Locals that Love Fernie – Powder Matt

Matt Mosteller aka ‘Powder Matt’ started his ski writing career as the ultimate ski bum, living in a car and skiing at Fernie. This is his love story.

My love affair with skiing started at a young age. I was a very fat kid and skiing gave me freedom. Something that I could do, escape, and finally a place to feel good. So, I made it my life.

I started as a ski bum. Sixty-plus nights sleeping in a car searching for powder turns made me qualified.

But it was the experiences from the many afternoons living off 5 p.m. ‘free appys’, the people who took me in pre-Airbnb, sleeping on a thousand couches, those high-five moments, friends that you just met but after a run of 2,000 feet of powder – you were besties for life – those silent times, you and the mountain, all of this taught me stuff.

First-tracks may be the most simple powerful motivation to work and play hard. Ski bums are singularly motivated to get up early, be the first on the chair, with the reward of laying down the first tracks of the day. This powerful driver creates hard work ethic, sometimes taking the worst jobs, working crazy hours to be able to fulfill your passion. Prioritizing your time, being driven and developing the power of urgency to make it happen.

The last run taught me to never give up. There is always something to get up for in life. Don’t ever forget that. In ski bumming, you savour that last run. You soak in the reds and oranges of the sun setting behind the jagged range above. It is cold, windy, only fit outside for polar bears, but you persevere, the reward, the last powder run.  Your best turns happen, the hard work pays off.

I learnt to savour life more, make the most of every turn, though also don’t forget your tracks might be influencing others. The last run matters every day. Always.

In Fernie I would alway start the day with Big Bang Bagels, they are guaranteed to wake anyone up on the right side of the bed and fuel your day on the slopes and are locally owned and operated.

The mid skiing stop always took me to the long wooden social table at Cirque Restaurant & Bar, Lizard Creek Lodge, for hearty Italian fare, to keep that energy up for powder play.

Apres was and is a must at The Kodiak Lounge, the ultimate spot for the ski bum where the drinks are cheap, the bar flies and staff are friendly and knowledgeble and the taxidermy is plentiful. It was actually renamed in 2010 after the filming of the Hollywood movie Hot Tub Time Machine shot at Fernie Alpine Resort and in Fernie, B.C.

To shut down the night, I’d visit The Griz Bar. This place lives up to what they say, ‘Keeping Rippers Ripped since 1961’, nuff said. Ski Canada’s Magazine ranks this place the top apres ski bar in the country based on this stoke factor alone.

Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter @PowderMatt and visit www.powdermatt.com

Check out our Locals That Love and also our Insider Guides for resorts around the world.


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Rachael is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN Freeskiing, TIME, Powderhound, Sydney Morning Herald, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast and more.

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