A Cozy-Kept, Shangri-la Winter

Winter can be cold. The snowbanks are high enough to bury stop signs, and with the right storm, deep enough to bury your car. Sometimes the snow is so all-encompassing that it even steals away a bit of your sanity. But winter in Fernie is beautiful; white pines and crystalized mornings, dog walks tucked in toques and scarves – the changing of seasons is one of the reasons we love to live or visit here.

Luckily, when you aren't sure how to cope with all the change, Fernie has options for those dark winter nights and freezing winter mornings. Though its main street is only four blocks, the red-brick buildings with fairy-light windows invite even the wildest of winter adventurers inside, and will leave you feeling ready to tackle anything.

With that in mind, here is a list of things that might make your winter in Fernie a little brighter; comforting, delicious, practical things that will take the sting out of any frost you might acquire.

I love sweater weather – the fluffy inside, looking good on the outside kind of sweater weather, the kind you can pair with a puffy vest. Coal Town Goods' Fernie crest sweater, designed in collaboration with artist Nichole Yanota, is my new favourite garb. The sweater is printed with a tattooed bear and elk, the Three Sisters, huckleberries and coal, the words In Montibus Flumen et Carbo (by mountain, river and coal) etched at its base in Latin. It is the perfect piece to start winter right.

Another must-have before hitting the icy trail is a Hydro Flask from Elevation Showcase. This stainless steel flask (in sizes from wine tumblers and coffee mugs to food flasks and beer growlers) leaves your hottest drinks hot for those longs days of ski touring, and they come in a multitude of colours, to boot. It wouldn't hurt to pick up an obligatory KAVU plaid while you're there, too – everybody's doing it.

If you need a new bag to carry your hot drinks and warm mitts, the sleek Hershel backpack at Freyja is the best go-to. The Canadian company keeps both style and practicality in mind, and this bag might just become your new favourite when leaving the house to buy a festive bottle of wine with friends, or a package of throat lozenges. Put a Freyja button pin on the backpack for some extra inspiration, and finish it with a chunky scarf.

For those frozen nights where the chill runs deep, a blend of essential oils from Healing Hollow, alongside the soothing ambience of a salt rock lamp—found at The Cottonwood Tree and The Good Earth—might be enough to help you break the cold. Try Immune 5 (colds, coughs and nasty winter bugs), Nick of Thyme (immune support), and Good Life (winter blues), and feel better soon.

Another perfect pairing is the Fernie Brewing Co. seasonal craft collection; a combination of Project 9 Pilsner, Big Caboose Red Ale, First Trax Brown Ale, and Lone Wolf IPA. Or head to the brewery and pick up one of their new stainless steel growlers, and fill it with your choice on-tap. Their tasting room is a great way to finish a long day of skiing, too.

If you are like me, however, and all you want is a cup of coffee, pick up a bag of Rooftop Coffee Roasters—Fernie's own local roaster—at the Valley Social Co. downtown. The espresso infiltration blend is a combination of smooth dark chocolate and ginger notes, and a personal favourite. Let it drip into the FBC double-insulated camp cup, or snap up a stylish mug from Interior Envy or the Green Petal, before heading to the chair lift.

Lastly, if the days are too short, work is too long, and the cold is far too frigid, follow the Annex Market on their social media (@theannexmarket on Instagram, The Annex Market on Facebook) for further details on their seasonally inspired pies, lasagna, and cannelloni. I won't deny it – there are six in my freezer right now. The vegetable Brie cheese potpie is the most hearty, scrumptious thing I have ever tasted. Put it in the oven, wait 40 minutes, and devour.

Wherever your winter in Fernie takes you – up mountains, to a hilltop fire, skating a frozen lake or snuggling into the comfort of your couch – these winter must-haves are guaranteed to make those cold days a little warmer. Here's hoping you find yourself on a chilly adventure most any day of the week, and savouring it. Before you know it, it'll be spring.

Jesse Bell is a Fernie-born adventurer who loves life in the mountains. She can't wait for the change in seasons, as it is just one of the many reasons she is happy to be here. Read her column, “Never Have I Ever” in the monthly edition of the Fernie Fix!