Fernie Alpine

Closed
Jack Lee
SnowPak Local Insider
Jack Lee
Pros
  • Expert's playground with tons challenging steep lines
  • Loads of deep, light and dry powder
  • Great powder-filled glades
  • Generally uncrowded
  • Catskiing nearby
Cons
  • Long traverses can be annoying
  • Main trails can get tracked out quickly on powder days
  • Slopes can get icy
  • Best terrain is served by slow lifts
  • Limited on-mountain dining and not many amentities at the base
Overall
4.4

It's all steep and deep at Fernie Alpine. Upper terrain can be slow to open because of avalanche danger but when that happens, just duck down to the lower lying trees for storm skiing. The resort receives an average of 360 in of snowfall per year, which makes freshies easy to find and very plentiful. 

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Late January to February

Avoid

March and April

Late January to February is the best time to visit Fernie Alpine as the holiday crowds would have disappeared and it’s also the period for the most snowfall and the driest powder. March and April generally see warmer weather that turns to the snow into slush.

FLY TO

Calgary International Airport

DRIVE/SHUTTLE TO

Fernie Alpine (3.5 hours)

Base of Fernie Alpine (Walk)

  • Limited number of accommodation from luxury hotels and condos to budget ski-in/ski-out hotels
  • Laid-back village
  • Limited dining and après ski options

Find accommodations around here

Fernie (5-6 mi)

  • Wide range of lodgings including luxury hotels to Airbnb rooms
  • Limited dining options though more than at the base of Fernie
  • Offers more off-slope activities than Fernie Alpine

Find accommodations around here

For beginners

Beginners will have loads of suitable runs here, most notably in the Lower Mountain area which is packed with green slopes. Never-evers can start near the base and use the Mini Moose Conveyor to practice on the bunny slope before jumping on the longer Elk Alternative run off Mighty Moose Platter. After that, any greens off Deer Chair are excellent progression trails!

For intermediates

There is plenty of terrain for intermediates to enjoy across Fernie, especially in Timber Bowl and Lizard Bowl. Our favorite run, however, is Currie Powder off the White Pass Quad in the Currie Bowl. There are some steep sections though most of it is relatively easy terrain. There is also incredible powder to be found on this trail and is great for spotting more challenging runs nearby.

For experts

From cliffs to mega steeps, ungroomed glades and gullies plus tons to explore in their legendary bowls, Fernie serves up some of the better challenging terrain compared to neighboring resorts. The steep shots off the Polar Peak and Currie Bowl have a well-earned reputation for being the best terrain here. From Polar Peak, make your way down the Cougar Glades in Currie Bowl, it's our favorite here! Don't miss the powder-filled backcountry or cat-skiing nearby!

Find freshies

Hidden powder stashes can be found wherever there are fresh tracks! The main trails tend to get tracked out quickly so it's worth venturing out. Our top tip would be to go into the trees because that's where the good stuff is, especially if you're willing to follow the long traverses! Trust us it's worth it.

Ditch the crowds

With minimal to no crowds or lift queues, Fernie is fantastic for those just looking to shred the slopes in peace. The only areas that may get congested are around the main intermediate trails but other than that, the resort is generally free of the masses!

Non skiers

Fernie holds a number of exciting concerts and events throughout the season but other than that there are only a small number activities that will keep non-skiers entertained. Instead, the town of Fernie nearby has a lot more on offer including dogsledding, snowshoeing, spas and a climbing wall and even curling!

Families

The Lower Mountain area is packed with family-friendly green slopes as well as beginner areas and slow zones. Our top trails for families would be Elk off the Elk Quad and Lower Lizard, both located in the slow zone! It's also not uncommon to see groups of little ones, as young as 5 years old, shredding the slopes together, that's how kid-friendly the slopes are!

Fernie Alpine vs
Fernie AlpineApex Mountain Resort
beginner30 %15 %
intermediate40 %30 %
advanced25 %44 %
expert5 %11 %
total runs142 79
ski area2,504ac 450ac
summit elevation7,001ft 7,135ft
total lifts10 4
child lift ticketFree $66 CAD ($50 USD)
adult lift ticket$105 CAD ($80 USD) $80 CAD ($61 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall221″ 111″

Fernie Alpine Reviews

Very Good 4.1 / 5
based on 12 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Very Good!4.1 / 5Sep 12, 2018
Kirk T. Kirk T.
intermediate snowboarder
Fernie is the resort I keep returning to the most. The town is cute, the hill itself lends itself well to all riding levels. It's definitely gotten a bit pricey but that seems to be the trend with most hills these days. I'll keep returning though.... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Apr 30, 2018
Kirk T. Kirk T.
advanced snowboarder
I've always been happy with my stays in Fernie. It has an unpretentious vibe while still being vibrant and not sleepy. When the snow is good, it's great and when it's not, the hill still has enough to offer to keep you entertained. I've only ever bothered to stay on the hill once because the town is really special and only about ten minutes away.... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Nov 23, 2017
RDRichard D.
intermediate skier
Very nice place. Always fresh snow and has a wonderful town with a very cool vibe. Even in summer the town is busy with active people who want an adventure. ... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Nov 22, 2017
AHAlex H.
advanced skier
Great resort! Five amazing bowls to choose from with next level snow and unreal back country. Great variety of different runs to choose from catering for all levels. Extremely friendly people I didn't even have to catch the bus to the mountain because there was a designated spot for hitch hikers! ... More
Good!3.9 / 5Nov 22, 2017
CMCorey M.
expert snowboarder
Fernie is great fun. It's pretty expensive and the facilities are most definitely dated. I would suggest getting pow, packing a lunch and, visiting the wonderful town for your apres as the people are fantastic!... More
Superb!4.5 / 5Nov 20, 2017
BLBen L.
intermediate snowboarder
Great resort, awesome powder days and the village has a great atmosphere. Only negative is it can be difficult to access as the closest cities are Cranbrook to the west or Lethbridge to the East and then further is Calgary but that's what also keeps Fernie great! ... More
Superb!4.6 / 5Nov 19, 2017
DMDan M.
expert snowboarder
Fernie Alpine resort is my dream place to snowboard. The snow is the best I have ever ridden and when it snows, it comes in ample amounts for the deepest inbound days ever. The size and layout of the resort is amazing. Even on busy days you can escape the crowds easily to find fresh tracks, and can always find somewhere new to explore. ... More
Superb!4.6 / 5Nov 13, 2017
MSMatt S.
intermediate snowboarder
Fernie is epic, only a few hours from Calgary, has all the amenities you will need. On mountain is stellar with pow for days, easy parking lots and a great little village. The town itself is gorgeous with heaps of hikes/snowshoeing/cross country for non riding days.... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Nov 11, 2017
ARAustin R.
expert skier
Such an amazing please, everyone is so friendly and helpful!. Snow quality is like no place I've skied before just so dry and endless. Lift lines are only bad during the holidays which is expected.... More
Fabulous!4.2 / 5Nov 08, 2017
ASAlex S.
intermediate snowboarder
Was in Fernie last Feb and it didn't not disappoint, 1.5ft fell in the week we were there! Unreal backcountry, never seen anything like it. Pretty steep resort and a good drive out from the town but uncrowded and definitely worth a visit... More

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