Fernie residents were abuzz this weekend over sightings of pop entertainer Justin Timberlake, rumoured to have celebrated his birthday in the snow-laden B.C. ski town.

The ex boy-band babe and regular Saturday Night Live guest celebrated his 31st birthday at Island Lake Lodge, a backcountry resort specializing in high alpine skiing accessible only by snowmobile.

Employees of the resort were tight-lipped Sunday, offering few details about their high-profile guest, but one snowboard shop owner confirmed that Timberlake had made an impression on shop staff when he came in to buy some ski gear.

“One of our employees had quite the interesting experience,” said Commit Snow & Skate owner Adam Laurin. “It was one of those ‘no way, no way, that’s not him’ moments.”

But staff were a little less than blown away by the Grammy Award winning artist credited with having “brought sexy back.”

“He was smaller than (we) thought. And he was going around with a bit of a beard,” Laurin said.

No word whether Timberlake had any starlets on his arm to help celebrate his birthday, but chefs at the resort where he stayed did prepare a custom birthday cake.

Rumoured to be an avid snowboarder, Timberlake may have sought the mountain town for the plentiful powder, including more than 50 centimetres of fresh snow that fell in the past week.

“He was cat-skiing,” confirmed another Fernie resident and ski shop employee. “They take you up into different areas and drop you off, no chairlift, no tracks, and you get to make clean lines.”

But if Timberlake had hoped to lay low for a few days in the picturesque mountain town, he may not have quite succeeded.

“There was a lot of talk in town. Lots of word of mouth. A lot of people had heard about it or knew about it,” she said.

Source: mpotkins@calgaryherald.com

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