Fernie Search and Rescue
Fernie and District SAR covers a significant portion of south eastern British Columbia, with a considerable diversity of terrain. The area north of Fernie and west of Sparwood and Elkford is mountainous with steep walls of poor quality rock unsuitable for technical climbing. The numerous valleys are deep, with fast flowing creeks and rivers, with some class 5 rapids. Fernie itself lies in the Elk Valley, between the Lizard Range and Morrissey Ridge.
The area due west of Fernie drops down from the Lizard Range into the Bull River Valley, with Cedar Valley climbing slowly from the Elk Valley just south of town. The Lizard Range follows the lower Elk River to the southeast. Behind this range, to the west is the Columbia River Basin, part of the Rocky Mountain Trench. The Columbia Basin is a region of relatively flat land encompassing Lake Koocanusa, the reservoir of the Libby dam in Montana. The lake rises and lowers in cycles along with the spring runoff. At low water there are large areas of open sand dunes with the Kootenay River channel flowing between them. The Elk River empties into Lake Koocanusa.