By Rebecca Edwards
1. A luxury cat skiing experience in Fernie powder
It’s every skier’s dream to ski untracked powder all day so book your Fernie skiing fan for catskiing or catboarding at Fernie’s Island Lake Catskiing this winter.
Experienced guides will take groups of skiers on a variety of terrain and slope styles that can suit any level of skiing.
After each run, jump into a comfortable, heated snow cat, grab a hot beverage or a snack from the cooler to keep your energy levels up as the snow cat takes you back up the mountain for another run of pure powder magic.
A gift is always best when it is shared, so if you are a skier too, this is a great excuse to book yourself in for a catskiing adventure.
Or, if powder skiing is not your thing, book yourself spa day at the luxurious Island Lake Lodge and join your Fernie ski fan for an après ski dinner in the fine Rocky Mountain cuisine restaurant.
2. A pair of custom-fit ski boots
Well-fitted ski boots will vastly improve ski stance, technique and comfort level.
TopShelf at the Griz Inn, Fernie Alpine Resort only sells one ski boot – the TS-1 – but it is fully customizable to fit your feet.
They select the shell that will work best for you and complete the fit with a foam injected liner and custom footbed.
If the skier in your life has ever had to leave the slopes early due to boot pain or cold feet, get them a boot fitting to ensure you both get to enjoy long days on your Fernie ski vacation.
3. A day at the spa
What better way to end an adventurous day on the slopes, than a luxurious massage or a facial to remove the final traces of city life from the skin?
King Fir Spa at Timberline Lodges at Fernie Alpine Resort offers a full range of treatments for men and women.
Call 250-423-8215 to order a gift certificate or make a surprise booking for the first day of your Fernie ski vacation.
4. A Fernie food experience
Add a gift certificate for one of Fernie’s great restaurants and treat your Fernie ski fan to a slopeside breakfast or lunch at Big Bang Bagels in Snow Creek Lodge and downtown Fernie, dinner at Picnic in downtown Fernie, or handmade Italian-style pizza at Fernie’s Loaf Bakery.
For Fernie Christmas baking, Loaf makes traditional mince pies, stollen and pannetone, and you can order a gift basket of Christmas goodies that will keep everyone going through long days on the ski slopes.
Help the chocaholic in your life discover Beanpod in downtown Fernie – James and Mary are the only people in Canada to produce chocolate from bean to bar – a four day process using their traditional melangeur from 1948.
They also produce a range of yummy artisan chocolates and chocolate bars – including The Fernie Gnarly Bar with Brazil nuts, walnuts, banana chips and raisins, now available on their website.
Fernie Brewing Company has a range of craft beers, including the Big Caboose Red Ale, Fernie Griz Pale Ale and Fernie First Trax Brown Ale.
Sampler packs are available from liquor stores or drop by the brewery on Highway 3 to pick up a 1.98L growler (jug) of fresh beer. When it’s empty, get it refilled again for $10.
5. A work of Fernie art
Fernie Arts Co-op in downtown Second Avenue, Fernie is a volunteer organization that showcases the East Kootenay’s best artists – it’s the perfect place to find a unique and lasting souvenir of your ski vacation in Fernie.
The store displays work from all its local members, including framed and unframed landscape photographs of the Elk Valley, oil paintings, jewellery, pottery and ornaments.
Gift certificates are available by calling 250-423-7044, or drop in to 572 Second Avenue to see the great range of work available for purchase.
6. A book about Fernie
Polar Peek independent bookstore on Second Avenue has the best selection of ski books and travel guides in this region.
Fernie author Angie Abdou based her latest book The Canterbury Trail on Fernie's diverse ski community, and Fernie publisher Oolichan Books published Lisa McGonigle's novel Snowdrift about being a ski bum in Fernie, and Fernie local Gord Sombrowski's book What Echo Heard which features stories from characters from the community's history.
You can also pick up the Fernie Mountain Bike Guide published by Claris Media for a guide to all the best biking trails in the Fernie area. If you can't wait until next summer to get out and about, the trails also make great snowshoe routes during the winter.