Snow and Ice

If there’s one thing Fernie knows how to do, it’s winter. From a casual, friendly ski around the golf course on groomed Nordic trails, to a wild, two day hike in the backcountry, snow provides Fernie with endless adventures and thanks to the limitless snowfall, every trip offers a new panorama to enjoy and every weekend provides a great new event to try! Get outside in February and enjoy all the fun.

Whether you enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, alpine skiing, snowbiking, hockey, backcountry touring, snowmobiling or some other activity I haven’t heard of yet, Fernie’s got the event for you! The month kicks off bright and early at the 2nd Annual Tears and Gears Winter Wheezer on Saturday, February 2. I was lucky enough to be a part of the very first Winter Wheezer so I can vouch for how truly awesome this event is! The giant grins on the competitor’s faces and the hugs and cheers waiting for them at the finish line were truly inspiring. Spanning over 70 years in age, competitors both young and old ran, walked, skated, skied and even tried a little diving! With a new improved all-trail snowshoe this year, the race takes in some stunning routes at Mount Fernie Provincial Park with skiers taking to the beautiful Island Lake Trail on classic or skate skis. Get there early for the 10am gun, and leave plenty of time for the race briefing beforehand. Post race festivities will take place once all racers finish, for more info visit www.fernietearsandgears.com/winter-wheezer.

Also on February 2, the Fernie Snowmobile Association invites you to join them for the Annual Poker Ride. A rolling start is recommended, so arrive with your snowmobile between 10am and Noon at the Coal Creek staging area. Here you’ll receive directions and your first card from race stewards. Then ride approx 16km to the brand new FSA cabin, stopping along the way at designated stations to add to your hand. Finish the game at the cabin and enjoy burgers and hot-dogs with other sledders and take a few turns in the clearing. Everyone is welcome, for more information visit www.ferniesnowmobile.com.

As if two great events on February 2 weren’t already enough, don’t miss the Fernie Ghostriders in their first home game of the regular season’s final month. The Riders are currently sitting in a very nervous first place with the Golden Rockets hot on their heels. Fernie’s team will be fighting hard to maintain their lead and finish in the top spot going into the playoffs. Don’t miss all the great on-ice action on Fridays, February 8 and 15, Saturdays, February 2 and 9 and Sunday, February 17.

On Saturday, February 9, the 4th Annual Helly Hansen Big Mountain Battle hits the slopes at Fernie Alpine Resort and gets everyone going with a fantastic all-mountain GPS-based skiing, hiking, lift-riding, heart-pounding, adventure-seeking treasure hunt. Be the fastest, most accurate team to find all the checkpoints and win great gear! This race is open to everyone and there are two levels – intermediate and advanced, so anyone who knows how to use their skis can take part – you don’t have to be an expert. Teamwork and accurate orienteering will be just as important as your skiing ability so choose your partner wisely and start practicing those GPS readings! For more information, visit www.skifernie.com/events.

Exhausted yet? I am, and we’re not even halfway through the month! Never fear, the final all-snow event is more of an armchair sport, unless you’re the type to be hurtling over cliffs and trying to turn double diamonds into triples. The Jeep Junior Freeski Event on February 21-24 at Fernie Alpine Resort is a treat to watch for anyone who appreciates the skill and style of big-mountain skiing. This is not a race; the junior competitors aged 12-18 will judged by a panel of experts on Line Choice, Control, Fluidity, Technique and Style/Energy. As one of just three dates on the North American Tour, this is your chance to see some of North America’s future extreme-skiing stars. Fernie has a history of raising fantastic freeskiers so come and check out the new heroes!