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Advice needed Fernie vs Big White vs Norquay - where to work?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Tessa11, Oct 26, 2016.

?

Which resort would you work at?

  1. Fernie

    14 vote(s)
    73.7%
  2. Big White

    5 vote(s)
    26.3%
  3. Mt. Norquay

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Tessa11

    Tessa11 First Runs

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    I've received multiple offers for working in ski school and I am the worst decision maker alive.

    Fernie?
    Big White?
    or
    Mount Norquay?

    Previously I have skied at Whis, Beaver Creek, Vail and Breckenridge.

    I'm pretty sure I want to work at Fernie. I like the appeal of the town and enjoy teaching all ages (vs being put in only adults or kids ski schools). But I can't help but feel there is a big hype with Big White and I don't want to miss out on a great opportunity. A real downside I see to Fernie is how they've really downgraded the terrain park and there are no jumps - what the hell!? I have a freestyle cert and want to improve my own skills.

    I don't want to share a bedroom really and I think private bedrooms are not a possibility at Big White. I'm a real light sleeper. :(

    I don't know much about Mt. Norquay but I have visited Banff off season and love the town!

    Any thoughts would be great! Pros and cons of each resort?
     
  2. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I'm no instructor, but I'd probably opt for Fernie on terrain alone. Big White is a big family oriented operation, it's not too dissimilar to Whistler, except the terrain is nowhere near as good. Norquay looks pretty small, Fernie looks like it has about 10x the acreage and way more variety in terrain. Might be some potential upside to being close to the other Banff resorts? I'm not too sure.
     
  3. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I haven't skied Norquay, but of Fernie and Big White I'd opt for Fernie for terrain and the existence of the town. The town takes you out of the resort pressure cooker. Potential cheaper accommodation, and a real town with an Overwaiteas and everything.
     
  4. oreo

    oreo One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Skiing will be better at Fernie (both snow & terrain) as will having an actual town right there (general life).

    Big White will get you living on the mountain (not having to commute the 10 minutes to the ski field) and probably more work.

    Norquay is a non-starter.
     
  5. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big hype about Big White? It is a purpose built family resort which excels at ski in ski out intermediate (mainly) holidays. Personally, I prefer Fernie.
     
  6. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Norquay is nothing.
     
  7. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Fernie. The town and more challenging terrain.

    Are you a skier or boarder ?
     
  8. Tessa11

    Tessa11 First Runs

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    Skier. Boarded 1 day in the 119 days on snow last season.
     
  9. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    If you take the job in Fernie you might end up teaching my kids when we're there in January. I'll keep an eye out for you. :)
     
  10. BilbyBill

    BilbyBill One of Us

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    Dont knock Norquay. Its a nice little hill. If you are going there to work what does it matter. You will have Banff and the other ski areas, Sunshine and Lake Louise to play in.
     
    Dirkelle and cookieman like this.
  11. Chowder11

    Chowder11 Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Id also do Norquay.
    Similar to what Bilbybill above has said.
    Then you can base yourself in Banff. From there you have Mt Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise.
    And a bit further day trips you can get to Kicking Horse and Panorama.
    So there is much more skiing opportunities.
    If your at Fernie or Big White your pretty much stuck with 1 hill without doing major road trips.

    Plus Banff has shitloads more awesome activities and a good nightlife if your into that.
    Im pretty sure your season pass will cover the 3 hills of Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay also which would be a big bonus.
    Lake Louise and Sunshine both have pretty good parks also, plus some really decent challenging terrain.
     
    #11 Chowder11, Oct 27, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
    Dirkelle likes this.
  12. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Big White would bore me to tears as a young instructor looking for fun after dark as well as on the mountain. But heh, that's just me.
     
  13. cookieman

    cookieman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Norquay (and Nakiska) are small resorts but are preferred training hills for local and international ski racers.
    Norquay is also very popular with the locals,is cheap and has a nice friendly vibe,however its terrain is small and most runs are fast, hard packed groomers. Banff as a town is as good as you get,only 10 minutes away and as mentioned above is also handy for a number of other bigger and more challenging ski resorts.There is a very high number of Australians working in both the resorts and local shops.
     
  14. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Paging a mate who has worked at Fernie and Sun Peaks and done a lot of research on all.
     
  15. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    its pretty much straight up, and straight down.
    I'm sure it would be a chilled place to work.....but.....
    Wouldn't it be as boring as bats#!t as a hill to teach on?
    Is there even one jump or terrain park feature?
    If you wanted to improve your freestyle.....you'd have to go to lake Louise on your days off
     
  16. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    FWIW - From my mate

    "Personally as an instructor id go Banff due to multiple hills and more work. Fernie is sweet but pretty much all of ski school needs 2 Jobs (especially first years)"

    Before i chose Banff (i have lived there in summer) I would explore how you would get to the other mountains and the housing situation though. Both of those things woudld make live in Banff harder.

    I also know a lot of people who have worked for season after season at Big White and loved it.
     
  17. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Accoms in Fernie has more options. Bigger terrain at Fernie. Yes, I know there is Sunshine and LL to hit on days off if you live in Banff, but often in snow school the majority of your free skiing is one or two runs before work or during lunch break. You're not going to Sunshine or LL for those, ergo the majority of free skiing will be at Norquay.

    The trauma park at Fernie had its jumps removed 7-8 years ago when RCR took over management, corporate policy at all its resorts.
     
  18. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver A Local

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    Norquay for Banff and nightlife.
    Fernie for skiing.
     
  19. Chillybin

    Chillybin Addicted

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    The trauma park at Fernie had its jumps removed 7-8 years ago when RCR took over management, corporate policy at all its resorts.[/QUOTE]

    Their policy seems to be, how can we get the most amount of money for the least amount of work. No maintenance required that's what the snow is for........ some of the if not worst resort management anywhere on the planet. Although RAL in NZ have some similar traits
     
    bigwhite-rameok likes this.
  20. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    At the time, they claimed their rail park only policy was for insurance and liability reasons, but the industry quickly called bullshit on that. Pretty much all the resorts out west get their insurance coverage through the industry association, so it's the same insurer and same terms and conditions for everyone.
     
  21. grater

    grater Hard Yards

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    Big White - Boring, to far from a real town, to much like a aussie resort.
    Norquay - To Small, but if you can go ride at LL or sunshine and not have to pay more it would be a cool option and Banff is a very fun town to live in, and close to the city if you want to get away for a day.
    Fernie - Best terrain, and most snow, cool town that's big enough for almost everything you need. Real locals makes it a winner to.
     
  22. NeckDeep

    NeckDeep Hard Yards

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    I'd disagree somewhat and say that Norquay has an awesome terrain park. Mostly because it runs for the length of the chairlift, its right at the base of the resort and its open for night skiing. They build some pretty big features on it.

    You could start working at Norquay, and try to snag a job up at Sunshine or Lake Louise later in the season?
     
    cookieman likes this.
  23. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's a side issue, but early-career snow school jobs are about learning how to ski - how to really ski - and how to teach. Spending more than a bit of shits and giggles time in terrain parks is not going to advance you on your road to career development.
     
  24. TJswish

    TJswish Hard Yards

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    Honestly as someone who worked at Fernie last season it's probably the most inconsistent for work out of the 3 of those mountains.

    Most ski school workers have 2nd jobs (especially 1st years). If you're planning to stay for many years, then I'd suggest Fernie as it's amazing. If not, I'd go Norquay then BW then Fernie. Mostly because you'll get riding options at Sunshine and Lake Louise on your days off and you'll get more work since more "tourists" go to those mountains then inland to one of the steepest mountains in BC: Fernie.