The next 3 days at Fernie was even better than the first 2. I was waiting by the rope when they dropped it for Currie Bowl, and the snow was excellent. Fresh powder skiing on a sunny morning is the best. Unfortunately, a lot of the other terrain was closed for much of my visit due to avalanche risk, and I never got to ski Polar Peak. Not really a big deal as there was plenty of other great skiing during my visit.
On Monday nights the bar at the “Raging Elk” has an open mic night. So much fun, the music was great, I got to play pool with some people which was fun, and I met some other people that lived in the area. I overheard someone talking about doing some backcountry skiing right off of Siberia Bowl the following morning and asked if I could join. I’d only done a little bit of touring this season, and none since leaving Colorado. I exchanged numbers with Vic, and met up with him the next morning.
There is a small gate off of “Siberia Bowl” to ski out just before applying skins and beginning the hike in. It was his 3rd time skinning in there that day. On our way up I just knew that the turns would be incredible, but I wasn’t prepared for just how good it would be. I’d left my GoPro in the car, but if there was a day to have it with me, this would have been it, oh well. I didn’t have an exact snow report, but including that day and the prior 2 it had snowed between 20 and 30cm. They’ve also had an incredible year, when I was there they’d received nearly 1100cm of snow for the season, wow.
We skinned to the top in about 30 minutes, and combined with our lift ride up, we had an incredible run back into Siberia Bowl. At the top, I was cautious because the trees were a bit tight and I was unsure of where the line would take me. Then it opened up, I could see through the trees all the way to the bottom. I paused, then took about 5-6 turns on the way down, thigh deep powder turns. It was ridiculously good skiing, I know I keep saying that, but wow… this was up there as one of my top runs this season, really… it was that good.
It was still snowing quite a bit, so we did a few more runs inbounds. My favorite was the “Anaconda Glades.” Traverse off the the “White Pass” quad just below the “Knot chutes” that I’d skied the day prior. Instead of dropping into “Timber Bowl” go left and ski back into “Currie Bowl”. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to hit this storm cycle, every day there was fantastic.
Back at the base, Vic and Brent mentioned that on Tuesdays one of the bars in town does a good dinner special as well as bingo. Sounded fun so I headed over there for a bit. We met with a couple of other people and had fun playing bingo. I only had one more day of skiing at Fernie before heading to my next stop, and I asked if there were any hot springs they suggested I could visit along the way.
My last day skiing at Fernie, a lot more of the mountain that was temporarily closed opened up. I finally got to ski Lizard Bowl and Cedar Bowl. That morning, I met another local on the lift who had been skiing here for many years. At the top he pointed out some spots on the trail map and suggested some of the places I should check out. One of them was “Corner Pocket” another was “The Saddles” I made my way over to check them out. The top of corner pocket has some tires in the snow, with a rope attached to a tree to help make your way down past the rocks. I took a few turns, then dropped into “Lizard Bowl.” Tons of snow and many fresh tracks to be had. Really good spring skiing. The only issue is that if I wanted make my way back to ski there again, it’s a long ski out, a couple of lifts, and quite a traverse back.
After a day of skiing I stopped at the hot springs I’d heard about to relax for a bit. Lussier Hot Springs in Whiteswan Provincial Park, what a great stop. The drive to the springs is up a long dirt road which becomes a bit more narrow as I approached the parking area. I would have never known that it was there had he not told me. In fact, as I was driving up the road, I was beginning to wonder if I’d made the correct turn, fortunately I had. I walked down the hill to find these pools created with rocks, right by the river. What an experience, sitting in natural hot springs that felt like a hot tub while being right next to a river of freezing water. I could’ve spent an entire day there. But had had to settle in for the evening. I was about 2 1/2 hours from Kicking Horse, and about an hour from Kimberley.
I decided to head south towards Kimberley and ski the next day there. I wanted to get to Kicking Horse, but I knew I’d be there for a longer visit and I wasn’t in a hurry.
The following day was again bluebird and there were plenty of groomed runs to choose from. I’d been doing plenty of skiing for the past 5 days, so to spend a day on mostly groomed trails was a welcome change.
Kimberley is a smaller ski area than Fernie, but still relatively big compared to many that I’ve visited. 3 chairs, and it seemed to be a bit more family friendly. Still plenty big enough to find fun runs. I spent the day doing some spring cruising around the hill before moving on to Kicking Horse. While I was there, I also dropped off a pair of my skis at the shop, and the technician there did some great work to fix them up. So friendly and he made the exact repairs I needed within a couple of hours.
Next stop, Kicking Horse, Golden, BC.