Powder Matt set Jeff Spackman and I up on the perfect ski-season starter weekend, forming a loop from Calgary through both Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain. In just 72 hours, we skied three days at two different resorts, and we only burned a single tank of fuel. Not a bad weekend plan!
Day 1 – Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort kicked off its season on Friday, December 4, so we drove down Thursday night to make sure we could catch the first chair up the mountain.
On Friday, we woke up to heavy rain at the base, which isn’t actually a bad thing. Fernie is home to some of the best alpine skiing and rain at the base usually means snow at the top of the mountain. Only the Mighty Moose beginner area, Elk Chair and Great Bear lifts were running on opening day. Fresh snow fell all weekend and, by Sunday, both Timber and White Pass were up and running.
Make sure to check out the latest snow report to see how conditions are improving!
Sleep: Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort, 5346 Highland Drive
Eat: Cirque Restaurant at the Lizard Creek Lodge, 5346 Highland Drive
Distance from Calgary: 298 KM
Days 2 & 3 – Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
After our day at Fernie Alpine Resort, Jeff and I drove north through the Columbia River valley to Golden, British Columbia, to make the Saturday sneak-preview opening at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
While conditions in Fernie was good and improving, conditions at Kicking Horse are special. They’ve already seen more than 300 cm snowfall this year. It feels like mid-season conditions and the resort isn’t officially open yet. The season kicks off next weekend, on December 11th. This weekend was a two-day only sneak preview and I’ve got to say, it looks damn good out there!
In my opinion, Kicking Horse offers the best lift-accessed skiing in Canada. It’s all thanks to a perfect combination of amazing snow, super gnarly terrain, and absolutely zero crowds.
Our road trip proves what’s possible on a three day adventure from Calgary, Alberta. It’s so easy to sneak a Friday or Monday away from the office, so make the most of it! We covered 959 km of a single tank of fuel, skied at two world-class resorts, and snuck in side trips to the Lussier River Hotsprings and Emerald Lake.
It was a busy weekend, but well worth the effort!