A Town Called Fernie

Ski towns are like people — each one has its own personality.

As I travel from one ski town to the next, I am amazed by the distinct differences from place to place. At the heart of each lies a passion for skiing, but everything else (the hotels, restaurants, nightlife, architecture, snow, residents, and tourists) all vary.

Fernie, British Columbia, is just a tiny Canadian town — only 5,000 residents live here year-round. Long before anyone was skiing these hills, Fernie was a frontier town with working mines and a timber industry, too. A half-century after it was discovered by the more serious powderhounds, I was pleased to find that Fernie is still Fernie, complete with an historic courthouse and a brick-front main street named after Queen Victoria. Perusing the window displays on Victoria Avenue, I half expected the townspeople around me to break into a choreographed song and dance routine.

Yes, Fernie feels almost like the set of a Broadway musical, except that Fernie is quite real. Nestled among a circle of impressive peaks and inhabited by true characters, Fernie feels comfortably normal.

In fact, the only abnormal thing about Fernie may be the snow — all 37 feet of it.


  1. chungmo,Kang
    December 13, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Ferni has the best beautiful snow view that I have ever faced. We have the finest landscape of snow at Pyeongchang that is preparing for 2018 Winter Olympic Game. I hope you will visit to this site covered with snow now. Thank you.

  2. Jikke
    Fernie, BC
    December 13, 2011, 10:52 pm

    It was a pleasure to have you in Fernie Andrew! I’m glad we could share the realness of our great little mountain town with you. Come back anytime! Summer is yet another amazing time of year.

  3. Corey @ Learning Patience
    Port of Spain Trinidad
    December 14, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Whoo Hoo – We love Fernie…awesome snowboarding! My husband is Canadian and we head up there to board every year! So pretty!

    xoxo from Trinidad

  4. Kal
    London, UK
    December 14, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I was lucky enough to spend last season, a La Niña season, in Fernie. Such a beautiful town and surrounding area and unlike so many of the ski destinations I’ve visited in the past, it was relatively untouristy. The town and it’s people are very warm and Fernie Alpine Resort is challenging, relatively empty and majestic.

    I learnt to become a snowboard instructor in Fernie but as a photographer I found it difficult to concentrate on the boarding when surrounded by such beauty. And with the most snowfall of any resort in the world in 2011, it was difficult to return back to the UK.

    It you go there be warned, nowhere else will ever seem the same!


  5. Andrew Dane Mevius
    Fernie BC
    December 30, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Yeah I have to say I am loving my time in Fernie, I have been here for a year and it is fantastic.

    Funny that you say 2nd Ave is like the set of a Broadway musical. I was just working on a film that shot in Fernie during the Autumn and as a set decorator I helped to transform downtown into a set for a Christmas musical.

    The film is probably going to be terrible though.

  6. Fredda Isenberger
    February 28, 2012, 5:28 pm

    I like it when people get together and share views. Great website, keep it up!

  7. […] bad boys in white are the Canadians of Elk Valley. That’s near Fernie, British Columbia—another sweet little ski town that I visited exactly one year ago. Somehow, my […]

  8. Marc
    October 24, 2015, 6:49 pm

    Oh yeah we simply love Fernie. We had a blast few years back and wanting to go back again.

  9. Fida
    December 10, 2015, 10:35 pm

    I only have been in Fernie in Summer. Ever since I wanted to return in Winter. Now I definitely have to 🙂

  10. northierthanthou
    Barrow, AK
    April 8, 2016, 2:47 pm

    37′ of snow? That’ll do, town.

  11. Megan Eileen
    New York, New York
    November 5, 2016, 1:37 pm

    Beautiful views! Is there really 37 feet of snow?