Trail Conditions – April 18, 2022

lizard creek loop

IT’S OFFICIAL! WE HAVE NOW STOPPED ALL TRAIL GROOMING. THE SNOW/ICE IS TOO THIN IN MANY PLACES. WE WITH YOU A GREAT END OF SPRING AND A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER.

Elk Valley Nordic Centre

Cedar & Lizard Lookoutgreen easyGrooming has stoppedApr 18
From Hut to bridgegreen easyGrooming has stoppedApr 18
Runt & Gruntblue challengingGrooming has stoppedApr 18
Galloway loopblue challengingGrooming has stoppedApr 18
Lizard Creek loopblack more difficultGrooming has stoppedApr 18
FAR connector & Boomeranggreen easyGrooming has stoppedApr 18

Grooming is terminated. The trails are still open and free to use. Be respectful as we use the trails with the land owners’ permission.

Fernie Golf Course

The trails are now CLOSED.
Level of difficulty: Easy green easy

No dogs, snowshoes or walkers on the golf course please.

Maps and directions are shown here


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, Scandia and Manchuria trails were last groomed and track set on Sunday April 17. Daily grooming happening usually in early morning.

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

The dyke is no longer being groomed.
Level of difficulty: Easy green easy

Montane

No recent report received.

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.

What’s happening on the Galloway Lands? UPDATED

What’s happening on the Galloway Lands? UPDATED

Visit the website gallowaylands.com for the latest Q & A from the developer’s team. There is also a recent article published on rethinkgalloway.com

New Update from FNS Board of Directors re: Galloway Lands Application

Hello members! We have received a lot of questions, concerns and requests for information regarding the Galloway Lands proposal put forward by Handshake Holdings. The purpose of this update is to provide you with all the information we have and encourage you to participate in the formal processes outline below. Consider this a round-up of everything we know to date, and what opportunities exist for you to participate directly. We represent the nordic community, but recognize that our members will have a variety of perspectives and opinions, so please read to find out how you can get involved.

Context and recent activity

As a follow up to our previous newsletter and blog post (see here), we are providing our members with an update on the Galloway Lands development proposal (full application also linked from our blog post).

First and foremost, as we stated in November, this is private land and we are incredibly grateful for the relationship we have with the current landowner and the privilege we have to continue to access and operate on his property. Bud Nelson has supported our club’s use of the land for over 6 years and we have worked hard to be responsible and respectful users of the land. We intend to continue to work in partnership with landowners currently and into the future for the benefit of our nordic skiing community in a way that reflects our core values.

In a recent Free Press article, it was indicated that FNS had a number of concerns regarding the development application. We have been engaging with the consultant for the Galloway Lands application and are maintaining an open dialogue about the primary concerns related to the trails which are also summarized in our blog post and include: road crossings, safe public access/amenities, trail connectivity and environmental stewardship. In addition, we have communicated concerns raised by members around the process, specifically regarding some of the more complex elements of covenants and their design and enforcement.

We are also aware of concerns that have been raised by different groups that represent broader perspectives beyond nordic skiing, and reflect some of the values we know our members hold, such as environmental stewardship. Their concerns and a list of ways for the public to remain engaged in the formal process are summarized at www.rethinkgalloway.com. We expand on the formal process in the section below.

Recently, all of these issues were discussed with the Galloway Lands consultant and further information was provided regarding process, concerns that have been raised to date, and plans for public engagement. The FAQs section on the www.gallowaylands.com site has been updated to include clarification on some of the concerns that have been raised by our Board and the broader public. FNS will be submitting additional requests for clarification in advance of the Open House, specifically with regards to the conditions under which some of the commitments would be compromised (e.g., what financial implications would make additional elements such as tunnels or the proposed non-profit not feasible?), what enforcement mechanisms exist to support them, and what, if any, interruption to trail access would occur during construction should the application be approved.

Open House – Proponent-led

We have received information regarding an online Open House taking place this week (pivot from previously scheduled in-person events due to covid restrictions). Note that this engagement is facilitated by the applicant, while the public input period (written submissions and Public Hearing) indicated in the process outlined below will be facilitated by the RDEK. It is at that point that any comments from the public would become part of the formal record.

This event will provide an overview of the plans, as well as question and answer. Please see the detailed information and ensure you register in advance to participate:

Handshake Holdings Inc. invites you to attend a virtual open house regarding our proposal for the Galloway Lands.

The open house is scheduled for Thursday 6 January 2022 at 6:00pm via Zoom. The open house will include an overview of the proposed development and answers to questions from community members.

To submit a question for the open house, please send to:  info@gallowaylands.com.  We will also accept questions on the night of the open house as time permits.  

Advance Registration for this webinar is required. To register go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KVa1OhTGQWi8afSmqhHg7A

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please share this email with anyone in the community that may be interested in our proposal.

RDEK Application Process

In response to concerns and confusion regarding the application and review process, the following detailed list has been provided by the Galloway Lands consultant and verified by the RDEK. Dates for the specific events will be communicated to our members as they are confirmed.

  1. Submission of application for zoning / OCP amendment submitted to RDEK.
  1. RDEK send application for referral to required agencies and affected parties.
  1. RDEK staff review application and work with applicant to refine application and determine what covenants and other commitments are required to support the application. These additional covenants and other commitments become part of the Request for Decision prepared by RDEK staff and provided to the Board for consideration at 1st reading of the bylaws. The Request for Decision includes the options available to the Board, an overview of the OCP and zoning policies applicable to the application and all covenants and other commitments offered by the proponent. These covenants then form part of the requirement for approval of the application by the RDEK Board.
  1. RDEK – 1st and 2nd Reading of proposed bylaws. Application is either approved to proceed to public hearing or is defeated by the Board.
  1. RDEK – The RDEK collects written submissions from the public which comment on the application (either in favour, or in opposition, or just stating concerns). 
  1. RDEK – Public Hearing to obtain formal feedback from public about the application.
  1. RDEK Staff prepare a Public Hearing Report that is provided to RDEK Board for consideration at 3rd reading of the bylaws. Public Hearing Report includes copies of letters submitted by the public as well as a summary of verbal statements made at the public hearing.
  1. RDEK – 3rd Reading of proposed bylaws. Application is defeated or approved by RDEK Board.
  1. Applicant registers Development Agreement / Covenants on title to the lands. Certain covenants can be registered at this stage of the process and others are registered at subdivision. Where possible covenants are registered at this stage. If a covenant cannot be registered at this stage, the development agreement is a legal requirement to register these covenants at the subdivision stage of the project.
  1. MOTI approval of bylaws.
  1. RDEK – Adoption of bylaws. Note that this step does not proceed until the development agreement / covenants are registered on title and the proponent provides confirmation of registration to the RDEK (i.e., updated titles showing covenant has been registered).
  1. The RDEK will again review the covenants and development agreement registered on title at subdivision of the lands to ensure that all commitments are being upheld. Failure to abide by the covenants and development agreement will result in refusal to approve the subdivision. RDEK sign-off is required by MOTI for all subdivisions.

Next Steps

The FNS Board will continue to represent its members through the RDEK review process and in discussions with the developer. Individual FNS members are encouraged to review the developer’s application and the comments from other community groups, present their own concerns, and participate in engagement opportunities as they arise.



Previous Update issued on November 12

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.

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

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available on Mondays only in 1 hour (1 person) or 1.5 hour (2 person or group) time slots beginning at 9:30am and ending at 2:30pm. 

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 for booking or more info

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 for booking or more info

Masters Training Group with Drop-In Option (January 5 – February 23)

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.

Skate Ski Sessions

  • January 5 – Free skate
  • January 12 – One skate 
  • January 19 – Offset
  • January 26 – Two skate (only recommended for drop-in if you are already proficient at one skate)

Classic Ski Sessions

  • February 2 – Diagonal stride
  • February 9 – Double pole 
  • February 16 – Uphill diagonal stride
  • February 23 – Downhill control and cornering (*classic or skate) 

Details

What: 8 weeks of skate and/or classic technique instruction
When: Wednesday evenings (6pm-7:30pm) beginning January 5
Cost: 8 weeks – $240, 4 weeks (skate or classic) – $120, Drop-in – $40 per session 

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 Tourism Fernie 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 2021-2022 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.

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