Fernie’s Polar Peak chair is the highest chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) that takes skiers and boarders to Polar Peak and the top ridge of the Lizard Range at 2,149 m (7,051 feet). The refurbished triple chair lift, from Nakiska, opened in 2012 offering challenging terrain that is recommended for advanced skiers and boarders.
The Peak Chair gained some notoriety from a GoPro Helmet Cam wipeout featured on the “Jerry of the Day” shown below. Yes folks, this is steep, and you need to be aware of what’s coming from behind!
Fernie’s Polar Peak chair is loved by advanced skiers and boarders when its open. This season the chair opened for the first time on February 19th.
The image below taken early February defines the challenge with legendary snowcat-driver Blair Craig punching in an access road. Now that it’s open it should operate most days for the remainder or the season, given there are no mechanical issues with the lift and the weather cooperates.
Whistler’s Peak Chair is comparable in stature and has been a huge success with a 98% operating average in recent years. Locals dubbed Whistler’s chair as the “Weak Chair” or the “Once a Week Chair” based on its earlier operating days however, in recent years it’s not been a disappointment. Given that Fernie’s season is past its halfway point, simple math calculates that the Polar Peak chair, if it opens soon, might have a 40% operating average.
Here is another February image from the Polar Peak top-station that clearly defines this years challenge.
Regardless of how many days Polar Peak is open, I love those epic days of ripping multiple powder runs on its steep fall line terrain. With the challenges of opening the lift now behind us, it’s time to ski the steeps!
Thank you FAR staff for your work in opening Polar Peak chair!