Outdoors

When COVID brought her back home in March, I did my best to take advantage. Over the summer, I observed her getting reacquainted with a town that had developed and changed, just as she had, in the years they had been separated. 

There are so many extremely amazing trails in Fernie so picking a few favourites is difficult, but here are my top three winter trails and activities!

Elk Valley Nordic Centre –  Runt/Grunt – Nordic Skiing
Time: Approx. 1 hr (depending on the number of loops) 
Distance: Approx.  7 - 10km 
Level: Blue 

The Elk Valley Nordic Centre is a real winter paradise. Tucked away in the Mount Fernie Provincial Park, the views are breathtaking. The Fernie Nordic Society has hired a paid groomer this year so the conditions have been prime time!

Avalanche Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada and Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational users of backcountry and frontcountry avalanche terrain, in effect immediately until Sunday, Dec. 27. The warning is widespread and applies to the following forecast regions:

I slam my beat-up ski boot into the icy rime of the windswept ridge. The pounding of my heart thumping with the crunch of snow. I’m thankful for the warm, calm March weather, a stark juxtaposition to the cold, hard knot that has a stranglehold on my guts. I need to find confidence in the next step. In every step. For her sake too. We’re in it together, but as always, I feel responsible.

It’s the holiday season and you may be looking for the gift that keeps giving. We have just what you need! The Fernie Trails Pass keeps giving as you enjoy the trails all season long (note the pass runs a calendar year, from Jan 1 – Dec 31). This is the perfect gift for the active person on your list. The pass is designed to give back to the trail network and let him or her reap the benefits. Please note members of the Fernie Mountain Bike Club or Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club, a Fernie Trails Pass is part of your club membership.

Ten months had passed since my snowmobile last saw daylight. But there I was, two hours back in the saddle weaving through a delicious technical treeline. Gluttonously feasting on a classic Fernie powder buffet. Stoked to be back at the table.

Avalanche Canada is proud to introduce a new addition to its online education roster. Avy Savvy is aimed at new users of the winter backcountry and provides a solid introduction to avalanche safety.

“It’s vital for anyone venturing into the winter backcountry to have a full appreciation of the challenges involved,” explains Gilles Valade, Avalanche Canada’s Executive Director. “Travelling in avalanche terrain demands awareness and preparation. Avy Savvy provides a great first step in avalanche safety education.”

We’ve been fat biking in Fernie for many years. Our Fernie fat biking community has gotten bigger and more organized with each year. We went from floundering on precarious single track to riding side by side on groomed trails. Our volunteers are the heart of this community and continue to go out and groom trails for all users in the middle of the night! 

Connecting and enjoying time with friends in the outdoors has never been more important to our well-being as it has since the arrival of the global pandemic in 2020.  

More and more people visiting Fernie during the winter are drawn to spending time in the amazing backcountry, whether on skis/snowboards, snowshoes or a snowmobile. The current global health challenge is likely to increase further the numbers of people looking for socially-distanced recreation in the wilderness.