This off piste ski course combines powder coaching and backcountry training with a laid-back mountain town vibe. Run from powder-heavy Fernie, there is no better place to develop your thirst for untamed terrain and improve your skills in the soft stuff. An epic finale is the goal, with a four-day backcountry touring trip from the Boulder Hut, a remote cabin in the Purcell Range. Four weeks in duration, you can also extend to six weeks. Don't hold off for too long; each course is limited to 18 skiers and sells out way in advance!
Bring your snorkel! You might think that Fernie's 'Legendary Powder' slogan is a big claim, but seeing is believing! Fernie regularly tops the snow charts in Western Canada and, with its inland location, the snow is cold, light and a dream to blast through!
Fernie boasts five large bowls and you’ll get to explore every corner. With almost nothing off-limits, you're imagination will be able to run wild. You'll pick your line through the bowls, among the trees, through the gullies and off the many natural hits.
Fernie really does offer big mountain skiing at its best and all within the safety of excellent avalanche controlled areas. Fernie averages 48cm of snow per week while the resort is open, so you can expect more than a few powder days!
Fernie is the sort of resort where the most powder-hungry instructors want to live, so over the years since 2002 we have been able to form a team of the best high-level ski instructors in the industry.
You'll love skiing alongside them, as they polish your technique and give you the tools you need to enjoy such an amazing mountain. Before you know it you'll be shredding the best parts of the mountain with confidence and style. Your skiing experience will be changed forever!
With such an enviable amount of time on snow, we'll help you develop your skills across the whole mountain, tackling terrain you never thought possible, as well as perfecting those stylish turns in glorious untouched powder.
We'll teach you how to ski-tour and take you into the backcountry wilderness. You'll feel closer to the mountain than ever before, while enjoying conditions that very few skiers ever get to experience.
This course introduces you to ski touring and works its way up to an epic finale. With certified local guides in Fernie backcountry, you'll get familiar with your equipment and master the techniques for ascents and transitions, as well as enjoy fresh lines. This builds toward the ultimate adventure, where you'll head on a four-day touring trip. You'll take a breathtaking helicopter flight into Purcell Mountains, before landing at the Boulder Hut, a backcountry lodge retreat. You'll then spend four days experiencing an authentic backcountry lifestyle, touring into the great unknown and skiing untouched powder.
The course is jam-packed with adventure and on top of your regular coaching sessions, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy of host of epic trips and experiences, including heli-skiing and cat-skiing.
A good night's sleep to match a great day on the hill, you'll stay in our lodge designed specifically for our courses. All rooms have queen-sized beds and facilities include a sauna and hot tub, ski storage and tuning room, movie room, full kitchen facilities and restaurant and bar, where all of your course meals are served.
The four week program is divided into two halves. Group coaching (weeks 1-2) consists of 20 hours coaching per week. Our full day coaching sessions are Mon, Tue, Thu and Fri, with Wednesdays and the weekends for free skiing, consolidating what you've learnt and other activities. The maximum group size is 7 people per pro but typically they are 6 or even smaller. During weeks 3-4, the guests in resort (not ski touring at the Boulder Hut) will receive two smaller group lessons.
The Red Tree Lodge will be your home for the duration of your course. You'll have access to all the lodge's facilities, including:
You'll be treated to a hearty breakfast at the Red Tree Lodge seven days per week. Options include coffee/tea, juices, cereals, toast, pastries, yogurt, fruit, porridge oats, as well as hot items like eggs, beans, sausages, hash browns or bacon.
Enjoy a nutritionally balanced & filling three course meal at the Red Tree Lodge four evenings a week.
You'll be given a season lift pass so you can ski as much as you please. Come out early or stay on after, your lift pass will cover you.
If you arrive with the group flight (or land before), you can join the Nonstop transfer to the resort.
Daily shuttle to and from the slopes.
Your host will ensure your course runs smoothly. They'll be on hand 24/7 for a chat, laugh, or to solve any problems.
Head into Fernie's awesome sidecountry and get a taste of what ski touring is all about.
You'll head to the Boulder Hut for the culmination of your trip and enjoy 4 days of backcountry touring. All meals will be provided here.
You'll be dropped off at the Boulder Hut and return via helicopter. It's weather dependent so we allow a window to fly.
Learn all you need to know to explore the backcountry.
Throughout the program our coaches will make the most of technical video analysis to help with your development.
Each week you'll receive a technical talk on subjects like biomechanics, looking after your gear, and injury prevention.
Each week your host will organise team socials and après for all the group to get involved in.
Head out onto the slopes before the lifts are open to the public - your own private mountain. Could be cancelled in adverse weather. *Only available on 6 week option.
There is the opportunity to go CAT Skiing or even Heli Skiing. Or if you want to get your CSIA level 1 ski instructor certification this is also possible.
1% of revenues support environmental non-profits, including Protect Our Winters
These things are not included in the package:
If time is not an issue, then clearly, it’s a no-brainer to come for 6 weeks! This has traditionally been a 6-week package and we have only made 4-weeks an option to make it more manageable for people getting time off work. However, 4 weeks should only be considered if you’re already an advanced skier. The 6-weeks are composed of a 2 week All Mountain coaching camp immediately before the 4 week Master the Mountain course.
If you’re thinking about the 4-week trip, then you need to already have experience skiing in ungroomed terrain and feel comfortable on black runs. We can cater for slightly less experienced skiers on the 6-week package. Get in touch to chat about your current level of experience and whether this course is suitable.
We have our own fleet of specialist touring skis, skins and avalanche safety equipment which you are free to use on the backcountry trips. So, you only need your own skis, boots and poles for the course itself – we recommend all mountain skis and can provide further advice if necessary. If you don’t already own your own skis or boots, we would recommend you purchase these in resort, so you can benefit from expert advice and the friendly Fernie service.
You will spend 4 days at the Boulder Hut; a remote backcountry cabin in the Purcell mountains, only accessible by helicopter! Before this trip, you will spend two days learning to use your ski touring equipment in the ‘side country’ just outside of Fernie Alpine Resort boundary. All the remaining coaching will be within the resort; the majority of which will be on ungroomed and ‘off piste’ terrain.
Due to space restrictions at the Boulder Hut, this course is limited to 24 people. The vast majority of participants could be classed as ‘career breakers’; i.e. professionals taking some well-deserved time out from their jobs to enjoy the mountains. However, it’s also common for us to have a small group of ‘gap year’ aged clients.
We provide inclusive airport transfers at set departure times from Calgary airport; these are available on the advertised start & end date of the course. Fernie is not that well serviced by public transfers, so we strongly recommend you plan your flights around our inclusive service.
We look forward to speaking with you.