More powder! Silver Star’s new glades were so much fun after a fresh dump of snow.
Located near the small city of Vernon, in British Columbia’s interior Okanagan, the purpose-designed resort of Silver Star is part of a chain of major ski areas that have defined the region into a snow destination. Each resort – Silver Star, Apex, Big White and Sun Peaks has its own mountain culture, yet together (something that should be offered as a package) they help maintain BC’s position as truly world-class mountain destination.
Silver Star has grown over the years and I ski there fairly often, particularly due to close friends in Vernon. On this visit, the snow was excellent and the newly opened glades (ski / snowboard-friendly treed areas) have made the mountain much more appealing.
It has been interesting watching Silver Star develop over the years. Rather than just building a ski resort, the developers have established a full-time, year-round community. It is more than just hotel, rather a community has developed around the development. This is special.
The resort is extremely popular with antipodeans (Australians & New Zealanders), many of whom stay for a whole month over the Christmas Holiday season.
By developing a permanent community, the activities on – and around – the mountain have diversified. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, there is a world-class X-country facility, which criss-crosses the downhill resort. All summer, mountain bike enthusiasts can ride the trails and even in winter, fat-boy bikes can used on the slopes – and carried up on the lifts!
Everything from tubing to biking is included in the day pass and despite Silver Star’s popularity, the resort territory is large enough to never feel crowded once off the lifts.
The colourful community has over 3000 bedrooms for rent and around 20 restaurants. Catching up with an old friend, I enjoyed an elk burger for lunch.
As we often drive between our home in the Rockies and the west coast, Vernon is a frequent stop. We have very dear friends in the area and as the snow conditions have been so good this year, we planned a special visit to Silver Star.
I do need to re-visit the other resorts in the area, but on this outing, we loved the good snow, easy lift access and new, runs at Silver Star.
Whereas the village felt quite contrived a decade ago, it is now established and lively. It would certainly be worth 3-4 days. With children, Silver Star is particularly appealing as it has long been branded a family resort. As compared to the skiing at Revelstoke or around Banff, I think the runs are generally easier at Silver Star. This is both appealing and, at times a draw back for more extreme snow enthusiasts.
After another really excellent day on the slopes, I am keen to make the most of this powdery winter and think Silver Star has become a very worthwhile destination!