“A Fernie Fantasy” Published in Ski. Backcountry skiing powder, in-bounds? Yes, and it doesn’t get better than the woods in the Fernie ski resort.
Storm Heaven at Fernie Ski Resort
I had no choice, you don’t leave one of British Columbia’s steepest and deepest powder haunts while the snow is still tumbling out of the sky. I immediately changed my flight despite the abominable visibility, which was forecast to last for a week. So why bother changing my flight? Easy. Fernie’s tree runs.
Before entering their embrace, you must rethink resort skiing, because when following the Fernie Ski Resort Trail map you will not arrive at an obvious groomed run with pretty poles shepherding you down the mountain.
No, you have to pay attention because somewhere, nailed to a tree, you will find the runs name on a black sign pointing into, well, an impenetrable forest. That’s when you first think, “Yep, a helmet is a brilliant idea.”
You stare a little harder, and it still appears to be an inhospitable domain fit for cougars and wolverines. But it’s on the trail map, and there’s that damn sign pointing down. Then something miraculous happens.
Gradually you stop focusing on the trees, and begin peering at the spaces between them. Something clicks – may be a buried instinct or childhood memory that tells you the woods offer shelter, a place to play. And then you drop-in.
The snow has barely touched the ground before you cut a floating track through it. The silence and serenity is at odds with your bubbling brain, evaluating lines at speed, thinking three, four, five turns ahead… There’s a dell on the right – you storm into it, kicking up an arcing spray. A small drop of generates a little lift, and you whoompf into another powder cushion.
The magic spaces between the barriers of bark and branch broaden until an actual piste appears. By now you will have lost sight of your body, even if you only deviated slightly from their line, but a quick shout soon brings you getting back together and onto the lift.
Backcountry Skiing With Lift Access
By the time you are back at the black-sign pointing down the run, you tracks will be filled in, the woods seduction will be complete and you drop in for another and another, until your mum shouts you home for tea.