For all the years of joint ownership by Okanaagan neighbours Big White it always seemed Silver Star was kid brother in that relationship, forced to play 2nd fiddle for everything from publicity to new developments. That was then, this is now: the resort is staking a bold claim to star in its own right, innovations like an all inclusive pass (all activities as well as lifts) added to the impressive mix of terrain, snow quality, ambience and convenience.
Silver Star’s innovations for the upcoming 2013-14 season will no doubt help sway some allegiances and keep others loyal, but the bottom line here is the consistent quality snow and excellent uncrowded skiing that has made it a firm favourite, especially for longer staying families who want to spend most of their southern summer school holiday on snow. They become de facto locals and a lot of Aussie Inter School’s race success can be traced back to several weeks spent at Silver Star.
But if it’s your first trip what are you going to do on a powder day? We asked John Storey from Silver Star Vacation Homes, who has been showing people the mountain he loves for years, for the local’s lowdown on where to head when it dumps.
If you’re with fellow experts you know can handle anything, what’s the program when it’s on?
“Awesome, let’s keep it fresh for as many runs as we can. Head straight to the backside (Putnam) and hit Normania, it’s the fastest line to the lift base so we’ll get the best 2nd run. Next to the head walls, Abbey Road or Rusty Whistle for another set of first tracks. 3rd run take a longer lift time up and ride the HomeRun T-Bar, break right and head for Robilliard’s Rush, be sure to hit the hidden tree line skiers left. That’s 3 sets of first tracks so far, and for more jump into Black Bear next then head for Pipeline after that. Still want more, mmm, better book with us, the next ones ain’t on the map.”
But if you are showing some new guests around who might be fresh off the plane what’s the mellower option?
“Let’s warm up on the front sides and go directly to Far Out and then continue down BX Express, long, wide and easy, perfect way to start. Next Whiskey Jack to lower Big Dipper, great Blues. All good then into Spruce Meadow for wide open gentle tree lines, or keep it smooth on Sundance and Milky Way. Feeling good and wanting more, it is time for upper Big Dipper to lower Exhibition, or for more adventure hit the glades in Silver Woods.”
After all that pow chasing at either level a well earned brewski is probably in order, followed by sustenance. What are your tips on that front?
“Ski right to the door of Bugaboos Bakery Cafe for the on-tap Bavaria Beer. Bugaboos is one mile high so this make it the highest place on the planet serving it (it’s my favourite brew), and the owner Frank knows how to pour a great beer. Back to the chalet for a hot-tub and then stroll into The Bulldog for dinner, where the manager Oscar will seat you beside one of the fireplaces and you can work your way through the menu, or head to Long John’s and ask John for their famous Ribs, beer and enjoy the live music.” Sounds like a plan to us, thanks John.
the ticket [Silver Star]
Air Canada one stop to Kelowna only 45 minutes away
Vacation Homes www.SSVH.com
silver star stats
snowfall 7m+ top lift 1,915m
base 1155m vert 760m
terrain 1242ha • 45% adv/exp • 40% int • 15% beg
lifts 12 including 3 express