Visitor reviews for Fernie Ski Resort

Fernie Ratings

Overall: 3.6. Based on 43 votes and 57 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.0

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Fernie is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 4.4

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Fernie has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 4.1

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 4.5

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.4

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Fernie.

Public Transport: 3.3

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Fernie, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 4.4

(1) No places to stay in/near Fernie, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.6

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 4.2

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Fernie.

Ski in/Ski out: 4.4

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.7

(1) There are no child care facilities at Fernie, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 2.9

(1) Fernie relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.7

(1) There are no snow groomers at Fernie, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Fernie are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.7

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Fernie is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 2.8

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Fernie, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.4

(1) Fernie usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 4.1

(1) The staff at Fernie are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Fernie are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.9

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 3.6

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.1

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 3.8

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.1

(1) No intermediate terrain at Fernie, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.5

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 2.6

(1) Not even a kicker at Fernie, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 3.8

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Fernie, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 1.6

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Fernie has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 3.4

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 3.5

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 3.7

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 2.8

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 3.2

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 3.4

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.1

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.2

(1) Overall, Fernie is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 3.4

(1) Overall, Fernie is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

March 24, 2007
Sarah Burdett from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
My partner and I have just come back from Fernie. We stayed at the Wolfs Den Lodge on the Ski Hill for two weeks and it was great. Everyone in Fernie is so friendly, the Ski School I went to (Mike was the Instructor), was brilliant and in no time I was skiing great. Fernie Ski area is unlike anything I have ever experienced, its great. Breakfast was in the Daylodge (a sunriser bagel, very nice) and Kelseys & Gabriellas serve great evening food. The Wood restaurant at the Griz Inn is a lovely place and serves quite posh(ish) food! I loved the ski hill. The green runs are excellent for beginners and are so wide unlike European resorts. The snow was great the first week, then spring set in a bit earlier than usual and the snow started to melt on the lower slopes; still ok though. Apparently the higher runs were still brilliant. Maybe next time we go we will go a bit earlier i.e Mid February. Also, there weren't any lift queues. Even at a ,when it gets "busy", you still get straight on the lift. We will definately be going back, Fernie is a must!! We loved it.
February 13, 2007
Cheryl Crook from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just returned from Fernie (10 February 2007); pleasantly surprised. Tons of snow, and wildlife - saw 3 deer running across the piste. Best for the more experienced skier, not much for the more sedate intermediates. Great town for eateries, and so reasonable. Would recommend the Chinese restaurant at Cedar Lodge, the Curry Bowl and Boston Pizza.
February 09, 2007
Adrian Slade from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Well, all I can say about Fernie is that it is fantastic, the skiing/snowboarding is great with the 5 bowls offering very varied runs/terrain with really good off-piste, and tree runs. For the more adventurous the Cat-skiing is a must in back country. We have been there at different times in Jan, Feb and March and only the notorious year 2005/06 when all of North America had bad snow when the conditions like normal EU, even so you could still ski the whole mountain and this was towards the end March. The snow at Fernie is very dry and usually when it dumps fine powder, you can go to bed and it not be snowing and then 1-2 foot of fresh powder greets you in the morning, absolutely wonderful. The mountain is not like anything you experience in EU or other more famous CA ski resorts as it is rarely busy, I have been on a lower lift on a Monday morning at 9:30 in Feb and there was no one else on it, and a ski queue of more than 2 mins is a rarity. Weekends get busier with people coming in from Calgary but nothing to compare to what you are used to. We have been to Fernie 5 times and stayed in Park Place Lodge in the town, 10 mins to the ski hill by the ski bus, which is good value and comfortable and central for the town in the evening. We have also stayed at Lizard Creek Lodge, ski in/out on the mountain which is great with luxury and all the usual mod cons. The locals are very friendly and welcome their ski guests viewing them as an asset. The cheapest way to get there is, around £260 return from UK to Calgary if you book ahead and then $110CA return shuttle bus with one of the local companies. Cranbrook should be opening soon as an international Airport, which will make it only a 50 min transfer. Fernie is definately expanding with a lot of investment over the last 2 years, a major road intersection from the highway up to the ski hill, the Lost Boys cafe up on the mountain at the top of Timberline Express quad, and further development planned on the mountain. I would get there asap and experience Fernie before it gets too well known and popular, it is our favourite, and we have skied at Whistler, Banff (Sunshine, Lake Louise, Norquay), Kicking Horse, 3-Valleys FR, and Flaine FR. Kicking horse is the only one that compares but it is a very challenging ski area. To sum up love Fernie so much that we have bought a ski condo on the hill to use and rent out, see , it is great value and fantastic skiing.
January 24, 2007
AL from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I went to Fernie Dec 03. Even at this time it already had metres of snow and powder everywhere. I recommend Lizard Creek Lodge for accom (it's apartment 5*****) I really want to go back there.
December 29, 2006
Bruce from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Fernie on a powder day is nothing short of incredible. Perfect steep terrain, incredible tree runs and light fluffy powder. Probably the nicest little town in BC, fantastic restaurants and friendly locals. I was there in the worst snow year in 30 years (04/05), but the potential is amazing there if you're lucky. The bad points? Prone to rain, lack of grooming means that when the snow is bad every inch of powder gets cut up and very grotty. So many very good riders mean you can be hiking out of bounds with 100 other people, and you have to beat people (big guys with dodgey 'taches) away to get fresh lines. RCR are bastards in every way possible. Must be a province of Australia. Did I mention it's prone to rain? Still, can only reccommend it.
December 02, 2006
danger from Ski Canada Canada
Living in fernie for 12years and hate RCR because they don't care at all about the locals and they won't open the mountain until the first tours are booked (Dec 9th) even when there is a lot of snow coverage. In the early years the hill would open on November 15th (thats more like it)!! Fun hill though.
July 06, 2006
Steve Errol from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Skied Fernie for the 4th time in March this year (2006). I now consider this my home mountain - so much variety, such unusually light snow, and so few people. I love to do my own route finding and, over four 2-week ski vacations at Fernie, there are still entire areas that I have yet to get to. I have spent the last 20 years skiing primarily in North America (way better value than Europe), and Fernie is the best of the lot. As for accomodations, do yourself a big favour - rent a chalet at the Riverside Mountain Lodge. They are off the hill, so the prices are cut way down, but they have far superior accomodations and amenities. This place is close to the hill (5 minutes by shuttle, and the first drop-off point). We even found a way to ski out, though it was tricky. I stayed in a hotel room one time, but found the chalets to be a much better idea. I get a huge new three-level chalet for much less than one of the cramped units on the hill. See you there next year.
February 09, 2006
Peter Caplin from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Visited Fernie Jan 2006. Snow was excellent, snowed 12 out of the 14 days there with around 2ft one day. This, however, meant a lot of the upper mountain was closed due to avalanche risk but opened up in the second week. Stayed at Lizard Creek Lodge which was fantastic. If you stay in town you have up to 20 min bus ride so stay in the alpine village if possible. No crowds to speak of except on weekends when it does get busier. We managed to do other activities (snowmobiling, dogsledding etc) so avoided the crowds. Food is excellent; big portions and priced well. Will definatley be going back and would stay at the lodge again.
January 03, 2006
Brom Parsons from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Visited Fernie in Feb 2005. They were having a bad snow year. Still a lot better than anywhere in Europe. Experienced boot top powder a couple of days!!!!Bowls full of snow. Great steep riding. Excellent Great for Kids. Fab ski and board school. Fab Bunny area. Terrific accomodation, stayed at Lizard Creek lodge. Great food and Drink. Canadians know how to ensure that you have a fatastic holiday. You never feel ripped off (French and Italians take heed). Going back again in 2006. It was that good
May 25, 2005
Jules Perkins from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Fernie is hugely overrated, some ok steep skiing and decent backcountry but to compare it to big league resorts such as Argentiere, Whistler, etc is way off the mark. The locals are great, what really hurts the place is the imported seasonal labour, it's full of Australian and English kids working in hire shops, restaurants etc who just don't give a toss about service. If you are looking for a 'cult' resort experience my advice would be to forget the long transatlantic trip and go to Engelberg or La Grave for far better skiing without the attitude. On a positive note, the Cat skiing at nearby Powdercowboy is a 9/10 experience. Awesome terrain super dialed guides and excellent staff, well worth a visit.