Via Bean Creek Drainage from Fernie Visitor Centre (to stay on crown lands). An awesome Fernie backcountry battle if you’re looking for a challenge! Expect to take about 7-9 hours.
Route is shown above in purple. I started from the Visitor Centre to avoid going onto private property (for the most part). From the crown land maps I found of the area, almost all land to the SE of the powerline and NE of Bean Creek is private. Start closer to Bean Creek at your own risk. If you do, pack an extra salami sandwich for buddy guy’s rottweiler-type scary dog thingy to distract him as you run past. There’s two different access roads you can use to get into Bean Creek Drainage, which I’ll get to later on.
From the Visitor Centre, skin up towards the Swine Flu mountain bike trails, then head NE along the powerlines.
After skinning for 3.9km, take a left onto an old road (49°32.900′, -115°02.462′) then start bushwacking. A second, less bushwacky access road is further along at 49°33.243′, -115°02.010′ but will add ~1km each way to your trip from the Visitor Centre. Either way, ascend the road until you cannot go any further, then bushwack your way into Bean Creek Drainage.
The first view of Bean Creek Drainage above (yuck). Fear not, however, as the aspen stand to the climber’s right of the alder nightmare provides an easier ski.
Aspen stand on the climber’s right side of the creek. Much nicer.
The view of Bean Drainage at about 1500m, above. The willows are smaller here and much easier to ski through, so I dropped into the guts of the drainage here with my route approximated by the red line.
Out of the jungle and into the glades. Aim for the treed notch between the cliffs in the center of the above photo. Once you gain the bench, climb the SW facing slopes to your right. There might be a small cliff or two to negotiate on the SW slope, but it’s nothing major.
Topping out on the ridge with the first glimpses of Florida Bowl in the background. Shit I Don’t Know Bowl drops off to the right of this photo. From here, just follow the ridge into Florida Bowl and get some good turns!
Neat views of the elusive Fernie alpine.
Maybe they call it Florida Bowl because it feels like you’re on a beach? I climbed the looker’s right side of the bowl as to not spoil the meager powder that recent winds had failed to sweep away.
Great ski quality on the SW slopes through nicely spaced trees.
Back into the alder nightmare below 1500m in Bean Creek Drainage. What the frick is up with these death spikes? Anyway, I found a trail marker and decided to follow it to the other access road on the north side of Bean Creek. There was less bushwacking through death spikes, but this route added about 20 minutes of skinning back to the Visitor Centre. Up to you.
Picture of the north Bean Creek access road above. Nice access, but more skinning.