Silver Star Mountain Resort
Skied on February 1st to 3rd, 2015
$81 CAD per day or FREE with the Powder Alliance
We headed out from Winthrop, WA to Silver Star Mountain Resort in Vernon, BC for the second part of our honeymoon on Saturday, January 31st. Having never ventured further north on the eastern side of the Cascades than the Methow Valley, we didn’t know what to expect. The drive to the border was nice and sunny, but once we crossed the border into southern BC we were blown away by the views. Huge lakes stretched for miles surrounded by mountains covered in ponderosa pines.
We arrived to Vernon after a five hour drive from the Methow and made our way up the road to Silver Star’s quaint Victorian mining era-themed village. We checked into our “bachelor” studio condo at the Firelight lodge which would serve as our ski-in ski-out home for the next four nights and three days of skiing.
Like Winthrop, it had been some time since Silver Star had received any new snow resulting in less than ideal skiing conditions when we arrived. BUT the forecast called for 3-5 cms of new snow each of the following two days so we had our fingers crossed. We fell asleep anticipating the new snow the next day, something we had yet to experience on our otherwise perfect honeymoon.
The alarm went off the next morning, and all we had to do was peel the curtain back to see that the forecast had held true. Snow had started falling early that morning and a couple cms had already accumulated. Even though our place was “ski-in ski-out”, we still had to take a short walk across a parking lot to pick up our free Powder-Alliance lift tickets from guest services.
From the mid-mountain village, we skied down towards the base of the silver woods lift – an area of mainly blue groomed runs with gladed tree skiing in between. We took our first run down “Running on Empty” – it was perfect – the groomers had been out before the snow so there was a nice smooth fresh coating of snow on top.
During the rest of the day, we spent time skiing groomers off the backside, where Maggie skied her first black diamond, then ventured back to the front where we skied off the Comet Express. We stuck to the runs that had been groomed the night before, because it was still icy moguls under the new snow off piste. The best part of our ski-in ski-out accommodations was that we could ski in for lunch, lounge around for a while, then go out for a few runs at the end of the day.
We awoke to another couple inches of new snow the next morning and headed over to the village to our private lessons. We both had excellent instructors: Brian’s was from Austraila and Maggie’s was from England. We spent the rest of the day skiing together, enjoying the new snow, and working on the things we learned in our lessons. We learned that Silver Star is owned by Australians and as a result, a lot of Aussies vacation and work there.
The snow kept coming and we ended up with 20 cms (8 inches) over the three days we were there. The skiing was excellent everyday and we truly lucked out. After skiing together in the morning, Brian made it out for some off-piste skiing in the afternoon on the third day and barely scratched the surface of what Silver Star offers. Silver Star offered excellent beginner and intermediate terrain and it was clear that the advanced/expert terrain was not lacking either. Crowds were non-existent and interestingly enough we only met one other group of Americans the entire time we were there (so don’t tell anyone!).
The village at Silver Star certainly impressed us. Our condo at the Firelight lodge had a full kitchen so we could cook, and when we felt like getting out, there were just the right number of coffee, shops, restaurants, and bars. We never once had to use our car and we just got to watch it get buried in snow the whole time. Lift tickets allow you to downhill ski, xc ski, snowshoe, snow tube, and ice skate all on the same ticket. Although we didn’t explore the xc and snowshoe trails it seemed like there were tons. We managed to make it out tubing on the last night, had a blast, and were greeted with a beautiful sunset. Silver Star was the perfect skiing destination for our honeymoon and we highly recommend you make a visit!