Ski Touring in the Fernie Area
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.
Accessing terrain via Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Report has two Transceiver Gates leading into unpatrolled backcountry terrain. Fish Bowl is accessed by taking the Cedar High Traverse all the way to the Snake Ridge.
Access to Polaris Bowl is possible via the Polar Circus run by turning left at the top of Polar Peak Lift. You should have at least have an avalanche shovel, probe, and transceiver. Make sure you're transceiver is charged, and switch on to 'send' mode. As you pass through the gate the panel should light up to indicate that your transceiver is sending.
Overnight Ski Touring Huts
The Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club maintains two permanent shelters that are available for booking:
Cabins can be booked at The Guides Hut in Historic Downtown Fernie, 671 2nd 2nd Ave.
The FT&STC also maintains a warming hut at the Montane Trail Area near Coal Creek Road.
Additional information from Backcountry Skiing Canada
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.