28/2/11 – When Fernie’s 20cm rule kicks in

There’s a fantastic unwritten rule in Fernie that makes it rather a good place to live and work. When more than 20cm of snow falls, shops, cafes and businesses in Fernie town are allowed to shut down so that their owners, employees and staff can head for the hill and enjoy the powder. After all, there won’t be any customers, as everyone will be doing the same!

Downtown Fernie, with the ski hill in the background

After 33cm last night, today was a prime candidate for the 20cm rule, and indeed hundreds of locals pitched up first thing. In fact there were almost scenes of ‘powder rage’ when the lift company delayed opening several of the lifts and the crowds gathered expectantly at the barriers.

I’m told the rule doesn’t count for consecutive days, so in the event of daily snow of more than 20cm, a decent interval has to be observed before the next mass exodus. This is probably a good thing for business in a place where it can snow daily for weeks on end…

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Filed under Canada, Off-piste

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