Trip Report Back to Canada...Fernie, Red Mountain

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Born2skii, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Well it's been just over a week since we arrived and normally I start these trip reports earlier but due to some issues before we left, missing credit cards and the airline losing our bag in San Francisco it lead to a lot of extra stress, fatigue and not much spare time, but I'm here now. So let's get this party started. :party:


    After three years of Japan we thought it was time to return to Canada since the kids had never skied here. Due to school holiday dates we decided to take the Fiji Airways route Brisbane-Nadi-San Fran- Seattle. Had no problems with Fiji Airways with all flights on time, good service and reasonable food. Only issue was when Alaska Air lost our main bag on the last leg into Seattle but luckily after a lot of persistence, many HOURS on hold and two visits to the airport searching through 200 lost bags we finally got our bag two days later. And to Alaska Air's credit they did compensate us for some replacement items to get us through the two days.

    All went well picking up the 4wd Jeep Patriot from Alama in Seattle which I booked through the UK website to get a better deal. ;)
    [​IMG]

    Had always wanted to visit the Boeing factory just outside Seattle and now that my youngest was over 4 feet tall this was the year. (The tour has a minimum height of 4 foot for all guests)

    There's no photos allowed on the actual Boeing tour, and they are strict about this, but you're welcome to take pics in the museum section before the tour.

    The kids learning to fly.
    [​IMG]

    And @Scooter I found you a new carbon fiber snowboard based on the Boeing 787 technology.[​IMG]

    So after a little sightseeing and a lot of messing about it was time to leave Seattle for the flight to Spokane and the drive up to Fernie.
     
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  2. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Up early for our flight to Spokane and although the flight was delayed by 45 minutes we got off the ground, flew over the Cascade Range to land in Spokane with ALL our bags and the temp at a chilly -14c.

    [​IMG]

    After a little confusion at the Hertz counter we picked up our seven seater Ford Explorer 4wd and we were on our way to Fernie. A quick stop at Walmart before we left Spokane where my daughter was in shock at their gun selection, especially the pink kids gun.
    [​IMG]

    Downtown Fernie and another UK website car deal. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    First day in Fernie was a beautiful day although a bit chilly for us Queenslanders with daytime temps sitting between -16c to -20c. Daughter was not happy with cold hands so a quick purchase of some mittens and hand warmers got her through the day.

    A view from our room allows us to watch the skiers fly by on the lift.
    [​IMG]

    The small Fernie village centre.
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    Looking down the valley.
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    A pic across Timber Bowl before my phone popped up with a message telling me it was too cold and needed to go back in my pocket. LOL
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture
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  5. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Down in Fernie town on the weekend with the wife shopping for some new ski boots. Don't ask how much she spent on the perfect pair of boots ! :eek:

    Moving on. Ever wondered what they do with all their old Christmas trees ? First they put them all in a big pile.
    [​IMG]

    Then they invite everybody in town to come and watch them burn.
    [​IMG]

    And I must say when temps are around -20c a big bonfire of burning Christmas trees is just what you need.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Yesterday after about 13cm of fresh snow. My daughter must be getting better she told me the black runs here now feel like blues.
    [​IMG]

    Some fresh lines over in Cedar bowl.
    [​IMG]

    And after what the wife spent on new ski boots, I was ready to bury her alive. ;)
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. JLA

    JLA Dedicated Member
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    You know what they say though B2S - happy wife, happy life.
     
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  8. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    A few more centimeters since the weekend but nothing major. Mostly clear COLD days. Good for taking pics.

    @Scooter you asked for some pics of Polar Peak so here they are. :)

    Looking up at Polar Peak. This is the top lift of Fernie with black and double black runs.
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    Some shots from the top of Polar Peak.
    [​IMG]

    Looking down the valley.
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    Looking over the back of the peak.
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    Looking around the Peak.


    With some very low daytime temps it has required a few extra layers. This morning when the lifts started it was -26c, I decided I'd have a late start. Me all rugged up at the top of the Peak.
    [​IMG]

    And one more pic from this afternoon looking up Lizard Bowl.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Scooter

    Scooter Dedicated Member
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    Hey @Born2skii - Hang on - which one should I be tagging? You done with the original @Born2ski and using @Born2skii now?

    Keep the pics and travel report coming. Love the vistas of Mt Fernie and the Three Sisters etc. and the Lizard headwall is pretty iconic - you will have to try for one of the shots with the town in the foreground and the headwall in the background.

    How do you rate the skiing so far?

    Back in my day I used to like having a feed at Curry Bowl which I note still exists, no idea if it is still any good but could be worth checking out for a feed.

    You going to try and see a ghost riders game?

    You know what I reckon that thing would probably cost less than what I paid for the new board although in my defence I did try to source last years model for a $200 discount but it couldn't be found on the shop floor. Probably should have looked when I first got here (assuming stores were clearing older stock) but was going to try and get away with my old board - now my other half thinks I'm a brand snob (got the same model as my older board).

    Have fun :thumbs:
     
  10. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Left Fernie yesterday for our drive to Red Mountain.

    Goodbye Snow Creek Lodge.[​IMG]

    Nice drive to Red. Started in light snow at Fernie with roads ranging from snow covered over the Kootenay Pass, partially clear or totally clear on other sections of the drive. No problems with our AWD Ford Explorer although it did engage 4WD on a few uphill sections and I've had the ABS brakes engage for short periods on a couple of downhill sections. Would much rather have proper winter tyres over these M+S tyres.

    First day skiing at Red today and it was a busy one. It's Saturday on a USA holiday long weekend and the resort was offering half price lift tickets as part of the CIBC National Ski Day. This meant there were a few 5-10 minute lift lines but it was a beautiful day for skiing.

    A temperature inversion meant light snow and clouds down low with sun up top.

    On top of the clouds.
    [​IMG]

    Top of the Motherlode chair
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    My two rascals.
    [​IMG]

    Coming to the end of a marvelous day.
    [​IMG]

    Temps are moderating this coming week and we should see some good snow falls. :D
     
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  11. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    love love love red..... more pics please :D
     
  12. SurlyJoe5000

    SurlyJoe5000 New Member

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    Seconded. Red is one of my faves
     
  13. jgm

    jgm Active Member

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    Ah the memories! I had an embarrasing moment at Polar Peak. We had traversed half way around the top of the bowl before dropping in, & I lost it immediately, both skis went sliding down with me following. I caught up to them about a third of the way down, but overbalanced trying to get re-attached & slid all the way to the bottom underneath the fully loaded chairlift (much cheering). I was followed down by junior jgm skiing with both arms full of my skis & his & my poles.
     
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  14. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    The last couple of days.

    Looking down at the small mountain village from Red Mountain.
    [​IMG]

    Granite Mountain with Grey Mountain behind. You can ski 360 degrees on both mountains.
    [​IMG]

    And for something a little different. My custom fit foot beds started cracking up the other day after 18 years of use and for someone with a high arch that can be an issue. No problem I thought I'll just go buy some new ones, I'm in a ski town. Except of the four ski shops in town only one did custom foot beds and one of the machines they use was broken, they had no injectable foam left and only limited sizes.

    So inspired by some recent photos of @Scooter 's boots I called on my MacGyver skills to repair them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So some tape and a scrunched up Woolworth's shopping bag for arch support did the trick. Think I'll open my own ski shop here. ;)
     
  15. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    You should know that skiing the world with your family means you can't afford thirty three dollars to (brag) blog the ski trip.
    :axe:
     
  16. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Back to the snow. 15cm overnight here and it was snowing all day. Snow was a little wet down low but nice higher up.

    Fresh tracks through the trees on the north side of Granite Mountain.
    [​IMG]

    Some nicely spaced trees further down the same side.
    [​IMG]

    Back to our accommodation in Slalom Creek at the end of the day.
    [​IMG]

    Currently lightly snowing outside so hopefully a repeat tomorrow before we leave on Friday.
     
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  17. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Prudent spending is how my family can afford to ski the world. :p

    Didn't you see my boot repair job above. ;)
     
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  18. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    So they say. I certainly wasn't game to try all the angles.:p
    Much of it was still closed too, in Feb.:(
     
  19. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Ski instructor took my two kids down "Beer Belly" on the north side of Granite this afternoon and I hit up some double diamonds on that side. Haven't hit up the north side of Grey Mountain though, might check it out tomorrow.

    This is the north side of Granite.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. summit_32

    summit_32 Active Member

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    Hey B2S - how do you rate Red? Is there enough to keep a good skier occupied for two weeks or best keep to one and move on (a bit like you have). Cheers
     
  21. blowfin

    blowfin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah we rinsed Beer Belly and Oil Can a fair bit, fun little runs through there. The run outs can get a bit lumpy though. Those 5 double blacks skiiers right of Sara's chute were pretty much unrideable/closed that trip. Same with the back side of Grey, even the front side still had some sharks in the snow. Curious what you think if you get to the back of Grey :thumbs:

    Definitely, though you'd certainly want a dump or three for a stay of that length. I picked out a day to go cat skiiing with Big Red, certainly worth doing if you have a gap in snow and can rationalise the expense. I'd even consider BC if I went back there. The downside in my mind is if you want big wide open bowls, there's not much that fits the bill. There is a LOT of good tree skiiing though, and a LOT of really fun inbounds terrain.
     
  22. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    With a good base and some fresh top ups you would be fine for two weeks.

    When we arrived there hadn't been any snow for over a week and the base was shrinking, down to under 1.4m. This meant a lot of off piste black/double black was bumpy with rocks and stumps showing through. Most of the main runs were still good but Grey mountain, which they only opened a few years ago, needs more snow to open. Grey mountain only had one green run groomed while we there since the other runs still had rocks and stumps etc exposed. In our last few days they had 40cm which made the off piste a lot more enjoyable.

    I'll finish up this report with a last few pics now that we're home.
     
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  23. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    After the 15cm we had Tuesday night we had more snow throughout the day and over the next few nights, ending up with about 50cm for our last few days at Red. A very good note to finish on.

    Some more tree goodness.
    [​IMG]

    On our last day we just couldn't get enough so headed out for some night skiing. Skiing from 9am till just after 9pm was a long days skiing even with a break for dinner.
    [​IMG]

    It helped that it was also snowing on our last night which added to the experience.


    And then came the 35hrs of travel home from Red Mountain to our home back in Brisbane. :eek:
    Thankfully I did manage about 6hrs of sleep on our flight into Nadi Fiji.
    [​IMG]

    Happy with Fiji Airways, service was generally good with reasonable meals. And considering the price savings over peak school holidays compared with Qantas I'd fly them again.

    So who won, Red Mountain or Fernie ? Both my kids voted for Fernie despite the minus 20 degree temps. Daughter was not impressed by the pit toilets at the Paradise lodge on Red Mountain.
    Wife's vote went to Red Mountain and my vote went to Red, so I guess it's a tie. ;)
     
  24. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    Often comes down to the quality of the dunnies. Doesn't it?
     
  25. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    Both my kids were worried they'd fall into the deep hole. My seven year old called them the nightmare toilets, and my daughter refused to use them at first until she was really busting. I've told them for our next holiday we're heading out bush to go camping where they can dig their own toilets. :D
     
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  26. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    heheheheh the pits at Apex are a classic, one day the seat was frozen up and I couldn't get it down far enough...as I hovered it touched my legs and all I could think about was what if this damn seat sticks to my ass...... it was -25C so it was highly possible :eek:
     
    #26 Crystal, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  27. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep Dedicated Member

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    I would like a photo of that Crystal! :rolleyes:
     
  28. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    hell no !!!!
     
  29. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep Dedicated Member

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    Damn, would love to see a toilet seat stuck to your ass.
     
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  30. SurlyJoe5000

    SurlyJoe5000 New Member

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    Do you not like Crystal? Or does he/she have a good ass?
     
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  31. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    Yep I'm waiting to see how he gets out of this one too!
     
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  32. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    I have buns of steel
     
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  33. KneeDeep

    KneeDeep Dedicated Member

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    Crystal is a very nice person,as for her ass I am leaving that opinion to her husband. Just that the image of toilet seat etc is burned into my brain.
     
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  34. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire
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    Imagine if I had to call the liftie !!!
     
  35. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy Active Member

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    Hi B2s, Im skiing those areas soon,
    reads like you did 4 flights + big 350k? + border crossing drives to those 2 fields, how did you find all those logistics and itinerary

    I have 2 flights to YYC, then about max150k drives to various Rockies fields

    cheers
     
  36. Belly

    Belly Addicted Member
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    Great report!!

    I had no idea they lifted Polar Peak. Watching people slay Polar Peak in 2002 when I was a green boarder was a key turning point to me getting into BC.
     
  37. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    We did 8 flights all up and about 1000km of driving plus driving around Seattle. Itinerary went like this -

    - Flight Brisbane-Nadi-San Fran-Seattle
    - 3 nights in Seattle
    - Flight Seattle-Spokane
    - Drive across the border to Fernie, 9 nights Fernie
    - Drive to Red Mountain, 7 nights Red
    - Drive back to Spokane
    - Flights Spokane-Seattle-LAX-Nadi-Brisbane

    Logistics and itinerary were fine except for one big problem, the airline lost our main clothing bag flying into Seattle. The plan was 3 nights in Seattle to recover from the long haul flights combined with some relaxing sightseeing. But because the airline lost our bag it meant a lot of time sitting on the phone(many hours) calling Seattle and San Francisco, two visits to Seattle Airport spending hours searching bags out the back and working with airline staff to track the bag down, and then rushing around on our last day in Seattle trying to source ski clothing for myself and my daughter before we finally got our bag back the night before we left Seattle. All this running around and lack of sleep meant I was drained by the time I did the drive from Spokane to Fernie but once I recovered in Fernie the rest of the trip was easy.
    Now had the airline not lost our bag it would have all been easy, but what I can say, sometimes sh*t happens.

    On the plus side it could have been much worse, and nearly was. On the last night in Seattle on the way back from the airport after finally getting our bag another driver ran a red light and just missed T-boning us by about 2 seconds. Two seconds was all that separated us from a serious car accident, so I'm glad all we lost was our bag.
     
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  38. JoeKing

    JoeKing Part of the Furniture
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    You don't know that for sure. He could've have been roaming the city for three days looking for you.
     
  39. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    Tough luck on the bag, B2S, Seattle is a very enjoyable city but the airline deprived you of the relaxing and sightseeing time you'd engineered into your schedule. Hope you get to go there again sometime, we always enjoy a weekend in Seattle.
     
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  40. chunky

    chunky Old And Crusty

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    Great report!
     
  41. BillyKidd

    BillyKidd Dedicated Member
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    Yep excellent report B2S, really appreciate your taking the time to share. ..great info :D
     
  42. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope Dedicated Member
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    Have only just read this @Born2skii. Great report, although it left me wondering how your hands survived out of gloves/mittens in order to take all of those beautiful photos?!
     
  43. Born2skii

    Born2skii Dedicated Member

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    I still kept my glove liners on, and then did it quickly. ;)
     
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