Fairmont
Hot Springs Resort

Another perfect day in Fairmont

This family ski area is offers more than you think 

RICK MACDONNELL

Fairmont Family Ski Hill guide
Have you ever seen more amazing corduroy?
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

FAIRMONT, BC — In just under two seasons in Western Canada, the Fairmont Family Ski Area has become a pretty special place for me. Last season's visit to Fairmont was a big one, as I was able to get out and ski with the Powder Highway's Ultimate Ski Bum Chris Tatsuno (an inspiring day). Coincidentally, that was also when I officially labelled myself a skier. I was a powder virgin when I was hired on with SnowSeekers, and it wasn't until that day in Fairmont that I felt like I had come far enough to feel like I belonged.

Needless to say, I couldn't have been more excited to return to the little-known resort. I was taking my girlfriend with me for our first ski together this season, and I knew that things were meant to be when I walked out of the day lodge, put in my headphones, hit shuffle, and on came the song "Another Perfect Day" by American Hi-Fi.

Wide open terrain, incredibly low crowds

I'm not a person who craves steeps and deeps. They're fantastic, don't get me wrong, but I'm a guy that gets more out of blazing long, wide turns. At Fairmont Family Ski Hill, with its wide-open terrain and incredibly low crowds, this was my entire day. 

Conversely, my girlfriend prefers a more casual ski experience. She's content to glide down at her own pace, taking in the sights, enjoying the leisure the sport affords. What was great was that both of us were able to ski to our liking - me, fast; her, relaxed - while staying relatively close to one another.

Fairmont Family Ski Hill guide
There are few resorts more child-friendly than Fairmont Family Ski Area.
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Certain people might scoff at a hill like Fairmont because it only has 14 runs. But when it's that small, your group can stay together the whole day with everyone going at their own pace. The faster skiers only have to wait 30 seconds at the bottom before meeting back up with slower skiers. Then you're up the chair lift again, together, ready for another run.

Skiing for skiing's sake

If ever I'm in the mood to rip down a hill without fear or concern, I think of Fairmont. Even in the middle of February with the unseasonably cold -25 we experienced that day, it felt terrific charging down each of those fourteen runs. 

It's skiing for skiing's sake. And there's nothing wrong with that.

A special shout-out has to go to Fairmont's rentals staff, who have set me up with two terrific sets of skis during my two trips there.

I've rented skis at pretty well every major resort in Western Canada at this point, and you might be surprised to hear that Fairmont's rentals were amongst the best. And the staff itself couldn't have been friendlier. 

For a family ski area, the staff certainly lives up to the bill. Whether they're dealing with seasoned veterans or first-timer five-year-olds, they make their customers feel comfortable.

If you're ever on the lookout for a fantastic low-level ski area for a varied group, look no further than Fairmont. And after your day on the hill, head down to the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for a soak in the world-famous hot springs. Your lift ticket gets you in for free.

As Doc Pow always says, it's the worlds greatest après.

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