All winter, storms stream off the North Pacific. On the eastern edge of the Canadian Rockies, the storms stall, dropping metre after metre of snow before moving onto the plains. Fernie, BC sits in the middle of the infamous “stall zone”. There’s a 20 cm rule in Fernie: when the barometer falls and we receive 20 cm (8 inches) of snow or more overnight, the meeting moves to the mountain – maybe Timber Chair or the Boomerang Chair. Locals are more likely to meet their neighbour skiing the face of the Bear than walking down Victoria Avenue. Even Ski Canada Magazine recognizes this, voting and awarding Fernie as the Best Ski town, with the Best Powder and the Best Deck Party. Accolades from a voice of experience.
Who’s looking at Fernie?
The National Geographic Society has Fernie in its list of the 2014 World’s Best Ski Towns. Read about it here. And previously Fernie won an award by being named the 2012 Best Ski Resort in North America at the prestigious World Snow Awards. Link to a recent article in the local paper The Free Press.
The National Geographic Society is featuring Fernie and the Fernie Nordic Society on one of its websites www.crownofthecontinent.natgeotourism.com This website explores the Alberta-BC-Montana mountain region and many of its natural attractions. One page is dedicated to the Fernie Nordic Society. Browse the website at the same time.
Legendary Snow and More…
Founded over 100 years ago, Fernie is the hub of Southeastern BC. Initially coal mines attracted adventurers from around the globe. The Italians, British, Aussies and the French found a home in the Elk River valley holding Fernie. Today Fernie remains remarkably diverse. We still draw international travelers, but today Fernie Alpine Resort is as much of a draw as the coal mines. The common factor becomes an appreciation for the mountains, the activities and the strong attraction to the wide variety of local cultural events. Fernie’s Historic Downtown bustles with shops, galleries, bistros and restaurants.
The Arts Station hosts concerts and performances throughout the year. At night, skiers fill the streets hopping from bistro to bar, burning up the last energy of the day. Fernie truly has something to offer everyone, from adventure to community, come and discover what will keep you coming back to Fernie for more! For more information about Fernie, and to plan your vacation visit Tourism Fernie
Recent feedback from skiers
So nice to come in and warm up after a rainy ski – conditions were still nice on the trails! by D & P Apr 8, 2023
First time on skis! Such a lovely day! Thanks for hosting us and providing a nice warm fire and great conversation. by M, S, S & L Mar 5, 2023
Just a quick note to let you know that I was out on the trails today and could really appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in to keep the trails on good condition despite the challenging conditions. Thank you. by K.C Jan 15, 2023
Trails are fantastic. Thanks! by Anonymous Feb 25, 2023
Awesome trails, slippery downhills and lots of giggles. by D. Feb 6, 2023
Thank you for grooming on Christmas Day! The skiing made my day. Happy Holidays! by Anonymous Dec 25, 2022
What a wonderful place for crosscountry skiing! by L&J M. Dec 17, 2022
How to find the latest info on the TRAIL CONDITIONS? The report on trail conditions on the website gets updated regularly during the season. Even better, anyone can subscribe to our emails to get the same report in their mailbox. Look for the signup form on this page. To add to this report, anyone may text 250-430-2719 with the details.
How often are the trails groomed? The paid groomers are touching up the trails of the Nordic Centre each weekday morning. Volunteers are also busy during the weekends during the season. This obviously depends on the snow conditions. Grooming is planned ahead of the weekends when more skiers are on the trails. The trails on the golf course are also groomed frequently as the snow cover allows.
What is the grooming schedule at the Nordic Centre? There is none written in stone at this time. The club has hired a paid groomer to spend a few hours each morning working on the trails. You may expect the trail network to be groomed by noon. In addition volunteer groomers handle some grooming on weekends and during the week as needed. Interested in helping? Contact us through the Volunteers page.
Is the skiing free at the Nordic Centre and Golf Course? If you are a club member, skiing is free. It is inexpensive for non-members. A Day Pass is required if you are not a FNS member. Passes may be obtained from the kiosk at the trail head, from a volunteer at the warming hut or online. See the question below for more details.
What is a DAY PASS and where do I need one? Non-club members need to purchase a Day Pass to ski on the golf course or at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. Day passes may be obtained from the kiosk at the trail head or online for $15 single and $25 family.
Do I need a PASS to use the trails? Yes, a valid membership or a day pass is required. Day passes are available at the trail head for $15 single or $25 family. Make sure to sign the book at the same time to be eligible for some insurance coverage. Day passes are also available online.
How do I register my child in SKI LESSONS FOR KIDS? The easiest way: visit Zone4.ca where the registration to the lessons is made together with gear rental and club membership. Our website shows more options.
How come my child is on a waiting list for the ski lessons? We accept the children in our SDP lessons program but in keeping the ratio coach-kids reasonable for an effective training program. Please consider joining as a volunteer coach to allow for more kids to participate. The required short training is paid for by the Fernie Nordic Society and it follows the CCBC training standard.
Do you offer SKI LESSONS FOR ADULTS? The club is planning several sessions of lessons for adults during the season. They will include tips for both classic and skate skiing techniques. Our coaches are NCCP licensed to teach adult skiers. Please use our Contact Us page to let us know what type of lessons you prefer, classic or skate, beginner or more advanced. The dates of the lessons will be announced by email in our club notices. Subscribe to these emails through the signup box on this page.
Are our COACHES qualified to teach? Of course they are. All our coaches are volunteers and they are required to be competent and qualified. Coaches for the kids lessons are qualified through the CCBC program. Coaches for adults are licensed through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). For more details, download this Coaching Program summary. Our coaches in the kids program also need to have a police background check done before joining our team.
How to get a MEMBERSHIP? It is done online for adult, family and student memberships. Visit Zone4.ca where a payment by credit card is accepted.
Do I get a membership card when I join up? You sure do. Our goal is to have your new membership card or renewal stickers ready within 7 days after your registration and payment are completed. The club does mail the cards to new members only this year. Cards and stickers will be available for pickup at our various events early in the season. The trail ambassadors will have them at the warming hut during the weekends after the ski season starts. Please note that returning members only need to get a renewal sticker for their cards.
Where is my membership card? or my sticker? A few days after your membership info is entered on the Zone4.ca website, either online or by one of our volunteers, your card will be ready for pickup. If you are a returning member, a renewal sticker will be issued for your card. Cards and stickers will be available for pickup at our various events early in the season. The trail ambassadors will have them at the warming hut during the weekends after the ski season starts. Contact us for help.
What is the ZONE4 website? The Zone4.ca website is a central point for all kinds of sports activities. It is based in Canmore, Alberta. The Fernie Nordic Society, as many other sports clubs, uses this website to handle our membership and race registrations together with their financial transactions. The website is also used to display race results such as the Teck Kootenay Cup races.
I am a BEGINNER SKIER. Where should I go skiing? The Fernie Nordic Society grooms several kilometres of trails on the Fernie golf course. The main loop around the course is 4 km in length and more side trails along the Fernie Dyke are groomed. It is perfect for skiing at your pace without hills and to improve your pace and technique. Check our website for maps and more details.
I am comfortable on skis. Which trails do you recommend? The 10 km trail system of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre offers a more challenging workout. Skiing may start from the warming hut or from the Fernie Alpine Resort. Maps are posted on kiosks at both trail heads. The trails include a few hills along the way and a bridge over the Lizard Creek. Do not forget to look at the views of the valley as you go. Check our website for maps and more details.
Is the WARMING HUT available for rental? The hut has been available for rental since the fall of 2016. Its outdoor deck and the interior have been completed during the 2018 season. Check out our website page for details about the surroundings and the insurance requirement.
Can my organization HELP the Fernie Nordic Society? Indeed. Corporate memberships for a group of up to six people are available. Visit our Membership page and register the participants online at Zone4.ca
I want to help. Can I VOLUNTEER? Great! And it is easy. Our website has a Volunteers page listing several opportunities. A club member may volunteer for a short task such as an event, or take over an activity like organizing an evening activity or handling the membership registration during the season. Contact us todayto let us know.
What is a TRAIL AMBASSADOR? This person is a volunteer who is dedicated to be a presence on the trails and at the warming hut of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre for short periods on weekdays or weekends. Her/his task is to be on site, or on the trails, to meet other skiers, to give out some information and to answer their questions. The club does not police the trails. This is our friendly way to encourage skiers to show their cards, to become a member or to purchase a day pass. Become a TA by contacting us through this website
Why are DOGS not allowed on the trails at EVNC or the golf course? Just like walkers, dogs poke holes into the trail surface ruining the grooming and track set in the process. Abandoned dog poop is another reason. There is a dog-friendly trail section on the FAR side of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. This area is accessible from Highline Drive at the Fernie Alpine Resort. Dogs are welcome on other trails such as the Fernie dyke, Montane and the Fernie Alpine Resort.
Where may I take my dog to ski? See the previous question. Check out these dog-friendly trails: the Fernie dyke, Montane, Island Lake and the Fernie Alpine Resort. Maps and directions are available on this page.
Does the club have a RACE TEAM? Yes, it does since the 2014-2015 season. The Fernie Nordic Racers is a group of young skiers aged from 9 to 19 who aim to improve their physical performance. Several members also enroll in provicial level races during the season. Their training include training on trails, weekly gym training and additional CCBC sponsored training camps. Your child is welcome to join the team. Contact us through this website and coaches Johnny and Naomi will answer your questions.
What is the Teck KOOTENAY CUP? The Teck Regional Cup series offer affordable, accessible competitive opportunities for developing athletes and are sponsored by Teck throughout B.C. All Regional Cup races offer age-appropriate categories for children 14 years of age and younger, and most offer the full spectrum of categories for skiers of all ages from the CCBC website. The skiers from the Fernie Nordic Society have participated in the Teck Kootenay Cup series of races every year. Our club has won the Cup in the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2017-2018 seasons and again in 2018-2019 in part due to the large participation by young and adult skiers from Fernie.
I would like to participate in a RACE. What do I need to know? Any club member may participate in the Teck Kootenay Cup races as an adult skier or a young skier. The series includes several races to choose from during the season. The more participants from FNS, the more points the club gets in the standings. Come and join! Check our calendar page for the scheduled races. The club also organizes a local Community Fun Races in Fernie during the season. It is also open to non-club members. All for a fun time. Check our calendar for details.
Can I purchase any FNS MERCHANDISE? Yes, currently the Fernie Nordic Society has a few items for sale: blue neckies/neck warmer for $15, toques $25 and ski sleeves $10. Contact us through this website for more details.
Do you have any SOCIAL EVENTS planned? Watch for the Full Moon Skis and Family Skis events during the season. Group activities like ski outings during the week may be set up according to demand. There is also our year end event in the spring. Check our calendar page for the schedule.
Is the Fernie Nordic Society a CHARITY? No. The club is a non-profit sports club registered under the BC Societies act.
Can I get a receipt for the CHILDREN TAX CREDIT? Unfortunately, not any longer. This program has been abolished by the federal government starting in the 2017 year. Receipts for your payment are issued through the Zone4.ca website. If you are missing your receipt or require a detailed one, please contact us through this website.
Why is crosscountry skiing so inexpensive in Fernie? There are two main reasons. First, we have received some considerable financial support from the City of Fernie and BC province over the years. And second, the activities of the Fernie Nordic Society are mostly run by volunteers. The club has a part time paid administration assistant to the club president and one part time trail groomer. The Society encourages all volunteers to come forward in order to keep all membership costs low.
What is the main operating EXPENSE of the club? Grooming of the trails at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre costs about $300 for a single pass. This adds up to our largest operational expense. It is also the item deemed the most important one as reported in our last survey of members and trail users.
What is the correct size of gear for my child? The proper fitting of the boots, skis and poles is important for your child to enjoy the sport comfortably and safely. It is simple to do and the basic hints may be found online on these pages: fitting boots, sizing classic and skate skis, sizing poles
Is FNS on SOCIAL MEDIAS? Glad you asked! The Fernie Nordic Society is on Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram. These links can be found at the bottom of this page.
Which regions are our members from? As expected most club members are from the Elk Valley area (73%) and a large number from Alberta (24%). Figures as of April 2023.
I cannot find any information on the WEBSITE. What now? The website is updated regularly and it is not perfect. All pages are reachable from the home page. Just drill down from the menu bar at the top of the page. Another solution is to use the handy Search box at the bottom of this page. Your suggestions are always welcome – leave us a note through the website.
I have a question. How do I CONTACT the Fernie Nordic Society? For any inquiry, please head for the Contact Us page on the website with confidence.
The warming hut is located next to a large flat area perfect for outdoor activities. The interior of the hut is about 4 x 9 metres in size. Another wide area located a short distance south from the hut may be used for gatherings near the Lizard Creek.
The Fernie Nordic Society and its volunteers aim to promote crosscountry skiing as a healthy winter activity for all ages. You will support our network of groomed cross country ski trails in Fernie by purchasing a membership for 2023-2024 or a day pass. You can also make a donation. Your membership makes it possible for us to professionally groom and track set the trails all winter season long as well as to provide porta-potties at our trailheads.
• Purchase your membership now. • The cost of kids lessons and gear rentals is unchanged from previous season. • Senior membership for those 65+ passionate skiers. Low cost fee for 80+ • Corporate memberships may be obtained online • Enrollment into the Race Team is also done online
The membership options for the 2023-2024 season are as follows
$255 Family (2 adults + 2 children age to 18) and $21 per additional child $120 Adult Individual 26-64 $75 Young Adult 18-25 $55 Youth 2-17 $85 Senior 65-79 $20 Senior 80+ $650 Corporate (up to 6 members) $15 Day Pass (or $25 Family)
Note that the early-bird membership pricing applies until September 30 for a discount of about $10 per person from the amounts listed above only when purchased online – applies to Family, Adult and Senior memberships.
Club Memberships are obtained online:
Registration and payment at Zone4.ca website – Click here to join now At this time Race Team registrations and Corporate Membership applications are also done through the same link.
Get your membership online and register in the Race Team at the same time
For those who prefer to use the traditional paper form and cheque for payment, download the form – Right-Click HERE then Save and send it to us by mail. For more info, click here to contact us through this website and our volunteers will be in touch.
Day Passes are required to use the trails of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and Fernie Golf Course only. Fees for the Day Passes may be left in the locked box at the kiosks at the trail heads, or next to the clubhouse at the Golf Course. Day passes may also be purchased from a volunteer at the warming hut or online by credit card or by etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
This type of membership is also available for $650 (up to 6 participants). Register online here. Contact Us for details.
Kids Lessons or Skill Development Program (Jackrabbit, Bunnyrabbit, TrackAttack)
Our program has been running since 2007 with great popularity. It is aimed at improving the skills of young skiers aged 3 to 16, all within a fun environment. All coaches are volunteers and trained to CrosscountryBC standards. The enrollment into the program is limited by the number of coaches, so enroll early and/or consider becoming a coach. See the Kids Lessons page on this site for more details.
Ski Gear Rental
The club has several sets of skis/boots/poles available for skiers enrolled in the Skill Development Program. If required, a set of ski gear may be rented for the duration of the ski season at a very affordable cost. Any skier in the Bunnyrabbit, Jackrabbit and TrackAttack groups may get one classic set for $50 to take home for the season. In addition, the TrackAttack skiers have the possibility of learning the skate ski technique; for these skiers, one set of skate skis and poles may be rented for $25.
If a young skier is interested in joining our new racing team Fernie Nordic Racers, see more details on our Race Team page. The racing team fee is in addition to the membership fee.