The Spirit of Achievement - Featured Events in Fernie

Free Ski Comp at Fernie Alpine Resort

From national and international ice stars to extreme sports adventurers and even an Olympian and Paralympian, there's no limit to the sporting heights that can be reached if you start out in the Elk Valley.

The Fernie Ghostriders are at the top of their game heading into the playoffs this year and are a shining example of the spirit and support that exists in Fernie. When they win their next match you may see the goal or save that is the start of an international career so if you haven’t already made it to a game, make sure you don’t miss your last chance to see them in regular season action. The Riders play at the Fernie Memorial Arena on February 4, 5 and 11.

Perhaps it’s the mountains that offer such great inspiration to excel; February offers several of the winter’s most challenging and entertaining competitions. Freeskiing is like a combination of every x-game you’ve ever seen and takes place on a near-vertical course studded with tree-stumps, cliffs and the odd semi-concealed photographer. The first time I watched a competition I wasn’t sure who seemed braver- the competitors who power themselves from the top of the mountain, hurtling to the base cutting wide sweeps, launching over obstacles and throwing in the odd helicopter spin just for fun; or the intrepid artists who hide beneath what looks like a cardboard box in the middle of the course waiting for the perfect shot of an athlete mid-jump. And when I say ‘course’ I’m playing pretty fast and loose with the word. Not only do the competitors find out the event location at the last minute, there are few markers and no route requirements. Each skier picks their own line, speed, style and attack and is judged on a combination of control, technique, fluidity, aggressiveness and line of choice. The only way to win a freeski event is to do what you do, and do it the best.

Juniors 18 and under get their chance to take on the mountain in the Rossignol Junior Freeski Competition presented by FRESH on Friday 4 – Sunday 6, while the main event, the Smith Optics Fernie Freeski Competition, will take place over four days from Wednesday 24, with Sunday 27 as a weather day. Watch out for local heroes Dylan, Caleb and Aaron who are all expected to take top spots. Those in need of a slightly smaller dose of adrenalin may find the Big Mountain Battle on Saturday 12 just what they are looking for. Teams of two will race around the resort acquiring GPS checkpoints in a lung-busting self-routed hike/ski combination.

On one of the busiest weekends of the year, downtown Fernie invites you to join in the fun with a cornucopia of winter sports and entertainment. The weekend kicks off with Wee Fest, an eclectic mix of musical and theatrical entertainment at the Arts Station on Friday 18. This event is always a crowd pleaser with music, poetry, special effects, drama and plenty of surprises. On Saturday 19, the Arts Station brings the heart of the Olympics back in an inspirational Spirit Festival with street theatre, sports demos and a special presentation from Fernie’s own Olympian, Emily Brydon. The festival will take place downtown and is a free cultural event to celebrate our athletes and all of the glory they bring to Fernie - an honouring of local and provincial heritage and an opportunity for the whole community to celebrate together.

Also on February 18-19, The Figure Skating Club presents their annual carnival at the Fernie Memorial Arena. The carnival brings together close to 200 local skaters in a stunning show of skill and diversity. Our young skaters travel across the province and further afield regularly to compete, this is their opportunity to show you what they’ve got and you won’t be disappointed.