Fernie Alpine Resort is just 2 days away from opening for the 2012/13 season and Fernie is a buzz about it. Just yesterday I was in the grocery store when I ran into a colleagues husband. He said nothing was new, except that he was waiting for the ski hill to open. No surprise there, after all that’s what keeps us in Fernie. The legendary powder, friendly people, amazing nightlife, legendary powder, endless activities … did I say legendary powder?
Although Fernie Alpine Resort only has a snow pack of 72 cms, the old side will be open (25 runs) on Saturday, December 1st. Surely enough to please those early season riders.
Every year, Fernie receives it’s abundance of snow from the help of the Griz. A legend who is celebrated each year with an outdoor festival; the Mogul Smoker. It all started in 1976 with Barry Hulbert and Ian Stokie, who initially created a drink, the Mogul Smoker, and a reason to party. Two ounces of rum and Kahlua topped with coffee and hot chocolate – it proved to provide a great buzz. After a couple of annual Mogul Smoker parties they observed a direct correlation with the occurrence of large snow dumps. Obviously Fernie’s mountain man legend, the Griz, was pleased with the Mogul Smoker party and was rewarding Snow Valley with abundant snow.
Barry and Ian soon made the Mogul Smoker an annual late autumn event and great snow persisted for many years making Fernie a great powder town. Years later the party was canceled for no good reason and everyone noticed a decline in the snowfall. Fernie experienced a three year snow drought–it was awful. Some blamed the lack of snow on new ownership however locals knew the reason. Fortunately for powder enthusiasts a new generation of skiers and snowboarders reinstated the party and in a new fashion. Bonfires with lights, visuals, live music, stimulating good times everywhere. Once again pleasing the Griz – who immediately blankets the mountains with powder!
Watch how the Griz made an epic day last year with the video below! See you on opening day!