Welcome new snow in Canada

19th January 2010, by Editor Watts

Daily Mail mag readers enjoying fresh snow on Friday

Daily Mail mag readers enjoying fresh snow on Friday

Since my blog last week, it has snowed a bit each day and temperatures have fallen significantly. So I enjoyed great new powder on my second day’s cat skiing at Island Lake Lodge (more about ILL soon – it is a fabulous place to stay and ski).

Action in Fernie

Next I spent three excellent days in Fernie with a Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard magazine reader trip. There was fresh light powder on the top half of the mountain and hard crud and groomed pistes lower down.

We hit the jackpot on day one: the ski patrol had been blasting avalanches above Currie Bowl from early morning. It eventually opened for the first time in two days around 11am. We were one of the first groups down it and enjoyed fabulous untracked powder to mid-mountain (I counted 50 non-stop turns before stopping for breath). Over the next two days there was plenty of ungroomed but chopped up powder to enjoy – which is what Fernie is all about.

With the help of a local guide, the intermediates in our DMSS group were able to enjoy the powder as well as the groomed slopes. A guide is essential in Fernie for the first day or two of your stay so that you get to know the mountain. Lots of the best runs involve long traverses across Currie, Lizard and Cedar Bowls, including narrow tracks between the trees that you might be nervous to take unless you knew where they were leading.

Fernie’s bubbly and charming Sales and PR manager Christine Grimble showed us around on day one. On days two and three I led the group of six readers into adventure after adventure in the trees – they (and I) loved every minute (apart from one rather scary traverse!). Fernie may not have a huge amount of terrain in terms of acres, but it really is a ski-anywhere mountain. I’d be quite happy to spend a two-week holiday there.

See the sign for Currie Glades? Not may people would

WTSS has always been critical of Fernie’s poor trail map and on-mountain signposting. So we are delighted to announce that this continued criticism has at last resulted in significant improvements. Fernie now has a new, larger trail map showing the different bowls and runs in them more clearly. And the resort has increased and improved its on-mountain signposting.

Thanks for listening and taking action Christine – it is a great start! But more improvements are needed, especially to the signposting – some runs that are marked on the map are still not signposted on the mountain and others have signs 12ft-15ft in the air nailed to trees.

On to Kimberley

On Monday we skied Kimberley: about 90-minutes drive away and under the same ownership as Fernie. It had wonderful untouched fresh snow and was deserted – I skied all morning with Dave Limerick, one of the DMSS readers and a fellow Spurs fan, and we hardly saw anyone else on the trails. Kimberley has only three lifts and is mainly a family resort. There are good easy-cruising blue runs, but also a lot of blacks. These run from the top ridges through and between the trees – all very similar, and with untracked powder covering big moguls. It is a great place for a day out, but I would not want to spend a week there.

More to come on Island Lake Lodge and two great new restaurants that have opened in Fernie and Big White. For now, I’m now on my way home…

Dave Limerick on one of Kimberley’s many deserted slopes on Monday 18 January

Dave’s Canadian trip was organised by Frontier Ski, a tour operator which specialises in Canada and can tailor make a holiday with any combination of resorts that you’d like.

See: www.frontier-ski.co.uk

The DMSS reader trip (which goes to Panorama, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke as well) was organised by Ski Independence, who run holidays to North America and Europe. They can also tailor make trips.

See: www.ski-i.com

Back to all blogs

Recent blogs

Share |