Tourism Fernie Home Page
  • Ski Touring near Fernie
  • Tunnel Creek Hut
  • Fernie Ski Touring
  • Ski Touring near Island Lake
  • Thunder Meadows Cabin
  • Ski Touring in the Fernie Area

The Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club (FT&STC) was incorporated in 1993.

The Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club's goal is to maintain responsible, non-motorized trail access on Fernie area Crown lands and private lands. Work with outdoor recreation groups, government, private land owners and tourist businesses to enhance and maintain the Fernie area non-motorized recreational trail system.

The association began over three decades ago as the Elk Valley Ski Touring Association (EVSTA), a loosely knit group of ski touring enthusiasts eager to protect and promote public access to recreation in the Fernie area. It has evolved to become a strong advocacy group for public recreation in the region.

The group’s first major success was securing a Special Use Permit in 1993 for the purpose of building a permanent shelter in the Thunder Meadows area located between Fernie Alpine Resort and Island Lake Resort Group. That Special Use Permit provided the group with particular access privileges on the crown land located there, and continues to this day to give the Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club tenure in the Thunder Meadows area.

Members of the FT&STC also worked consistently on the development of the Southern Rocky Mountains Management Plan, and have over the course of the past several years contributed significantly to trail development, maintenance and promotion in the region.

The FT&STC helped form the Fernie Trails Alliance, an organization dedicated to the joint goals of ensuring that Fernie and area residents maintain their historical access and ability to enjoy the network of non-motorized trails throughout the region. The groups work together for the betterment of recreational trails in the area.

Ski Touring around Fernie

OVERNIGHT CABINS

The FT&STC maintains permanent shelters at:

  • Thunder Meadows, located between Fernie Alpine Resort and Island Lake Resort
  • Tunnel Creek, to the south of Fernie Alpine Resort (see video)
  • A warming hut at the Montane Trail network

Thunder Meadows and Tunnel Creek Overnight Cabins can be booked at The Guides Hut in Historic Downtown Fernie, 671 2nd 2nd Ave. Guests must be members of the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club to book.

SKI TOURING AREAS

Touring in Fernie is focused on the area between Fernie Alpine Resort and Island Lake Resort, along the Lizard Range, through a large swath of crown land, as well as the Tunnel Creek area south of Fernie Alpine Resort.

In and around Thunder Meadows, touring takes place northward from FAR’s present boundary in Fish Bowl, Lizard Lake (Liverwurst Bowl), and Big Steep Mother Bowl.

Ski runs named by members include The Treed Slope, Orca Bowl, Big Steep, Cabin Bowl, Thirst Quencher, Goat Pass, and Three Bears.

SAFETY

Safety is essential to ski touring. Without the proper equipment and knowledge, skiers in the backcountry endanger the lives of others as well as their own. Each winter there are numerous stories in the news of backcountry enthusiasts who trek unprepared and cost lives, time, and money as a result. Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club encourages its members and others enjoying the backcountry to prepare for every eventuality.

Avalanche training is an essential tool for ski touring; simply put, it is a must. Knowledge is power, and in this case, a lifesaver. Avalanche safety courses are available locally in the Elk Valley through private companies hosting training, and College of the Rockies.

Armed with the right knowledge, ski tourers must also equip themselves properly. The mandatory list includes avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel, proper clothing, and survival kit. Make sure that someone at home base knows where you are going, when you are going, and when to expect you back. And know your terrain, or travel with someone who does.

Finally, checking conditions prior to heading out is also critical to safety. The Canadian Avalanche Association Website maintains the most up to date bulletins for regions throughout BC and Alberta, and specifically, the Southern Rockies. Be sure to log on before you head out.

“Maintain responsible, non-motorized trail access on Fernie area Crown lands and private lands. Work with outdoor recreation groups, government, private land owners and tourist businesses to enhance and maintain the Fernie area non-motorized recreational trail system.”

The association began over three decades ago as the Elk Valley Ski Touring Association (EVSTA), a loosely knit group of ski touring enthusiasts eager to protect and promote public access to recreation in the Fernie area. It has evolved to become a strong advocacy group for public recreation in the region.

The group’s first major success was securing a Special Use Permit in 1993 for the purpose of building a permanent shelter in the Thunder Meadows area located between Fernie Alpine Resort and Island Lake Resort Group. That Special Use Permit provided the group with particular access privileges on the crown land located there, and continues to this day to give the Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club tenure in the Thunder Meadows area.

Members of the FT&STC also worked consistently on the development of the Southern Rocky Mountains Management Plan, and have over the course of the past several years contributed significantly to trail development, maintenance and promotion in the region.

The FT&STC helped form the Fernie Trails Alliance, an organization dedicated to the joint goals of ensuring that Fernie and area residents maintain their historical access and ability to enjoy the network of non-motorized trails throughout the region. The groups work together for the betterment of recreational trails in the area.

 

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