Fernie in Feb
I escaped the questionable Rockies snowpack this week and headed down to Fernie for some average powder skiing.
I’m told turns like this are average..
My local guide-bro led me up Tunnel creek to check out the glades. The approach is a bit of a slog (5km, 750ish m) but this means the ski out is fast and fun. I was a little concerned given that the trip started with a slippery track up a rain crust, but this quickly gave way to soft snow. We ground out the forestry road having our thoughts constantly interrupted by the heli flying in firewood every five minutes. A quick break at the hut then it was up to east ridge between Planetary peak and a nublet I didn’t get the name of.
Two day old storm slab releases and cornice failures from were conspicuous across the valley on N/NE aspects however the southerly runs we were planning to hit were treed and stable, showing only evidence of slough over cliffs. About 30-50cm of recent storm snow hadn’t had much of a chance to soften up so things were looking pretty good. Three runs later and we were back at the ski out, the fatigue in our legs buried under big grins. We even shared a sneaky fist bump when we were sure no one was around.
Easing into run no. 1. Why slash when you can slarve?
We were thinking about hitting a bigger objective the following day but reports of large naturals running off the aspects we’d have to skin up toned things down for us. The plan was to head up and poke around Fish bowl or Liverwurst Ridge. A quick approach up some snowshoe trails took us to the resort ski out and then onwards and upwards to the 2000 foot ridge (that’s it’s name, don’t ask me why it’s called that).
Seeing more evidence of some releases across on Liverwurst Bowl we pulled the plug on that idea and decided to rip the well covered ridge we were on. Kickturns galore saw us transitioning below the rime dome guarding the summit of the ridge.
Sticking to the ridge on the descent gave me some of the best turns of my life. Yup, that good. My gps tells me we got a solid 700m run of consistent weightless turns.
I am an artist and the snow is my canvas #soulful
Unfortunately it was time to leave because some of us gotta work. I spent the four hours back to Canmore rethinking my life choices and regretting not heading down sooner.