Calling all thrill-seekers! Looking for adventure on your next trip to Fernie? Well, all the fun isn’t reserved just for winter! How does scaling up tall trees to try balance, jump, climb and clamber your way through an obstacle course? What about screaming down a Zipline at up to 60km per hour? If this sounds like your ticket then you absolutely need to check out the Fernie Alpine Resort Aerial Park & Zipline.
During the hot summer months, Fernie Alpine Resort turns into a thrill-seekers playground with Mountain Biking trails, Hiking trails, Aerial Park, a Zipline and more. This months Red Tree Lodge Deskie adventures took us to check the Aerial Park & Zipline out.
Fernie Alpine Resort Aerial Park
On what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the season our team arrived at the resort ready to start our adventure. The Aerial Park team suited us up into our safety gear before taking us on up to the Park. Walking up to the Aerial Park, the teams anticipation was clear; “Actually, I’m not sure if I am scared of heights”, “Will this thing actually catch me if I fall?” “Is my butt strap tight enough?”.
There are 23 features (obstacles), three Ziplines and one Leap of Faith ranging from beginner to advanced levels to make your way around. Lucky for us, the Aerial Park guides have a feature set-up nice and low to the ground that allows up to practice. We were shown how to attach ourselves and our buddy to and from features safely and then set free on the course.
Time to climb
Standing at the bottom of the tree and getting ready to make the first climb is where the adrenaline starts to pump a little. The hands get a little sweaty and the stomach fills with butterflies. However, once we nailed the first climb and feature, we had the swing of it. Each feature got a little more challenging and a little higher in the trees than the previous one. This was much more a team building experience than I realised. The higher and harder the features got, the louder the encouragement from the Red Tree and Aerial Park teams were!
Even if you are okay with heights, there are features for all levels that will really push you outside of your comfort zone. The feeling of accomplishment and reward was awesome after getting across the difficult features!
Rescue Procedures Test
One of the harder features is called the ‘Swinging Islands’. You need to somehow ninja across swinging platforms while holding onto ropes. At this point our manager Jody decided to check the Aerial Parks rescue procedures….by falling off one of the islands! Okay so she may not have actually wanted to check the rescue procedures but we appreciate her commitment to this blog. Looking like a ‘hang in there baby’ cat poster, Jimmy from the Aerial Park team managed to pull some swift rescue moves and get Jody back to safety, just in time for his lunch break! And thanks to Jody, I knew to by-pass this feature as there would have been two rescues! You can see why the ‘Swinging Islands’ became our favourite feature to talk (ahem…laugh) about.
Fernie Alpine Resort Zipline
Rippin’ the Zip
The Aerial Park does have three Ziplines, two of which will get you down from the features in the trees. Cruising down a Zipline from 40ft in the air is definitely the fun way to get down.
If you are wanting to really ‘Rip the Zip’, check out the Zipline set up near the Mini Moose run! After our fun at the Aerial Park, we made our way up to the top of the Mini Moose run. Locked and loaded we each had our turn taking off from down 555ft Zipline and hitting speeds up to 60km/h on the way down. The breeze was certainly welcome on such a hot day! And the screams, well, they were a necessity on the way down!
Just when you thought the fun was over, you need to catch a ‘Tru Blue’ system down off the Zipline platform. Both the Aerial Park and Zipline have these ‘Tru Blue’ systems which are aptly named the ‘Leap of Faith’. The system is designed to catch you as soon you take a walk off the platform. Jumping off platforms and having complete faith in the gear that connects you is not for the faint hearted. But it sure is fun!!
The Aerial Park and Zipline are run by different teams. You need to complete waivers and receive safety information and gear for each activity. See the team at Guest Services to chat where to go and who to meet.
If you’re planning your getaway to Fernie, check out the Tourism Fernie website. The website is loaded with information about Activities, Culture, Events, special Packages and Offers. There is even a planning tool that will help give you fantastic ideas on what to do.
At Red Tree Lodge, we use the Tourism Fernie website to plan our adventures and check up to date event information. You can find tons of information about the Fernie Alpine Resort Aerial Park & Zipline including dates of operation, rates, height/weight restrictions and more!
If you are looking for a challenging yet family friendly/team building adventure, then definitely head up to the Fernie Alpine Resort Aerial Park & Zipline this summer! The fantastic Aerial Park & Zipline teams will ensure you have an amazing time. And let’s be honest, there is nothing quite like the hilarity of watching your boss be rescued by Jimmy!
I wanted to start this blog with a poutine pun but they were all too cheesy! Ha! But seriously, fries, cheese curds and gravy is really a magical mix of calories and yum! In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Red Tree Lodge Deskies had the oh-so-difficult job of taste testing poutine in Fernie. Before that, let’s take a minute to get the low down on the history of this famous dish.
History of Poutine
There are a few stories that lay claim to poutine floating around. We do know it originated in Quebec sometime in the 1950’s. And we do know it is delicious!! A common story is that of Fernand Lachance, the owner of a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit in Warwick, Quebec. He added cheese curds to fries after a request from his customer Eddy Lainesse and remarked “Ça va faire une maudite poutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.”
Love your work Fernand and Eddy!
Fernand started serving fries and cheese curds to customers in a paper bags. Customers would add their own condiments like ketchup or vinegar and make a ‘dreadful mess’. Trying to contain that mess, he started serving fries and cheese curds on a plate however customers started to complain their food was getting cold. Fernand’s genius idea was to add gravy on top and keep everything warm! At this point, the common name for this dish was “mixte”. In Québec, the term poutine is slang for mess and it was years later in the 1980’s that large chains started to sell it and it became known as Poutine!
It was around the 1990’s that poutine was added onto menus across the nation. McDonalds added it to its nationwide menu after being available in Quebec for several years and other chains followed suit not long after.
However the creation of this now national dish came about, I salute you Quebec, for the awesomeness that is poutine!
Poutine in Fernie
Nowadays, it seems most restaurants will serve at the very least a traditional poutine. Have you also noticed how lot of restaurants get creative making their own version of a poutine? I love that often it will reflect the personality of the business or town.
As I mentioned, the Red Tree Lodge Deskies had the oh-so-difficult job of taking some of the finest poutine in Fernie. We went to The Fernie Hotel & Pub, The Northern Bar & Stage and The Pub, ordering up a poutine storm so we could offer you our thoughts.
Poutine at the Fernie
There are three different poutines on The Fernie Hotel & Pub menu. We tucked into the Traditional, Donair and Porky Blue. All three were delicious, but it was the Donair that came out as our favourite. The Donair is a traditional poutine but with gyro beef, tomato, onions and sweet & spicy sauce which somehow made the whole dish feel lighter! Spot on combination! If you like meat with smoky bbq sauce then the Porky Blue is for you. It is a traditional poutine with bacon, spicy pork sausage, and some very yum smoky bbq sauce! Our Deskie Kelly especially enjoyed the Traditional Poutine as she is a “traditional gal”.
The Northern Bar & Stage has one poutine on the menu called ‘Poutine of Your Dreams’ and it was actually was. Get ready for it…this dreamy dish comes with waffle fries , pulled pork, peppered bacon, cheese curds, gravy, bbq sauce, and is topped with coleslaw. It sounds like a lot but all the ingredients work like magic. There was a nice smoky taste from the bbq sauce but it wasn’t too overwhelming. We cleaned up our plate and seriously considered seconds. Yum!
Poutine at the Pub
The Pub offer a ‘build your own’ every Wednesday. We tried a Tex Mex version that had taco chicken, tomatoes, green onions, nacho cheddar cheese, sour cream, and bacon! Of course, we got ourselves a traditional poutine too! Both dishes were extremely tasty, however, our Tex Mex creation was decided as the favourite. We had a lot of fun getting creative and customizing our own dinner!
Poutine for your thoughts…
Who’s hungry? I know I am after writing this!
Whether you prefer a traditional poutine or like to “mixte” it up with fancy waffle fries, sauces or veggies; the poutine in Fernie is pretty tasty. All poutine dishes from The Fernie Hotel, The Northern and The Pub come highly recommended by the Red Tree Lodge Deskies! We would love to talk poutine all day so feel free to strike up a conversation on your next stay.
Meet the Hotel’s Housekeeping Manager – Kelly!
Here at the Red Tree Lodge we pride ourselves on making sure our guests have a great time. How do we do this? With our biggest asset of course – our amazing team!
The housekeepers, maintenance, back office and front desk teams are what makes this place tick. Our team is the heart and soul of Red Tree Lodge. Over the next few months, we want you to get to know our team a little better. First to feature from our Red Tree Lodge team is our ‘happy little Vegemite’, Kelly Basile from The Central Coast, Australia.
Kelly has spent just over five years in Fernie, Canada and with Red Tree Lodge. You have probably met her if you have stayed with us! She knows all of the ins and outs of Red Tree Lodge! Starting in the Housekeeping team, Kelly now manages the team. And, she is also a friendly face that will meet you at the Front Desk when you check into the hotel.
Team ‘Beaches’ or ‘Mountains’?
I wanted to know about the moment Kelly decided to exchange the beaches for the Rocky Mountains and what her favourite thing about Fernie is?
My friend of 25 years who is also named Kelly suggested one day, “Let’s move to Canada.” I asked “why?” and her response was “why not?” So we signed up for a two year visa and moved 19,000 miles away thinking it would be great if we lasted six months. We left Australia on the 26th of January 2012, so right now I have been in Canada for five and a half years.
My favourite thing about Fernie is how beautiful it is surrounded by mountains. I grew up with the beach but it was never my thing. I am definitely a mountain girl. You can give me mountains any day but please don’t make me hike up them – I just like to admire them!
Memorable Moments in Fernie
And as you can imagine after five years in Fernie, Kelly has racked up a bunch of memorable moments like;
The first bear I saw, the time my team won the B league championship for slow pitch softball, when I met the Irish family that is now my extended family, and of course experiencing a ‘REAL’ Halloween. My best moment was when I was on the Greyhound coming from Vancouver to Fernie and I had not seen snow yet. When I opened my eyes and saw the snow covered trees, ground and distant mountains I actually said “WOW” out loud. I didn’t care people were looking at me because it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I liked Vancouver but I love being in the mountains. Snow makes EVERYTHING so pretty!!!
Family & friends back home
Aussies love Canada and by the sheer number of Australians here, it seems Canada loves Aussies too! So, what does Kelly tells her friends and family about her home here in Fernie?
How beautiful the Rocky Mountains are! I try to explain how fresh the air is here and don’t even get me started on how fun snow is! I tell people how amazing the summers are too. Even though it gets to 30 plus degrees it is a nice heat and not humid or sticky. Canada has four VERY different seasons and all seasons have something great to offer.
And of course, what does an Aussie think of Canada’s cuisine, animals and slang!?
‘You betcha’ my favourite Canadian food is poutine. Who doesn’t love a meal covered in gravy!?
If I was a Canadian animal I would be a Moose. Those animals are HUUUGE! They are so big and have long tall legs, just like me! They are boss! But, also super scary! I would love for people to see me and freak out like they do when they see a Moose!
Over five years in the same spot? Why Kelly hasn’t moved from Fernie:
I have visited a few places in Canada including Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. I am off to Vancouver Island in July and still have a few places on my bucket list like Waterton and Drumheller. The Rocky Mountains is my favourite place; anywhere else just doesn’t compare!
Surrounded by tall mountains, gorgeous lakes and rivers and a friendly community. “Anywhere else just doesn’t compare’ wraps up life in Fernie beautifully!
Canada celebrates its 150th birthday this year! So if you ever needed an excuse to get away to our charming little town, now is definitely the time! We are looking forward to a nice hot summer and the whole team here at Red Tree Lodge would love to ensure you have great time!
P.S. Don’t forget to give a big hello to our ‘happy little Vegemite’ Kelly Basile!