One of the fondest childhood memories most people who grew up in Canada have is grabbing all your neighbourhood friends, setting up some nets on the pavement outside your house and playing street hockey until the street lights came on. If someone spots a vehicle that might disrupt the group, it is their duty to yell “CAAARRR” as loud as possible to inform the players, prompting everyone to haul their designated gear to the side until it is safe to play again. It’s also regulatory rules that the if the ball is hit into a yard, house, or window, the culprit is required to retrieve it themselves. The game usually ends around dinner time when the player count has been thinned out by curfews or parents calling them in for food, and teams don’t have enough people to play.
Grab Your Stick
Street hockey – also known as road hockey or ball hockey – is a game enjoyed year round by people of all ages. Whether it be hockey players wanting to keep their skills fresh or groups of friends wanting some good, competitive fun, the game allows people to enjoy the beloved sport and not be limited to indoor arenas or frozen ponds. No one is certain when exactly the game was ‘invented’, but it is believed to have started around the turn of the 20th century when wealthier North-American neighbourhoods started paving their streets. The sport picked up speed in the 70’s when the ‘No Bounce Ball’ was invented by Raymond W LeClerc. Rules and regulations started being established and it became more and more popular. Mr. LeClerc even went on to build a site with 3 outdoor arenas in Leo-minster, Massachusetts which prompted the development of leagues and tournaments across North America.
Fun For Everyone
Here at the Red Tree Lodge, we love street hockey and of course sharing it with our guests! Our sister company – Nonstop Adventure – is run out of the lodge, and brings people from around the world to enjoy the winter season in Canada while becoming ski and snowboard instructors. We love giving the full Canadian experience to our guests, so introducing them to activities that we grew up with is something everyone enjoys. Street hockey is always quick to become a favourite activity and they are even able to set up right in front of the lodge! Next time you stay with us in Fernie at the Red Tree Lodge, be sure to come borrow some of our equipment; we can provide you with sticks, nets and balls. Who knows, maybe we will even join in with you…Game on!
Winter in Fernie
Experience Fernie. A winter wonderland. A mountain paradise. Breathtaking views. There just aren’t enough words to describe the beauty of Fernie in the winter. Arriving on a blue bird day you’ll have the opportunity of taking in the Rocky Mountains that encircle the mountain town of 4,200 residents. Three Sisters, Mount Fernie and Mount Proctor are all located directly behind the Red Tree Lodge. They can be viewed from our Superior and King rooms, as well as the Mount Fernie Suite. These room types all feature their own private balcony.
With the popular Fernie Alpine Resort located just 8 minutes outside of town, Fernie has become one of the most popular mountain destinations in North America. Fernie gets an annual snowfall of 29 feet, spread out over 142 runs and 2,504 acres of terrain. This terrain includes 5 spectacular open bowls, numerous ridges, and amazing glades, meaning Fernie Alpine Resort offers adventure at every turn. 10 lifts service the resort and there’s a variety of terrain for every skill level. Often you’ll find low clouds hovering over town, but as you gain altitude on the chairlift, you’ll break into the beautiful sunshine that lies above. This year the resort is set to open December 5th (weather permitting). It can’t come soon enough for those who can’t wait to experience Fernie!
Fernie Alpine Resort
The resort is always evolving and its services and this year there’s a few new things happening. The Kids Wings Program takes the hassle out of having to find and purchase new equipment for that growing child. By joining this program ($149), you pick up your gear at the beginning of the season and return it before it closes. There will be more high performance option in the rental shop and more rental options for kids (4-6). There’s been terrain improvements and a new groomer has joined the fleet. As always, while staying at the Red Tree Lodge, you can save 5-15% off lift passes.
Other Winter Experiences
Skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only favorite past time of residents and visitors here to experience Fernie. Cat skiing, cross country skiing, snow biking, snow shoeing and snowmobiling are increasing in popularity and making for a different kind of adventure. Snow biking allows you to use big tires to float through the snow with good traction. Timing is key for a good snow ride, so hit the trails when they’re nicely packed and not too icy. If you’re a beginner, try the Lazy Lizard trail (10km). For an intermediate give the Ridgemont Loop (9km) a try and for advanced riders, the Provincial Park Loop (7km). If you’re looking for the experience of a lifetime, then cat skiing is for you!
Fernie Wilderness Adventures offers day cat skiing trips on over 5,000 acres that features a variety of ridges to begin your descents from. A typical day starts with breakfast at the lodge, then it’s a quick cat ride up the backcountry terrain. Next thing you know, you’ll find yourself in waist deep powder on every run. With an elevation over 7,150 ft, the conditions keep the snow falling from the Coast and dry powder perfect for skiier and snowboarders to enjoy world renowned Canadian Rockies. Choosing from a vast variety of terrain, from ranges to ridges, valleys’ to spectacular gladed meadows, you won’t be able to wipe that smile off your face. Take a sneak peek below!
Photography by Jean-Yves