Awakening to Winter

As winter white begins to fall many communities take on a slower pace, settling into a schedule based around shorter days, colder weather, homework, and planning for the festive season. All of these things happen in Fernie but it’s far from a quiet time. November sees the arrival of new residents eager for the start of a new winter season and there’s a buzz around town as new faces appear in the shops and restaurants and the bars fill up in the evenings. Several events are known as the unofficial start of the winter season in Fernie – the Mogul Smoker, the Ski & Snowboard Film Festival and in recent years, the Downtown Kick-off and Winter Light-up at the Courthouse. It’s a fun time to be in town, with more live music being added to the calendar each week and festive lights lining 2nd Avenue.

The real marker arrived this year with the start of December; opening day at Fernie Alpine Resort and a snowmobile kick-off event at Ghostrider Motorsports. December 1 was also Global Fatbike Day and local riders hit the trails to check out the fresh snow. Nordic Skiing was also underway at the Fernie Nordic Centre — December 1 was Snow Day in Fernie!

Kicking off the evening celebrations, the Fernie Ghostriders were welcomed back to the ice at Fernie Memorial Arena after the early completion of roof repairs, bringing home a 2-1 win against the Kimberley Dynamiters to a cheering crowd. The Arts Station celebrated with a weekend of ballet in the Swan Lake Experience and the Fernie Legion brought the sparkle with a Winter Ball.

Perhaps it’s the rosy cheeks of children in colourful snowsuits on their way to school in the morning or the way Ridgemont hill shines pink in the morning sunrise. It might be the blanket of white that makes everything glint and glow in the sunset or the thrill of winter sports to be enjoyed for extended months to come. Maybe it’s the thought of cozy studios and gatherings of friends for creativity and catch-ups. Or it could simply be the fresh chill in the air after the lazy, hazy days of summer. Whatever it is that quickens the pace and brings a new-found sense of urgency and clarity, it is here once again and we have months to make the most of the energy of the deep winter. I will be putting on my skis and taking to the Nordic trails to enjoy the sun on snow-laden trees and fresh falling snowflakes. I hope you, too, will make the most of the winter and find what wakes you.