Montane Ski
Zosia Zgolak and I kicked off our 3-week winter road trip by traveling to Fernie, British Columbia on 23 December 2016.  A stop at the local information centre brought to our attention a nearby trail network known as Montane which is part of a new housing development on the southeast side of town.  Montane consists of a mix of groomed Nordic ski trails and multi-use trails (for fat bikers, snowshoers, walkers/runners, and dogs) which are maintained by the Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club (FTSTC).  Taking advantage of fresh snowfall and recent grooming, Zosia and I spent the next few hours skiing some of the trails in the area.  Although we did not ski every single trail, my impressions were that the groomed Nordic ski trails are mostly wide with gentle grades while the multi-use trails are generally narrower and steeper.  The lack of maps at junctions can make for some route-finding difficulties, but otherwise, the FTSTC has done an outstanding job of trail maintenance and grooming.  We did not encounter any fat bikers on this day, but we saw a few snowshoers and plenty of skiers including a couple using AT gear.  The highlight was visiting a newly-built warming hut near the south end of the trail network.  It is unclear if the use of these trails will remain free once the housing development is completed in the future (the FTSTC relies on donations to support trail maintenance), but for now, Montane remains one of the best-kept secrets for outdoor recreation in the Fernie area.
And if you wanna buy some property here, call the number on the board! The sign board near the trailhead provides a map of the Montane trail network.
Zosia is back in her "happy place"! The groomed Nordic trails are wide and not too steep.
Does it have Wi-Fi? The warming hut is situated at a nice viewpoint near the south end of the trail network.
Actually, it was freezing cold in here! Zosia relaxes inside the warming hut.
Yeah, we're not too keen on breaking trail through deep snow just for the hell of it! Zosia is actually heading outside the trail network here, but she would soon turn around because of deep snow.
I hope we don't find Ruby! Zosia skis along a more challenging trail known as Ruby's Way.
Technically, the berries are edible, but I don't think they taste very good. Snow sits on mountain ash berries.
These trails are sure to become popular once people find out about them! Total Distance:  9.1 kilometres
Total Time:  2 hours 50 minutes
Net Elevation Gain To Hut:  118 metres

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