What’s happening on the Galloway Lands?

What’s happening on the Galloway Lands?

Update from FNS Board of Directors re: Galloway Lands Application

As committed to at our Annual General Meeting this summer, we are providing an update on the application for the proposed development of the Galloway property.

Last year, the FNS Board was informed by the Galloway property landowner that a conditional offer had been received for the Galloway property. We were then contacted by Reto Barrington of Handshake Holdings confirming his intent to apply for rezoning and apply for a residential development on the property. Note that the ‘Galloway Lands’ referred to include the land on which the Grunt/partial Runt and Galloway Loop exist as well as the connecting trails to the Fernie Alpine Resort.

At the AGM we:

  • Provided Mr. Barrington’s letter assuring no change or interruption to the 2021/2022 ski season;
  • Committed to continued engagement and partnership with the landowner;
  • Committed to providing formal application information to our members once released by the Regional District of East Kootenay.

Last month, we received a package from Development Services at the RDEK with the attached application for the ‘Galloway Lands’ development and were encouraged by the RDEK to share the application and process with our membership.

The RDEK also provided us with the following general timeline for the formal process to be communicated to our members:

  • RDEK sends referral packages out to other agencies for comment – October.
  • Public “open house” or some sort of similar consultation event hosted by the applicant – late November, early December.
  • Bylaws presented to the RDEK Board of Directors for the first time – January 2022, and if advanced, a public hearing to be held late January.
  • If the bylaw is advanced to a public hearing, the RDEK will collect formal public comments on the proposal at that time.

Any changes to these timelines or formal dates established for Open Houses, etc. will be communicated to our membership.

The FNS Board of Directors wishes to reiterate the role we play in this process, and the role/opportunity of our greater membership in reviewing and participating.

  1. These lands are private. FNS continues to work with Bud Nelson as the current landowner for our continued access, which is also supported and confirmed by Mr. Barrington as per his letter provided at our AGM. It is a privilege, not a right, to have access to this property and we are very grateful for the ongoing partnership with the landowner. We are thankful also for the partnership with The Cedars and Mount Fernie Provincial Park for the access via the Mount Fernie Provincial Park corridor.
  1. The FNS Board are reviewing and discussing the application with a focus on compatibility with the experience we aim to provide our members and visitors. It is our understanding that it is the intent of the Galloway Lands developer to retain public access for nordic skiing as part of the development, with a covenant to be placed on those trails for continued public access.
  1. Our primary concern is to ensure that trails in which we invest public and membership funds for maintenance, grooming and programming are compatible with our primary mission of the FNS, which is: Providing exceptional cross country skiing opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages. Through this lens we are seeking to understand how an exceptional experience can be maintained from an operational, programming and user perspective. This includes considerations of road crossings, maintaining safe public access, trail connectivity and environmental stewardship.
  1. We have met with the consultant for the Galloway Lands application for a preliminary discussion on some of the considerations regarding continued trail access for FNS members and the general public, and will continue to engage as additional information is released by the developer. We will participate in the Open House to be hosted in the near future and encourage our members to participate through that process.

Read the Application for Land Use Amendment from Handshake Holdings Inc.

You can open THIS LINK or click on the image above to read the document. Or right-click to save it to your device.

Ski Training Sessions for Adults

skier tarah

Adult Lessons are available in progressive group, private, semi-private and private small group formats for the 2021/22 winter season.

5 Week Classic Beginner Group Lessons (January 4 – February 1)

This group is for skiers that are comfortable on classic skis, but would like to improve their technique in varying terrain to gain skill and confidence. We will begin by improving balance and coordination on skis and progress to proper poling, flat, uphill, downhill and cornering technique skills. 

What: 5 weeks of progressive classic technique instruction
When: Tuesday mornings (9:30am-10:30am) beginning January 4th
Cost: $150

Contact: Coach Tarah

5 Week Skate Beginner Group Lessons (January 4 – February 1)

If you have been on skate skis before but find yourself using the same technique for uphills and flats, this is the group for you. We will begin by improving balance and coordination on skis and progress to proper poling, flat, uphill, downhill and cornering technique skills.

What: 5 weeks of progressive skate technique instruction
When: Tuesday mornings (11am-12pm) beginning January 4th
Cost: $150

Contact: Coach Tarah

8 Week Masters Training Group with Drop-In Option (December 8 – February 9)

This group is for skiers that are looking to fine tune their skate and/or classic techniques to improve speed and efficiency on all types of terrain. The lessons will be mostly technique focused in the staging area, but we will also be skiing to different terrain on the trails to practice specific skills from time to time. A headlamp and an adventurous spirit required! 

This year a drop-in option has been added to accommodate those that may have inconsistent availability or feel they only need instruction on certain techniques. Please note that the sessions are designed for progressing through the techniques as specific skills are acquired. If you choose the drop-in option, you may miss out on important aspects of the skate or classic techniques. If we fill the group sessions with regulars, the option to drop-in will not be available. The technique focus of each session will be as follows:

Skate Sessions

  • December 8 – Free skate
  • December 15 – One skate 
  • January 5 – Offset
  • January 12 – Two skate (only recommended for drop-in if you are already proficient at one skate)

Classic Sessions

  • January 19 – Diagonal stride
  • January 26 – Double pole 
  • February 2 – Uphill diagonal stride
  • February 9 – Downhill control and cornering (*classic or skate) 

What: 8 weeks of skate and/or classic technique instruction
When: Wednesday evenings (6pm-7:30pm) beginning December 8th
Cost: 8 weeks – $240, 4 weeks (skate or classic) – $120, Drop-in – $40 per session 

Contact: Coach Tarah

* Please note we need a minimum of 6 participants to run these groups and the group size will be capped at 10. Additional group lessons may be offered depending on interest.

Progressive group lessons not the right timing or format for you? Please contact Tarah to book private lessons or for more information.

Lesson Location

All lessons will take place at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. Meet in the staging area outside the Warming Hut.

Preparedness

  • You will need to sign the online waiver (LINK) to confirm that you have read and understood the FNS COVID-19 protocols BEFORE you have your lesson. A proof of vaccination is not required.
  • Payment for your lesson must be made BEFORE your lesson starts.
  • Please come prepared for all types of weather (cold, wet, snowy, windy, sunny, etc) as your comfort is your responsibility and we will not have access to the hut to warm up cold toes. Lessons may be rescheduled in the event of extreme weather.
  • Please make sure you have the right equipment properly sized for your weight/ability. We do not have rentals. Contact Tarah for questions about equipment and rentals BEFORE your lesson.
  • Please ensure that you have a day pass or club membership at the time of your lesson. Day passes are available online HERE.

Make your online payment

Once your lesson has been confirmed, you will be requested to make an online payment:

Option 1: send an e-transfer to info@fernienordic.com

Option 2: pay by credit card using the Payment button below

Your Instructors

tarah leggottemily de freitas
Tarah Leggott
CANSI Level 2
Emily de Freitas
CANSI Level 1
Tarah Leggott is a CANSI Level 2 instructor that is passionate about cross country skiing as a lifelong, family-oriented sport that can be pursued competitively or as recreation in our beautiful, little corner of BC.Emily has been cross country skiing for over 20 years. She grew up as a competitive racer for Foothills Nordic in Calgary. She has coached in adult and youth programs in both Calgary and Whistler. I’m looking forward to connecting with the Fernie ski community and helping you reach your nordic goals! 
Contact Tarah
Any questions? Get in touch with Tarah

Trail Maps

map of fernie golf course

New precautions to reduce COVID transmissions

The Fernie Nordic Society maintains the trails at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and at the Golf Course in partnership with the Fernie Golf Club. The crosscountry ski trails in the region are made possible by the involvement of several land owners, the Fernie Alpine resort, the Fernie Golf Club and the City of Fernie. During the ski season, look for a ski trail map at local sports shops. Visit the great Fernie Tourism website here for more activities to do in Fernie.

Ski in any of these locations within 10 minutes drive from Fernie:

Nordic Ski AreaDifficultyLength (km)CostDirections
Elk Valley Nordic CentreIntermediate10$see map
Fernie Golf CourseEasy8$see map
Fernie DykeEasy4Freesee map
MontaneIntermediate10Freesee map
Fernie Alpine ResortEasy9Freesee map

Elk Valley Nordic Centre

trail map fernie nordic centre 2021

About 10 kilometres of groomed trails are now available for the 2020-2021 ski season. The first trails of the Nordic Centre were set during the fall of 2013. A bridge across the Lizard Creek was installed in November 2014 to give access to additional trails (in purple and yellow on the map). The bypass trail ”The Runt” (in red) was added in the fall of 2015. The Lizard Creek loop is a new short trail running along the Galloway loop trail.
Curious about our interpretive kiosks? Check this page for the surprising details.

How to get there: To reach the Elk Valley Nordic Centre, go west from Fernie on highway 3. At 3 km from the bridge, turn right at the Island Lake Lodge sign. Follow the road for 0.9 km to the Mt. Fernie Provincial Park sign. Turn left into the overflow parking lot at 0.2 km. The trail head is located on your left about 50 m before the parking lot and it is indicated by a sign. A trail map is posted at the kiosk located in the clearing. Please NO DOGS ON THE TRAILS at any time. Note that more walking trails are located at the far end of the parking lot. Enjoy!

The starting point is the Warming Hut (49.485633 N, 115.090980 W) More trail and elevation info on this page

Access from the Fernie Alpine Resort side: Park in the main parking area. Ski between the Deer chair and the Day Lodge, go past the Mighty Moose and Elk chairs. (You can also start from the stairs beside the Griz Inn) Continue up the wide path and cross the Highline Drive. The path toward the Elk Valley Nordic Centre trails (1km away) is between the houses at 5311 and 5305. There is no parking anywhere along the street.
At 300 m from Highline Drive, you may also take the fork on the left to reach the Boomerang chair. This is a beautiful 1.3 km long hike through the trees. The trail is wide and well packed by snowmobiles. This is a good trail to walk dogs, snowshoeing, skiing and the like. The trail ends at the chair lift and only paying FAR customers can continue of course.

Map

Fernie Golf Course and Fernie Dyke

About 8 km of groomed tracks are available on the golf course. There is little change of elevation on these trails so it is optimal for beginner skiers. The start of the trails is at the Clubhouse of the golf course where you will find ample free parking. The trails are jointly groomed by the Golf Course and by the Nordic Society volunteers on a regular basis.
A 4km stretch of the Fernie Dyke is also groomed by the personnel of the golf course. Enjoy the views as you ski on this multi-use trail – Dogs are welcome here.
How to get there: To reach it from the highway 3, turn south at the 13th Street light, then turn left again on 6th Avenue for 400 metres, then right again on Fairway Drive for 800 metres to the parking area.
There is a kiosk next to the Clubhouse for signing up and to deposit your fee for the $15 daily pass or $25 per family, or you may purchase a pass online here. Show your support for our volunteers! You may consider getting a Nordic Society season pass for $100/adult or $220/family here.
The management of the golf course has specified that NO DOGS be allowed on the trails of the golf course.
The starting point is at the clubhouse ( 49.516403 N, 115.047922 W )

More Cross Country ski trails near Fernie

Several easy skiing trails can be found in Fernie and also within a short distance of the city. Just bring some water and snacks for a wonderful time out on the trail. Be aware that other skiers like to enjoy the trails and the great outdoors without having to encounter doggy leftovers. Skiers with dogs are welcome on several trails.

Fernie Alpine Resort

The FAR resort grooms two skiing loops on the southwest side of the resort. The entire course is about 9 km long but it has a bypass at the half-way point. A map of the trail is displayed at the parking lot. This trail is easy but the short section to reach it from the parking lot is steep and a little challenging. Beginners may carry their skis to the start of the loop. Dogs are permitted off-leash on these trails if they are still under ‘vocal command’.

How to get there: From highway 3 west from Fernie, turn right at the FAR sign, about 8 km. Follow the main road keeping to your left at the ski hill buildings until you reach the parking lot #4. The trail starts straight ahead.
The resort does not charge for the use of their trails, but support of the resort businesses is appreciated.

Montane Nordic and Multi-use Trails

The Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club is doing the trail management and snow grooming on the Montane Property. The trails are now signed and color-coded as follows: all of the road system on Montane Green trail (about 10km) is snowcat groomed and snowmobile groomed for Nordic Skiing Only. For non-motorized multi-use, all of the Montane Blue trail (20 km), Uprooted and Resurrection are available for walkers, dogs, bikers, snowshoers. Also the trail along Coal Creek and the trails close to the Montane housing development are being groomed for multi-use. We have put up one hundred signs showing the routes and are putting out a map in January.

This private land is 3 kilometers long and one kilometer wide, covering the area from Coal Creek to Cokato (Roots Trail Powerline) and below the River Road Extension to Cokato Road. The entire property is signed as non-motorized usePlease follow the signage to respect the trails groomed for nordic skiers.

How to get there: One access route is to start from the Fernie Aquatic Centre, follow Pine Street and turn left on the entrance of the Montane Development road just past the Coal Creek. Go past the houses and park along the road. The trailhead for both the Green Nordic trails is nearby. Another starting point is the Old Barn located at 49.496467 N, 115.05497 W. More trail and elevation info on this page. The entire Montane property below River Road Extension is non-motorized.

Volunteers at Work Party

wood chips rocky mountain landscape bark

Fifteen volunteers with wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels showed up on Saturday morning at the Nordic Centre to spread wood chips in the staging area. The load of chips was donated by Rocky Mountain Lanscape Bark and delivered to the site earlier in the week.

This fresh layer of clean chips will even out the surface of the staging area before grooming starts. A part of the load was left for further repair along the Jackrabbit trails this week. All this work is going to improve the area for the upcoming crosscountry race planned for Wednesday October 27.

Trail Conditions – November 22, 2021

lizard creek loop

None of the nordic trails in the Fernie area are open or being groomed at this time.
The Fernie Nordic Society manages the grooming of trails at the Fernie Golf Course and Elk Valley Nordic Centre. Remember to subscribe to our emails so you do not miss our announcements and subsequent grooming reports – see box on this page.
The information below is now outdated as it is our last grooming report from April 2021.

A Membership or Day Pass required to ski at the Nordic Centre and the Golf Course. No dogs on groomed trails please.
Maps and directions are shown here

Elk Valley Nordic Centre

Cedar & Lizard Lookoutgreen easygroomed and track setlast groomed April 2
From Hut to bridgegreen easygroomed and track set April 2
Runt & Gruntblue challenginggroomed and track setApril 2
Galloway loopblue challenginggroomed and track setApril 2
Lizard Creek loopblack more difficultnot groomed
FAR connector & Boomeranggreen easygroomedMarch 29

The skate lanes were groomed on Friday. The trails are now very icy and classic skiing is not recommended. Grooming has now ended. Thank you to everyone for this great season!

Groomer Mark is refreshing the trails each weekday. Do not forget to 👋
Please be aware that the hut will stay CLOSED during this winter.

Fernie Golf Course

The trails are now CLOSED for the remainder of the season.
Level of difficulty: Easy green easy


Other locations where one can ski in the Fernie area are listed below. Please note that these trails are dog-friendly and operated by other organizations.

Fernie Alpine Resort

The Silk and Manchuria trails were groomed on Friday.

Off-leash dogs are now allowed on the trails if they are still under ‘vocal control’. A map and directions to trails are found here
The FAR snow report is here

Fernie Dyke

No more grooming is planned.
Level of difficulty: Easy green easy

Montane

Trail grooming is expected to happen daily and when there is some new snow.

Find map and directions to trails here
Watch for updated info about the trail system on this page

Anyone may text updates to 250-430-2719 at any time.