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I first heard of Fernie from a friend, I was on the lookout for a cool mountain town to lay my hat for a season. My Canadian visa was ready, my flight booked, all that was left was to find that mountain town. I had a few conditions when the call went out to social media, Banff and Whistler were out. Nothing against them, but I was searching for a small town vibe, a ski town within a normal working class town. Fernie fitted the bill. The more I researched Fernie, the more stoked I grew. You can read more about Fernie on this Expedia.ca Fernie travel guide. The powder, I soon learned, was legendary.
Mount Fernie: Mount Fernie is the first mountain I look up to when I step out my front door. It’s imposing, terrifying and beautiful all at the same time. The avalanche paths run down the slopes, shaping the landscape as they go.
Horseshoe Lake, BC: I woke one morning a little misty after a few too many beers. The lake seemed to be suffering the same fate as I. The mist hung low, waiting for the sun to sneak a peek over the Steeples Mountains of the Rocky Mountain Range. As the sun appeared the mist dissipated, so did my foggy head. We were ready to start our day hike.
Jumping Jack Waters, Fernie: A mass of jumbled trees and rock lays before me on the trail to Bisaro Cave. What powerful force, what destructive energy could have created such a beautiful waterfall?
The Backcountry, Fernie: Picture the scene if you will: I’m sitting in my 1994 Ford Explorer, Dora. I’m heading up a mountain on a long forgotten gravel road, the only people who venture up these roads today are the inquisitive, that or hunters. The road is not in a good way, the winter takes its toll, avalanches and washouts are a regular occurrence in the Fernie backcountry. Yet Dora continues to propel me up this mountain, in search of an awesome view and stunning sunset.
Lake Koocanusa, BC: Lake Koocanusa is a man-made reservoir found in British Columbia (just 30mins from Fernie) and stretching all the way down into Montana. This secret spot is one of my favourites, away from the crowds and offers a beautiful view of the lake.
The Old Growth Trail, Fernie: Found at the base of the backcountry operation, Island Lake Lodge, the start of the Old Growth Trail is easily accessible from Mount Fernie Provincial Park. The cedars are huge, and the forest creaks as you meander through it.
The Three Sisters, Fernie: From town, the Three Sisters, also known as Mount Trinity, sit back from Mount Fernie on the left and Mount Proctor on the right. Yet the Three Sisters still dwarfs and loom over Fernie. The legend behind the Three Sisters is interesting. A young First Nation chief had three princesses vying for his love, and his indecision proved fatal, however. Their god decreed indecision a sin and the punishment was severe. The young chief was turned into Mount Proctor. While The three princesses, whose grief was strong, prayed they too could be turned into mountains. Their prayers were answered and when you look up at the peaks of the Three Sisters and Mount Proctor, you are gazing upon a First Nation chief and his three maidens.