Here’s an update from Becky after the first week of our 2 week snowboard performance camp in Fernie.
Apologies if this becomes a little overwrought with emotion, as I have a feeling this blog may turn out to be a love letter to Fernie. When the opportunity cropped up to come on the Nonstop 2 Week Performance Camp in Fernie I was pretty excited but not as excited as I should have been…
We arrived at the Red Tree Lodge late on Saturday night after a stop en route to grab some food (at the momentous place where I discovered Dill Pickle crisps and Oh Henrys). On Sunday most of the two weekers were up and ready way before the 7.30am breakfast due to the jetlag. Everyone fuelled up and headed straight to the mountains for their first day on the legendary Fernie Mountains and it was great, perfect conditions to find your feet, the pistes were great, no fresh pow but that was to come. Not wanting to shatter myself on the first day I headed off early to buy some new snowboard pants. The town was ablaze with sale signs, which are my favourite type of signs (I am northern) and for a small town there is great choice, as the shops don’t tread on each other’s toes in terms of products. Pants bought, I joined the group for welcome drinks and the chance to meet our instructor over a yummy three course dinner. Our instructor was Benjie, a fun-loving bearded Canadian guy who the group quickly got on with.
After being so well fed, an early night was inevitable and we crashed out dreaming of pow only to wake up to rain. You could tell people were trying to stay up-beat over breakfast but spirits we’re dampened (pardon the pun). As we sat on the first lift up it was like the first day of school, nervous, excited, wearing a plastic poncho, but any doubts were soon eradicated as we discovered that the rain was snow up top! We went wild, having an instructor with us meant we went straight for the best runs. Getting a few handy tips and tricks before my first powder run in years was just brilliant. We covered a lot of the mountain whilst still paying attention to our technique and we still managed to squeeze a switch run in between the pow.
The set up in Fernie is great, you basically can’t get lost and they section off anything sketchy so all the off piste you see you can go down in sound knowledge its safe. And did I mention there was not a sole to be found on this amazing day? So the next day there were still fresh lines to be had. The week continued as it started, sans the rain, with Tuesday and Wednesday being bluebird powder days. I have never experienced snow like that, I think they call it champagne powder and I can see why. The 8.30am bus was full most mornings the snow was so good. It is so great to now feel like I have mastered the off-piste and can really make the most of a mountain like Fernie. Benjie was great at giving us activities to understand the importance of alignment, pressure, speed, reading the mountain and he taught us some neat tricks like carving too. At the weekend we were left to our own devises so I headed up with the rest of my group. With our new found silky skills and the confidence to explore the mountain, we had a ball!
If Becky’s blog got you thinking you wanted a ball too (nice) then don’t hesitate to check out our Snowboard courses on our course page!