Tourism Fernie Home Page
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie
  • History of skiing in Fernie

Legend has it; Fernie’s story starts way back in 1879 with the birth of The Griz.

The Griz is credited with bringing the plentiful powder (up to 42 feet in a season) to Fernie year after year. With snow comes skiing. In Fernie folks started hiking up the local mountains to ski down long before the first lifts were installed.

Read more about the legend of the Griz.

Fernie's Ski History Timeline


  • The Fernie Ski Club installed and operated a Handle Tow lift on the south face of Mt Procter, which is behind the present location of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre.


  • A Handle Tow was operated in Liverwurst Bowl for one season. Present location of Island Lake Catskiing
  • Fernie Chamber of Commerce started the process of bidding for the 1968 Winter Olympics. They were unsuccessful in the end but it laid the foundation for skiing in Fernie.

Summer 1961

  • A-Frame Lodge under construction at the present Day Lodge location of Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Rabbit Ridge Rope Tow & Elk T-Bar installed


  • With the donation of all the land by Galloway Lumber and many countless volunteer hours, Fernie Snow Valley Ski Resort officially opened January 10th
  • Day Lodge construction completed
  • Two lifts operated. Rabbit Ridge Rope Tow was located between the Griz Inn and the bottom of the present Cornerstone Lodge. Elk T-Bar was located at the present location of the Deer Chair and went up to where the top of the current Elk Chair.


  • Ski School started on weekends by Mr Heiko Socher’s wife, Mrs Linda Socher.
  • Rabbit Ridge Rope Tow moved
  • A-Frame ski shop opened offering ski school, lift tickets and rentals


  • Lizard Bowl and part of Cedar Bowl opened
  • Bear T-Bar opened at the present Bear Express Quad Chair location


  • 2-Season Motel (20 units) opened – the first on-hill accommodation at the present Griz Inn location. It was one of the first ski-in ski-out lodging properties in the Rockies


  • Mr & Mrs Heiko & Linda Socher became co-owner shareholders, owning 30% of the ski resort


  • 2-Season Motel burned down
  • First of five expansions of the Day Lodge (North Side)


  • Deer T-Bar opened on the present Deer run


  • Weasel Handle Tow opened at the south side of Lizard Bowl


  • Construction started on the Tamarack Building
  • Griz Chair opened at the present Lizard Lower run location
  • Avalauncher was introduced


  • Tamarack building completed and opened
  • Griz Chair Towers 12 & 13 were wiped out by an avalanche (Feb 13)
  • First Griz Competition held on the Griz Weekend in March
  • Griz Chair Towers 12 & 13 cast in concrete and Griz chair reopened in March


  • First snowcat was introduced


  • Weasel Handle Tow motor caught fire and burned


  • Construction began on the Timberline Village Subdivision (52 houses)


  • Griz Inn built the second on-hill accommodation
  • Second expansion of Day Lodge  and Tamarack building (south side)
  • First inaugural Powder-Pedal-Paddle Race


  • 1,050cm of total snowfall recorded


  • Boomerang Triple Chair installed


  • First Dummy Downhill Race


  • 1,160cm of total snowfall recorded
  • The access road from Highway 3 to the resort was reconstructed, current Ski Hill Road


  • Elk T-Bar moved
  • Elk Quad Chair installed
  • A-Frame ski shop move to present Bear’s Den location
  • Pizza Pit opened at present location of Cornerstone Lodge
  • First Timberline Condominium (Pine Lodge) completed by Mr Mike Delich


  • Face Lift Handle Tow installed, replaced Weasel Handle Tow
  • Wolf’s Den Lodge opened (renamed Slopeside Lodge in 2013)
  • Deck, cooking facilities, fire pit and roof constructed at Bear’s Den


  • 1,179cm of total snowfall recorded


  • Rabbit Ridge Rope Tow towers used and site grounded for Mighty Moose Platter
  • Timberline Village construction completed, all lots sold


  • Further expansions of Day Lodge and Tamarack Building
  • Stag Leap & Sky Dive runs cut


  • Deer T-bar closed. Moved and renamed Haul Back T-bar
  • Deer Triple Chair opened


  • Further subdivision development (Highline, Timberline’s Spruce Lodge)


  • Development of road to Timber Bowl
  • Signed 50 year Crown Land Plan with Province of BC based on Master Development Agreement in building construction of 4 chairlifts in Currie, Timber, Siberia Bowls plus lodge on top of Timber Express


  • Italian Restaurant ‘Gabriella’s Pasta Place’ opened
  • First runs in Timber Bowl and Siberia Bowl cleared


  • Cat-skiing operation started in the new bowls
  • 1,108cm of total snowfall recorded


  • Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc. (Skiing Louise Ltd, Owner Mr Charlie Locke) purchased Fernie Snow Valley Ski Resort, and renamed it Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Highline Village construction completed and all lots sold


  • Major expansions:
    • Timber Quad Chair and White Pass Quad Chair opened
    • Timber bowl, Currie bowl and Siberia bowl opened
    • Lizard Creek Lodge, third Timberline Lodge (Aspen Lodge), 12 Polar Peak Lodges, Stone Creek Townhomes and Thunder Ridge Chalets completed


  • Mini Moose magic carpet opened
  • Cornerstone Lodge, Kerrin Lee-Gartener’s Snow Creek Lodge and Cedar Ridge Townhomes completed
  • Pizza Pit moved down to the Wolf’s Den Lodge where Gabriella’s Pasta Place had moved to
  • Resort Centre and Mountain Pantry added below Gabriella’s


  • Bear T-Bar removed and replaced by Great Bear Express Quad Chair


  • Lizard Creek Condominiums, Bear Paw Lodges and Snow Creek Cabins completed


  • 4th Timberline Condominium completed (King Fir Lodge)


  • Celebrated 50 years of skiing and riding at Fernie Alpine Resort
  • Opened Polar Peak Triple Chair, bringing the most runs and the most vertical in the Canadian Rockies to Fernie Alpine Resort!

Thanks to Fernie Alpine Resort, Mr & Mrs Socher and Mike Delich for the timeline history.

  • Share