Family Day Ski Trip – A Little Late
A six hour drive from Calgary—not a bad trek if you have a four day weekend. The Family Day Weekend by tradition has been our ski weekend for the last eight years. Sadly, this year it was just the two of us.
For two hours as we approached our destination it rained, and it didn’t look like it was about to quit any time soon. But as we got to Vernon and started our 22 km up the mountain the rain slowly turned to sleet, then snow, then big huge flakes of the white stuff were coming down and by the time we got to the village it was a snowy wonderland. Silver Star Mountain Resort, in the Monashee Mountain Range, a perfect snow experience for a winter family getaway.
The first thing you notice upon arrival is the colorfully painted village. Like a bag of jelly beans, the bright blues, yellow, orange and greens, just make you smile and give out a long “Ahhhh”. Along with shops to browse through you will also find the Ouisa Day Spa and even the Lord Aberdeen Market, a full service grocery store and liquor store. The main street is lined with 18 different restaurants and pubs for coffees, breakfast, lunch and dinner. You have your pick of nine hotels or lodges with 5600 pillows— from studios to 3 bedrooms penthouses for your stay. And a myriad of wonderful homes for rent, all sizes, colors, and so many with ski-in, ski-out access. We stayed in a studio condo affiliated with the Bull-Dog Tavern about an eight minute walk from the village. Walk out our door, up the stairs and another 50 feet and we could step into our skis and away we go. We had so much fun. The weather was perfect, although no bluebird sky, but warm with n wind. And the snow was perfect, I even managed to take in a couple of powder runs. Man those are hard.
So why Silver Star? As far as I can see it’s the perfect haven for skiers and snowboarders alike. It has the big mountain experience far from the madding crowds, complete with the quaint small town village, and terrain for all skiers. Ski-in, ski-out access, is the only way to go.
The brochure says every winter 700 centimeters of perfect dry snow blankets the four distinct mountain faces and with it’s average -5 degree Celsius temperature, Silver Star is the perfect place for skiers. One hundred and thirty runs are filled with perfectly groomed cruisers, and beautiful champagne powder runs, surrounded by the beautifully shaped snow ghosts trees. Skiers with all abilities from beginner green to double blacks. For an adrenaline rush try the back side, 59 runs, with its too numerous to count steep snow filled chutes and long death defying black diamond runs. (And they were steep!) If downhill isn’t your thing there’s back country and cross country skiing, fat bike trails and snow shoeing.
After ripping up the mountain for the day you can find other activities to keep you occupied later. If your legs are still able there’s night time skiing or Tube Town and even a skating rink, Brewer’s Pond. Or you can try your hand at the indoor climbing wall at the National Altitude Training Centre or even bowling at Pinheads.
People go to Silver Star for the epic snowfall and varied terrain, but they come back again and again for the fun, the laughs, and the relaxation and serenity of a winter mountain getaway. We can attest to that. We are planning our next trip back already.