Island Lake Lodge
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Island Lake Lodge and catskiing is a back country resort located on 7,000 acres (28 km2) of mountainous terrain near Fernie B.C. Canada. Island Lake Lodge is situated in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada just beyond the Mount Fernie Provincial Park.
During the winter cat-skiing operation, the Island Lake Resorts land holdings are used primarily by guests of the lodge, who access the lodge by snowcat. Members of the public use the cross-country trail system in the Cedar Valley. Currently, the cat-skiing operates with three snowcats that can handle a maximum of thirty six guests. Additionally, some back-country touring groups access the high alpine terrain by traversing over from Fernie Alpine Resort. In summer, the access road is open to the lodge. Popular summer activities include: dining at the lodge, the spa facilities, guided hiking, mountain biking and fly fishing.
The Island Lake property has been under private ownership since the early 1900s. In 1907, the North America Land and Lumber Company purchased the mill and timber rights to the area now known as the Island Lake Resort from the Cedar Valley Company. The mill was located at the junction of the existing access road (Mount Fernie Park Road) and Highway 3. Logging was restricted to the distance foresters were able to drag the logs to the mill and only the lower portion of the resort access road shows signs of high grade logging. Eventually, the land was sold to Shell Oil Company. Island Lake Mountain Tours began as a small back-country ski touring operation on the property in 1986, leasing the land from Shell Oil Company. In 1988, one of the founders purchased a Pisten Bulley snowcat and catskiing at Island Lake was introduced.
Initially, accommodation, meals and leisure space were provided in the small Bear Lodge building. In 1994, Island Lake Mountain Tours purchased the land from Shell Oil Company. With the purchase of the lodge and land, Island Lake Mountain Tours became the only cat-skiing operation in British Columbia to own the land they operated on. In 1996, the accommodation capacity was increased with the construction of the Red Eagle Lodge. More upscale accommodations were added in the Cedar Lodge in 2002. Construction of the Tamarack Lodge which now functions as the hub of the resort including a full serviced restaurant, spa facilities and eight luxury suites, commenced in 2004.
In April 2005, the property was purchased by the owners of Mica Heli Guides in Mica Creek, British Columbia who continue to operate the Resort.
Unique weather patterns tend to bring much more precipitation to the area than one might typically find this far inland, making the area a mecca for powder skiing.
Bear Grylls and the crew filming an episode of well known survival television program 'Man vs Wild' used the Lodge during film of episode 3, in season 7. Bear had a suspect broken leg during filming, however this was later concluded to be severe tumescence and bruising.