Silver Star is a Mountain Resort 22 Km from the city of Vernon in British Columbia, Canada.The village sits at 1609 metres and the summit is 1915 metres above sea level. Ski tourists from Australia can get a direct Air Canada flight from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne into Vancouver and get a connecting flight to Kelowna. Bus connections and transfers to Silver Star from here are readily available. Accommodation facilities at Silver Star are generally gorgeous and access to the ski slopes is straightforward. The snow season runs from late November to mid-April weather permitting.
Skiers started to access the area in the 1930s but commercial skiing in the area developed after WW2 and into the fifties. The Silver Star resort was developed in the 80s and 90s and continues to expand its facilities today. There is an extensive range of slopes for all levels of skiers and the maps shown to the right and below give a good indication of the huge choice for visitors. It is a resort that caters for all ages, it is particularly good for parents with children who want activities apart from the ski slopes for their family.
To get some inside knowledge from an experienced skier at Silver Star, I obtained the following exclusive notes from a regular visitor!
“Silver Star has fast become a favourite of mine and to make the most of it I would suggest the keen skier should be up early and be waiting at the new gondola for the 8.30am start. If you’re lucky, you can make first tracks down Milky Way for a warm up and then back up and head over to the ‘Back Side’. It’s a glorious ski along the ridge, turn right after Paradise Camp Café and ski along Aunt Gladys to Gypsy Queen, a fabulous blue run where you are most likely to be the only ones there at that time of the morning. Another great blue run on the backside is Sunny High onto Sunny Ridge on the other side of Paradise Camp Café (turn left just after getting off the lift).
After mid morning coffee back at the village (Bugaboos is our favourite, you have to try the cinnamon scrolls!) make your way down the huge variety of runs on the ‘Front Side’”
The folk running Silver Star resort do a lot of work to not only cater for all ‘types’ of skiers on the slopes but to make the village itself a happy attractive setting for all age ranges. The architecture of the village is colourful and the signage and the ‘art’ (bears, bulldogs, beavers are scattered around the roof-lines of the commercial buildings) is designed for a fun and humorous approach to life in this ski village.
In February 2018 when we visited, they had called in the snow artists to create huge snow statues in the main street of the village. The characters were from ‘Alice in Wonderland’, particularly the Cheshire Cat. The white rabbit was also there with a smaller version of Alice contemplating its activities. It reminded me of the Jefferson Aeroplane version of the Alice story.
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall
And if you go chasing rabbits,
and you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
has given you the call
And call Alice, when she was just small
Alice wasn’t ten feet tall, but the white rabbit was, as was the snow kangaroo further along. Maybe the kangaroo was put there to make the large numbers of young Australian workers, who come to work in British Columbia for the ski season, feel at home.
There is an adventure park at Silver Star that provides a high quality, wide range of activities for the young and old. There are a couple of major facilities such a the Tubing run that will keep the whole family off the main ski slopes for large parts of the day. There is a ‘mini’ snowmobile circuit through the trees that seemed to be a big favourite for father and sons while we were there. The circuit is next to Brewers Pond which becomes an ice-skating loop during the winter season. Ice hockey and other activities for children are also happening on the pond.
Silver Star is not just a resort for down hill skiers. It has extensive trails for ‘Fat Bike Riding’, Nordic Cross Country skiing, snow-shoe walking as well as just plain hiking around the four kilometre Bridle Path around the village.
If energetic personal cross country activities aren’t your thing, there is always the option of touring the Silver Star trails on a horse sleigh and then having lunch or dinner at the Wild Horseman’s Cabin.
For the young and adventurous, Silver Star offers plenty of edgy challenges as can be seen in the adverts for March 2019 below.
If by the end of your holiday at Silver Star and you are still looking for some excitement, the Night Skiing option down the main runs behind the village is available on Friday and Saturday evenings.