the $200 or so US. Going standby is the way to go if you have time and flexibility.

I think if I was able to take 1-3 months off to ski, I would definitely go to BC. There are so many places to ski there, great hot springs, and everything is reasonably priced with the Canadian/US discount (exchange rate). My friends who winter out west are all in SLC...so that's where I'm headed in a few weeks, once again (though I'm chompin at the bit to get out there now). When I retire (and maybe sooner) I hope to drive an RV out west to live/ski for the winter. BC will be my destination, though I could easily see going to SLC for the climate and friends. It's all good. Both locations have the greatest, lightest and driest snow. Both locations have fabulous terrain and many places to ski. The Wasatch seem more reliable for snow in the past years, but I think this last El Nino phase just really hit BC hard in the last few years. Typically they get a ton of snow in the 400" range.
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:34 pm

I don't have anybody lift-serviced in B.C. over 400 except the top of Whistler. Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island is probably 400+ but with high rain incidence similar to Baker or Stevens in Washington State. Fernie and Whitewater are in the high 300's. Way up north Shames and Powder King get a ton (I have no offical data), but they are small areas and at the ends of the earth remote.

The Selkirks and Monashees north of Nelson comprise a huge amount of terrain at 400+. Mt. Fidelity at 6,100 feet near Rogers Pass is the the only location I have at ski altitude and it is just under 500 November-to-April. There are numerous cat and heli operators in these ranges.

I am firmly convinced that Little Cottonwood Canyon is the best lift served microclimate for skiing in the world. You'll get a whole lot less competition for powder in interior B.C, but don't expect the same weather and snow.

For what it's worth these are the two destination regions that I visit nearly every season.
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Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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Re: re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Patrick » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:34 pm

Sharon wrote: There are so many places to ski there, great hot springs, and everything is reasonably priced with the Canadian/US discount (exchange rate)


Don't look now if you haven't seen the US/Canadian exchange rate lately. :shock: :D Not so much of a discount for you Americans anymore. Roughtly 13% $1 CDN = $ 0.87 US.

Best it's been in 13 years, the US $ has free fallen in the last year or two.
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re: Fernie, BC Jan 2nd 2006

Postby Powder Dan » Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:31 pm

I just got back from recent January trip to Fernie and we hit it on an incredible day! I do like Red and we have enjoyed Alta but still feel that the region of BC where Fernie and Red reside is a better choice than Cottonwood Canyon. Purely for the reason of a lot less people to track them out....Many days after a storm you can still find freshies at Fernie and Red. I have saved my money from summer work and plan a ski trip to BC each year now as it is clearly the place to go now.....As far as snow depth goes it seems that Tony Crocker knows his stuff :D
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