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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Silver Star
Country: British Columbia, Canada
Domain: n/a
Author: RobW
Date: Jan30th -Feb 5th
Our holiday: 2 adults - experienced skiers, and 3yo child.
Website : http://www.skisilverstar.com/
Basics : In the Okanagan valley, above Vernon. Nearest main airport is Kelowna, an hour to the south. We flew into Vancouver and drove up (takes about 5 hours). Also driveable from Seattle (about 7 hours from Seatac).
Lift system : Two main lifts - a sixpack and a quad - both only a few years old, covering the front and back of the mountain. Also 2 T-bars and a smaller quad serving the village piste.
The terrain : Frontside is mostly intermediate terrain, with green and blue runs with some easyish gladed skiing, but also the Face (black) and Attridge (mostly short blacks). Backside is totally different: steep blacks, and very steep (and mostly narrrow) double blacks which are usually full of bumps. Some of the blacks are reguarly groomed and this means they can be intimidating as if you fall you are going to slide a long way - fortunately the snow is usually very grippy!
The snow : Despite the recent warm weather, plenty of snow depth (average for the time of year), although the doubles were mostly closed due to them being dangerous because of the hard snow. Last few days bought fresh snow (about 2' in total) which opened up everything.
Off-piste : Plenty of (gentle) tree skiing on the frontside, and Attridge is always quiet. Plenty of ungroomed runs on the backside. No off-piste in the European sense.
The resort : Very colourful resort - literally! Everything is painted in 7 colours. Centre modelled on a victorian mining town - sounds disney-esque, but works very well. Not many shops - but you are here to ski, and Vernon is only just down the road. Most skiers are locals and this means weekends can be busy and prone to lift queues - but only 5-10 minutes absolute max. Kids well catered for at Star Kids - Daycare takes them from birth, and can start skiing at 3 or sometimes younger.
Food : Clementines (above the Saloon) is good for lunch and usually quiet. Paradise Camp on the backside is a must coffee stop and very welcoming. Weekly buffet is Silver Lode hotel is good. In evenings generally necessary to book a table in most places, esp at weekends.
Accommodation : We stayed at Putnam Station Inn: model train goes around the ceiling in the dining room. Rooms spacious but not luxurious.
Costs: Lift ticket CA$60+tax/day (about £30). Discount for multidays. Coffee $2/£1 (usually free refills). Lunch $10/£5. Dinner $20-$30/£10-£15.
Conclusion: We must like it. This was about our 10th visit!
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