Member organisations

Craig Kelly by Mark Gallup

Island Lake Lodge - January 20, 2018 - 10:12

Craig was known as a world champion. A legendary snowboarder. The Master. An Icon.

After nearly 15 years of hotel rooms, trains, planes, and automobiles. From Greenland to Chile and everything in between. Craig Kelly to me was a confidant, a brother, and a friend.

To me, he was “Smelly Kelly” who never used deodorant. He always farted when he woke up in the morning. I could never turn my back on him because he was a trickster. He introduced me to avocados and he loved eating butter tarts when he came to Canada.

One time when he returned to Fernie after a trip to Japan, he walked in the door and I said, “How was Japan?”. He said, “You treat me like a rock star, I’ll act like a rock star”, and that was it. We just went up to Island Lake and did our thing. He breathed easy and was content. He was back where he belonged.

His transition from competitor to backcountry soul rider was natural. I think an important element of his plan was to find balance between making a living and managing his public image. Island Lake was the perfect platform for his transformation. In interviews, he often talked about balance in his riding but balance in everything was paramount for him; a life lesson he continues to teach me today.

– Mark Gallup

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Staff Profile – Marie-Hélène Jodoin

Island Lake Lodge - January 18, 2018 - 15:10

MH, as she is affectionally known around the lodge, has been a staff staple for over a decade. She is one of the seasoned snowcat driver team – driving snowcats for guests in search of powder.  This job requires a high level of confidence and experience as the snowcats drive on snow roads in some very challenging conditions… in all weather. In summer, MH is part of the Island Lake trail crew, which maintains and builds hiking and bike trails on the property.  This past year the all female trail crew completed a brand new alpine trail called Goldie Locks. The trail was very difficult to build as it navigates a high mountain pass, builder fields and steep terrain. In addition the crew had to hike up the to trial in the alpine every day. Whether winter or summer MH is an integral part of the lodge team and her infectious laugh, sense of humour and positive attitude make everyone around her smile.

Here a few questions and answers with MH

  • Where did you grow up? I grew up in Montréal, Qc.
  • When did you move to Fernie and what brought you? My dad who travelled a lot had a framed aerial picture of Vancouver and it’s surroundings mountains in the living room.  I always looked at it knowing I needed to explore that place on earth, so I did.  After hitchhiking for 2 months in British Colombia with my best friend I knew that BC was the place I needed to comeback too.  Fernie seemed liked a quiet town with a good average snowfall.  I moved to Fernie 14 years ago
  • How long have you been working at Island Lake Lodge? I’ve been working at Island Lake for 11 years.
  • What do you like the most about driving snowcats? I love the different challenges we can have with driving and blading depending on the type and amount of snow and the type of slope.  You can get stuck, you can dig yourself into a hole quickly, you can drive in a total white out or out on a narrow road.   It’s such a powerful machine that you have to drive with finesse.
  •  How is it to drive the new Pisten Bully Snowcats? They feel pretty darn good and smooth.
  • What is something that people might not realize about your job? You need to be able to drive yes, but you also need a good sense of orientation, of keeping calm and in control in stressfull situations and to be in a good physical shape as we do a lot of lifting.  We lift skis 17 000 times per season from in and out of the ski box.
  • How long were you and the trail crew working on our new hiking trail?  We have been working on the new hiking trail Goldie Locks for 2 summers, finishing it this Fall just before the snow fully covered the terrain.
  • Do you prefer summer or winter these days? I don’t prefer summer or winter.  I love them both for all the different fun things you can do.


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Avalanche on Tunnel Creek Access Road

Fernie Trails - January 18, 2018 - 12:10

An Avalanche Canada MIN report was posted this week regarding a Class 3 slide that covered the Tunnel Creek access road. Last week’s high avalanche cycle and special warning from Avalanche Canada saw naturual size 3.5 avalanches occur throughout the Lizard Range. The Tunnel Creek Size 3 slide (probably Jan 10 as it had 15cm […]

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To Sovereign Lake with a Punch Pass

Fernie Nordic Society - January 17, 2018 - 18:58

This short piece was submitted by club member Jan Kron following her latest ski excursion

This year we decided to break up winter a bit by buying the BC Punch Pass offered by Crosscountry BC.  There are 3 different options when buying the pass but we chose the ‘Ski twice at a total of 7 different British Columbia Nordic Centres’ for $89 each. Our first venture is a trip to Sovereign Lake Nordic Club with the reputation of being one of the top clubs in BC. Sovereign Lake has 50 km of daily groomed trails (105 if combined with Silver Star Ski Resort trails) and about double the membership of Fernie.

On our first day, Saturday, the parking lot was full by the time we got there at 10 a.m. The punch pass is new to the BC Nordic Community so we were pleased that the ticket office knew all about it. The signage at the Centre is superb so we had no trouble finding the route to the only hut away from the clubhouse called the Black Prince. Wanting a good workout we chose the longest route, a 12 km trail that turned out to be mostly uphill. It was comparable to skiing up to Island Lake Lodge with a bit more uphill and no gourmet lunch as a reward. The cabin, a lovely old log cabin that is a bit bigger than Fernie’s warming hut, was packed with the lunch crowd. Strangely the cabin is at a lower elevation than the clubhouse despite the fact that all the difficult trails seem to have a lot of uphill climb to them.  It seems everyone takes the shorter, relatively flat route up to the cabin., a trail a little longer but comparable to our Cedar Loop. We took an intermediate route back to the clubhouse encountering along the way several groups of various types of lessons, something that this club is noted for.

We had two picture perfect days of skiing at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre and would recommend it as a great winter getaway. Our next stops: Kimberley, Nelson and Rossland combined for February, followed by Nakusp, Golden and Revelstoke together in March.


For more info about the BC Punch Pass, visit our page here

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Pow turns with pals

Island Lake Lodge - January 12, 2018 - 13:21

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Friends on a Pow Day

Island Lake Lodge - January 12, 2018 - 12:52

There are indeed friends on a powder day! Our pals from The North Face dropped by in late December, 2017 for some friendly pow laps in our terrain. Watch athletes John Collinson, Rob Heule, Austin Smith and Alexandra Armstrong shred Island Lake for the camera of Dylan Siggers. The North Face


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Island Lake Lodge - January 8, 2018 - 11:17

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Join Now!

Fernie Mountain Bike Club - January 6, 2018 - 11:10

Did you know your FMBC membership is based on a calendar year? Now that is it 2018 make sure you buy your membership and enjoy the trails in the winter and summer! Sign up is easy, visit our webpage to become a member. 

Categories: Member organisations

Winter Grooming Etiquette

Fernie Mountain Bike Club - January 6, 2018 - 11:07

Winter grooming is in full swing by our amazing dedicated volunteers. Look for groomed trails in Ridgemont & Montane.

Please respect the grooming and their time by observing the tire pressure etiquette. Allowing the trails to firm up after a groom or not riding when soft will keep the trails in awesome shape.  Ride when frozen! 

In Montane be sure to follow the signage for multiuse trails and do not bike on the Nordic Trails. No biking is allowed at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre. 

Get out there and have fun! 

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Kootenay Cup in pictures

Fernie Nordic Society - January 5, 2018 - 17:53

The Nordic Centre was a very busy place last weekend with two days of races of the Kootenay Cup series. Sixty-one racers braved the cold on Saturday and forty-nine did it again on Sunday in even more frigid temperatures. The young and adult racers came from Rossland, Nelson, Invermere, Golden, Canmore, Montana and Fernie for the event. Can you recognize the local participants and racers from Fernie?

Big thanks to photographer Ryan Schultz for the great pictures taken during both races days. The photos may be found HERE, HERE and HERE. Check out his Facebook page too.

Race Results

Results from Saturday race (click to open)
Results from Sunday race (click to open)

The event could not happened without the numerous volunteers from the club. Huge thanks to them! We also had support from these great sponsors: Teck, Fernie Auto Parts, Happy Cow Ice Cream, Fernie Mountain Bike Club, EK Zone Canadian Ski Patrol, Fernie Rentals, Super 8 Fernie, Fernie Lodging Company, The Cedars, Starbucks, Clawhammer, Galloway Lumber Co. and Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

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Final 2017 Avalanche Bursary Recipients

Fernie Trails - January 2, 2018 - 11:54

The Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club (FT&STC) is pleased to announce the final recipients of an Avalanche Bursary for 2017. Simon Pollock (Above right) is a 22 years old from the small town of Elora, in Southern Ontario. He is now living in Fernie attending the College of the Rockies, studying Mountain Adventure Skills […]

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Epic waist deep pow!

Island Lake Lodge - December 22, 2017 - 18:43

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Winter of our Content

Island Lake Lodge - December 19, 2017 - 16:20

Shot entirely at Island Lake Lodge Catskiing in Fernie BC – Winter of our Content is a story of weather, powder skiing, terrain, inspiration and pushing your personal limits. Watch some of the top skiers, snowboarders and wing-suit athletes in the world explore the Lizard Range of the Rocky Mountains.  Athletes include: Nick McNutt, Lucas Debari, Rob Heule, Dash Longe, Tim Durtschi, Dane Tudor, Ben Ogilvie and Trace Cooke. Narrated by Chuck Ragan. #skibc #ferniestoke #explorebc


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Upcoming nordic events

Fernie Nordic Society - December 18, 2017 - 11:55

SNOW! Yay, it's so good to see that white stuff falling from the sky and accumulating on the ground. Our volunteer groomers are going to be busy this week both at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and at the Fernie Golf and Country Club - not yet open for skiing - packing and grooming for both classic and skate skiing.
Would you like to start receiving our Grooming Report regularly? Just sign up for them here!

Our next planned events

Monday Dec 18: Little Critter Ski
Criterium style ski event where competitors complete as many laps of a short course as possible in the 40 minute time limit. For every lap of the course completed, the skier puts his/her name in for draw prizes. Geared to skiers 12 and under. Meet at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre: sign up begins at 5:30 pm and ski begins at 6:00. Headlamps will be needed! Free for members, day ticket required for non-members.

Teck Kootenay Cup December 30 & 31
You absolutely HAVE to pre-register for this amazing community event! Everyone is welcome, doesn't matter your ski ability, this is a fun event for the entire community. When you register as a Fernie Nordic Society club member, you can even earn points for the club toward the overall Teck Kootenay Cup! Sign up right away and get a free lunch for either or both days. Find all the information you need here. To register go here. For additional halo points, one can volunteer to make this community event a success - contact

Dinner on Saturday evening Dec 30
On the evening of December 30, the Teck Kootenay Cup and Fernie Nordic Society have arranged a dinner at the wonderful Red Tree Lodge restaurant with musical guest Red Girl. Everyone is welcome to come to the dinner! You can purchase tickets at the door, or when you sign up for the Teck Kootenay Cup event.

Monday Jan 1:   Full Moon Ski & Social

Adults only. On the night of the full moon, meet at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre 19:00 – 22:00. Bring a snack to share & your headlamp, then ski under the full moon and enjoy the fire and food with friends! Free for members, day ticket required for non-members.

Wednesday Jan 3:   Toonie Race

Meet at the Elk Valley Nordic Centre for 19:00. Pre-registration is available. Headlamps will be needed. Course and format will be announced prior to each race. $2 per participant plus day ticket if not a member.

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The Island Lake Photo Team

Island Lake Lodge - December 13, 2017 - 15:58

Pictures are indeed worth a thousand words. Here at Island Lake, we have some of the best professional photographers in the region: Mark Gallup, Matt Kuhn and Nick Nault. Each of them has a unique eye and aesthetic that helps to capture the essence of our surroundings. The backdrops are grand, but action sport photography may be the most difficult type. Shooting skiing and snowboarding through the trees with ever-changing light and weather takes years of practice to reach proficiency.  On one day of each tour, one of our pros accompany the guests out into the terrain and capture a few hundred images which are displayed at the end of the day during Après.

Mark Gallup @markgallup – If you saw any ski or snowboard magazine in the ‘90s, you have no doubt seen Mark’s work. He is the only photographer to ever be staff at both Powder and Transworld magazines. He has travelled the world and has had thousands of photos published. His many photos of some of the industries top icons helped put Island Lake on the map. Now based in Fernie BC, we are honoured to have him as one of our in-house staff photographers.

Matt Kuhn @mkuhnphoto – Matt is the boisterous oddball of the photography team; an avid snowboarder and snowmobiler in the winter, paired with motorbikes and random adventures all summer. He’s been in Fernie for 16 years and has created a business through his stylised photography, earning his living from the profession for the past 8 years.
Nick Nault @nick.nault – Nick grew up with a passion for skiing and the magazines, videos and other media that surrounded it. After moving to Fernie and taking up mountain biking, Nick quickly grew to love all the other aspects of outdoor recreation as well. While he started by just casually snapping photos of his adventures with a point-and-shoot, it wasn’t long before his casual hobby became another passion. Over the years, Nick spent less time at his ‘real job’ and more time behind the lens and getting paid for it. Currently, Nick is a full-time videographer and photographer, specializing primarily in action sports. He has worked at Island Lake since 2012 as a ski photographer where he is able to combine two of his passions into a day of work. Nick has also helped film many of Island Lake’s videos.

Photo: Matt Kuhn

Photo: Mark Gallup

Photo: Nick Nault

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Island Lake Lodge - December 4, 2017 - 14:27

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Do you own a fat bike?

Fernie Mountain Bike Club - November 22, 2017 - 10:57
Choices Yes, with a bluto! Yes, I ride it only in winter Yes, I ride it year round No, I do other activities in the winter Soon, I am saving up!
Categories: Member organisations

Fat Biking in Fernie

Fernie Mountain Bike Club - November 22, 2017 - 10:52

Ever wondered what the Fat Biking rage is all about, check it out here


Categories: Member organisations

Membership drive in full swing

Fernie Nordic Society - November 12, 2017 - 17:00

This year it is so easy to purchase your membership that you can do it at work or at home...kidding - about registering at work that is!  We've been working with Zone4 Registration to get our membership online this year and now you can join the Fernie Nordic Society from the comfort of your couch. Visit us HERE (click link) to register now. Your annual membership assists in meeting grooming expenses so be sure to get yours and your family's online now!  Our early bird prices end this Wednesday November 15.

There are only a few days left to get savings off at LAST YEAR'S membership prices! So make sure you and your friends are ready ... because the trail prep has begun!!

We still have several spots left in our lessons program for kids aged 3 to 16. This Saturday Nov 18 is the time to get the kids sized up for rental gear. The Skill Development Program (SDP) offered to our young skiers by the Fernie Nordic Society was actually developed by the nation-wide organization Cross Country Canada. The program is standardized across the country. All our volunteer coaches are trained according to the established structure to provide a consistent level of training to our skiers. Would you like to see your little ones learning to ski?  You can register for the SDP Program online HERE (click link) together with your membership and rental gear if desired.

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Great participation at the Pumpkin Hunt

Fernie Nordic Society - November 1, 2017 - 16:08

The Elk Valley Nordic Centre near Fernie was again this year the site of our 3rd Annual Great Pumpkin Hunt event. An event open to the community just ahead of the ski season. The weather was very favorable on this Saturday morning of October 21. Three hundred pumpkins had been hidden in the bushes and among the fallen leaves by club volunteers. At 11:30 the hunt was on for a great number of boys and girls aged up to 9. Two firepits were set up on the site for roasting marshmallows and wieners. Hot chocolate and coffee kept the young pumpkin hunters and their parents warm. All appeared to enjoy the event. Several photos of the event appeared on Facebook later that weekend.

The Fernie Nordic Society wishes to thank our sponsors for their support: Grow Children's Boutique, Save-On-Foods, Teck, Giv'er Shirts, Starbucks and Mr Allan Phillips

New in the warming hut, an iron gate for the wood stove just in time for the winter. It was designed and made by the Fernie Forge.

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