It was 8:30 on a Sunday morning after a night of powder drifting from the darkened heavens and I thought for sure the regulars would be fighting for first tracks. Nope.
It was 10:30 and we drifted over to the backside to see what was left for powder. Most of it.
By noon we were back on the front side and yes, still finding fresh powder. How is this possible? With over 3200 acres of skiable terrain – there is plenty landscape to share.
Silver Star Mountain Resort is B.C.’s third largest ski area with 131 marked runs sprawled across four mountain faces. The breakdown of skiable terrain is 15% easy, 40% intermediate, 35% most difficult and 10% left for the extreme skiers. Everyone can find something for their level of ability without stumbling on the next skier or boarder.
Snow guns? What snow guns? Just like the apple juice from the valley, this haven is 100% pure. Silver Star receives over seven metres of snow annually making the glades on the backside the treasure chest of the resort. The snow ghosts that line the ridges and the top of the mountain make for great photo backdrops with the kids.
What started out in 1958 as a ski resort for the locals still has the charm of a local’s hill but for the international crowd. It could be the little village main street, it could be the mining town theme of brightly painted facades or the friendliness of the people. Or a combo of them all.
Main-street is where you purchase your tickets, rent gear if you need it and plan where you want to stop for coffee, lunch, après, and supper. Thirty metres from the end of the street you are slapping on the boards and heading for the lifts.
Did someone say brown bag lunch? NOT!
Your dining options can be anything from poutine to burgers but there are healthy choices too. Coffee should be at the end of main-street at Bugaboos Bakery Café. Every cup of coffee is accompanied by a yummy chocolate, but save that for after you finish your cinnamon bun! Stop at the Red Antler for lunch to fill up on a menu committed to using the best regional bounty. Let the kids share an order of the Bacon & Jalapenos Mac N’ Cheese while you dig into the Red Antler Elk Burger.
Dinner? On Friday or Saturday night make reservations for the Paradise Camp. The family will love the experience of riding in a snow cat to the ridge of the mountain where the warm light bursting through the windows into the dark welcomes you to a delicious 3 course meal.
Ski to your door
Accommodations are all a walk or ski away. Nine hotels and lodges are accompanied by a variety of rental chalets and condos to suit almost every budget. The Silver Star accommodations page is the perfect place to start looking for monthly and seasonal deals.
But maaaaa, I don’t want to ski today
Don’t sweat it if the kids don’t want to ski the whole day. There are plenty of other activities to keep them amused. A big skating rink with skate rentals is just below the village. Right beside that is Tube Town where you don’t even get out of the tube to go back up. The tube lift pulls you and the tube to the top so you can make endless loops. Fat tire biking trails, snowshoe trails and over 55 kilometres of track-set cross-country trails are at your door.
Have you ever heard of ski-in ski out bowling? There is always a first! Pinhead Bowling is your chance to challenge the kids to ten pin bowling. And, of course maybe mom doesn’t want to ski one day either. Check out Ouisa Day Spa for some me-time.
Stop in Vernon
Silver Star Mountain Resort is less than a 30 minute drive from the heart of Vernon, B.C. on paved and well maintained roads and less than an hour from the Kelowna International Airport. As you pass through Vernon, make a pit-stop at one of the fresh new eateries. Ratio Coffee and Pasty creates crazy donuts on Fridays and great coffee all week long. Check out “Naked Pig” for some awesome smokehouse BBQ or less than a block away check the Station BBQ for their rendition of smokehouse cuisine.