Island Lake Lodge

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Craig Kelly by Mark Gallup

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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Categories: Member organisations

Staff Profile – Marie-Hélène Jodoin

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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Categories: Member organisations

Pow turns with pals

January 12, 2018 - 13:21

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Categories: Member organisations

Friends on a Pow Day

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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Categories: Member organisations


January 8, 2018 - 11:17

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Categories: Member organisations

Epic waist deep pow!

December 22, 2017 - 18:43

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Categories: Member organisations

Winter of our Content

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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Categories: Member organisations

The Island Lake Photo Team

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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Categories: Member organisations


December 4, 2017 - 14:27

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Categories: Member organisations

Emily Brydon Youth Foundation Gala Dinner and Art Auction

October 27, 2017 - 10:19

Island Lake has been a long time supporter of the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation. This years gala and art auction is a great way to show your support for this wonderful community organization. Call and book now!

Mission: The Emily Brydon Youth Foundation enables the dreams and passion of youth in the Elk Valley through program support in sports, arts and education.

Vision: The Emily Brydon Youth Foundation strives to bring opportunity to the youth in the Elk Valley, including Fernie, Elkford and Sparwood, through sports, art and education by assisting individuals and families. Our support model is built on matching the financial means with a youth’s dreams, ambitions and desires. We truly believe that every child deserves equal opportunity. Youth are our future; the EBYF believes in supporting them today. The EBYF is a foundation that epitomizes the power of community: watch out for your neighbour, make a difference for the next generation, and pay it forward.

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Categories: Member organisations

Salomon Hillside Project Launch

October 25, 2017 - 15:57

We are proud to have collaborated with Salomon Snowboards on their Hillside project. Last January we hosted athletes: Wolle Nyvelt, Desiree Melancon, Nils Mindnich and Annie Boulanger to test out the new line of boards and shred some cold smoke.  Have a look at the video below and enter to win a custom Island Lake x Salomon snowboard!

The Hillside Project at Island Lake Lodge

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Categories: Member organisations

Winter 2016/17 Favourite Photos

October 22, 2017 - 15:25

Have a look through some of our favourite images from the 2016 / 17 ski season. The images are a compilation from our professional in-house photographers, which includes: Matt Kuhn, Nick Nault, ,Mark Gallup, Kyle Hamilton and Mike McPhee.

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Categories: Member organisations

Winter is Coming

October 10, 2017 - 10:04

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