I?ve been asked by many people in the last couple of months; what is it about Fernie that made me decide to pack up my life in the middle of a gorgeous Aussie summer and move alone to the other side of the world ? to a cold dark winter no less? To be honest, I never really settled back into corporate life in the city after my 6 weeks in Fernie last year with Nonstop; the mountains were calling me all year long and so when the opportunity presented to work with the Nonstop team at the Red Tree Lodge in Fernie I jumped at it.
In early 2011, I joined the 6 week Master-the-Mountain course that Nonstop runs each winter. I had such an awesome time; I met great people, my skiing and general confidence on the mountain improved out of sight, and I felt an overall sense of well being from all that time in the great outdoors. Skiing at Fernie Alpine Resort was unlike anywhere else I?d skied; the runs longer, the lines shorter, the diversity of terrain more interesting and the snow conditions so much better than my experiences back home, in New Zealand, Colorado and even Japan. I was quickly hooked on the place and the lifestyle.
Fernie the town is not hard to fall in love with either. Its a cute little mountain town with amazing food, fun bars and great little stores. The outlook in every direction from town is stunning; the view down 2nd Ave to the ski hill is particularly spectacular. Despite all that, I think that it was the general attitude about town that actually won me over; everyone is here to have fun, they are all friendly, relaxed, and healthy and there is a great community atmosphere that is completely refreshing after years in the city.
When I landed in Calgary last week, I must admit to feeling a little cold in the feet ? leaving the long awaited hot Aussie summer and landing in cold, dark Calgary to start a new life all by myself in the Canadian Rockies was pretty daunting. But as I walk to work in the morning with the fresh snow crunching underfoot and watch the sun crawl up the Lizard Range I can hear the boom of the ski patrol avalanche bombs on the hill and I?m pretty excited at the prospect of calling Fernie home.
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