For years, skiers at Fernie Alpine Resort have debarked the White Pass Lift and looked up at Polar Peak, a barren knob atop the Lizard Mountains, dreaming of zipping down its powder. No more waiting. Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, owner and operator of Fernie, is installing a lift to the top of Polar Peak this fall.

The Polar Peak lift, a fixed grip triple chair, is now under construction and will open for operation this winter. The new lift will access 22 new runs on the upper slopes of Currie Bowl. Runs will vary between intermediate alpine bowl runs and a what Fernie Vice President Matt Mosteller calls a "broader offering of black diamond and double black diamond routes comprised of ridges, chutes, and bowl skiing." The new Polar Peak lift will also increase the vertical for Fernie to 3,550 feet.

"Polar Peak's bottom terminal gives a great viewpoint of the new terrain off the peak," Mosteller told OnTheSnow. "No forest clearing was necessary for the new runs of the peak because it's all alpine region."

The new chair's lower terminal is just below tree line off the Currie Powder run. Skiers and snowboarders can access the bottom of the lift by riding the White Pass Quad, then dropping down the Currie Bowl side. The top of the new lift reaches 2,134 meters (7,000 feet) on the summit of the peak.

"We have been reviewing options to enhance the skiing and riding experience for last five years at Fernie and feel this lift is a very positive step in our long-term development plan," Mosteller said. "It will also make quicker avalanche control work above Currie Bowl and Lizard Bowl." 

Preparation for installing the terminals and towers started in July. Towers should be flown into place in September. The Polar Peak lift is expected to be completed by opening day for this winter.

More information. Or call 250-423-4655.

 

Fernie: new Polar Peak lift

Excavated platform for Tower 4 on the new Polar Peak lift at Fernie. Photo courtesy of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.

 

Fernie: new Polar Peak lift

Currie Bowl was closed this August for construction of the new Polar Peak lift at Fernie. Photo courtesy of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies.