My Fernie winter on two planks

A ski column by one of Fernie's most dedicated skiers.

By Bill Handley


Well, at the end of my last article I was speculating on the snow that was in the forecast and hoping for something good. Not in my wildest dreams could I have hoped for what we actually got which was one of the best and most consistent snow cycles of the winter, giving some great skiing conditions. It wasn’t quite as good as January 17 but then as that was reckoned to be the best day for 16 years that’s no great problem.

In the two week period the snow came in two distinct cycles, the first of which was just pretty good and the second was plain awesome. To start with we had 25 cm in two days and the skiing was good powder everywhere you went. It then looked like that was that and we had the inevitable warm up followed by a cool down and things all became a little crunchy – then someone turned the snow tap on.

On the first day (Monday) after the snow cycle the hill was as busy as any weekend this season and not just with locals, I think every business in Calgary must have been short due to people suddenly suffering from colds etc and having to spend a day recuperating in Fernie.

After that couple of days of no snow we had yet another 13 cm of top up to complete one of the best two-week cycles I can remember for many years.

The two week period finished with a couple of days of no snow which just gave us a chance to track up everything that was there – nothing anywhere was bad skiing. The final day was a warm up but still pretty good conditions due to the coverage from the snow base which even after settlement of the snow stood at 330 cm.

Dangerous warm wet weather is in the forecast but I’m feeling lucky and keeping my fingers crossed for a quick cool down and more snow next week.

For daily reports read Bill’s Blog on


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