Silver Star Mountain Resort
|Silver Star Mountain Resort|
|Location||British Columbia, Canada|
|Top elevation||1,915 m (6,280 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,155 m (3,780 ft)|
|Skiable area||3,065 acres (12.4 km2)|
|Runs||115 Designated Trails
|Longest run||8 km (5 mi)|
|Lift system||12 Total (1 six-pack express, 2 detachable high-speed quads, 2 fixed grip quads, 1 double chair, 1 t-bar, 3 beginner magic carpets, 2 tube lifts)|
|Terrain parks||Rockstar Terrain Park|
|Snowfall||700 cm (23 ft) /annually|
|Web site||Silver Star Mountain Resort|
Silver Star Mountain Resort (Silver Star) is a ski resort located near Silver Star Provincial Park in the Shuswap Highland of the Monashee Mountains, 25 km northeast of the city of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. Silver Star's snow season runs from late November to mid-April weather permitting. Silver Star has been awarded as "Best Small Resort in North America" and has also won awards on being one of the best family resorts in Canada having the best groomed runs in the country. The annual snowfall of 700 cm of Okanagan champagne powder makes the resort a vacation destination for families, powder hounds and international tourists alike. Silver Star is also a 2 hour drive away from Big White Ski Resort. (Silver Star also provides summer lift access for mountain biking and hiking from the end of June through to Labour Day).
Alpine Skiing Terrain
Silver Star has an annual snowfall of 700 cm or 23 ft (7.0 m) There are a total of 115 marked runs, with a vertical drop of 760 m (2,500 ft). The elevation of the village is 1,609 m or 5,280 ft (1,610 m) whilst the summit is 1,915 m above sea level (6,280 ft). There is also 60 km of Cross Country trails. Silver Star has a total of 12 lifts: 1 Six-Pack Express chairlift (Comet Six-Pack Express), 2 detachable high-speed quads (Silverwoods Express, Powder Gulch Express), 2 fixed-grip quads (Silver Queen Chair, Alpine Meadows Chair) 1 T-bar (Home Run T-bar), 3 beginner magic carpets, and 2 Tube lifts, on 3,065 acres (12 km2) of skiable terrain.
The resort spans two mountain faces of a mountain valley and has 4 distinct areas:
Vance Creek offers most of the beginner and intermediate runs on the mountain. Therefore it is usually the busiest face of the mountain and has mostly groomed runs along with intermediate and expert runs. Vance Creek is serviced by the "Comet Six-pack Express" which ferries skiers all the way from below the Village base and Silver Woods areas all the way to the summit at 1,915m. The "Summit Chair" is a Mueller double chair that takes skiers directly from the Village to the summit as well.
Attridge is a small area beside Vance Creek which offers a wide variety of glade and groomed runs. The "Alpine Meadows" chair is a fixed grip quad (new for the 06/07 season which replaced the mid t-bar) and offers ski-in/ski-out access to the mountain from the newly developed Alpine Meadows area of the village.
Silver Woods is a recent expansion of the resort which is part of a catchment below the Comet Express and is serviced by the "Silver Woods Express" which is a detachable high-speed quad. Silver Woods offers many intermediate treed and glade runs and is an access point to the hill from the "Knoll Residential Area".
Putnam Creek is an area which introduces skiers to much more difficult terrain than the rest of the mountain and offers to the more experienced skier. Most of the runs in the Putnam Creek area are black diamond and double black diamond runs consisting of steep lines with moguls and tree skiing. The "Powder Gulch Express", a Detachable high-speed quad gives lift access to the many runs and a way out with the "Home Run T-bar" back to the village.
The Early Days
Vernon resident Bert Thorburn became the first person to ski in the Silver Star area in 1930. He rode his bike up to the end of a logging road in the area and then walked a distance following forestry trails to a forest fire lookout. He camped there for the night and skied down the next day. In 1946 the first rope tow was built on Burney Ridge, 800 ft (240 m) long. It was powered by an old four cylinder engine. The cooling system was a 40 gallon water drum hooked up to the radiator. For $.50, you could ski all day. In 1958 the final three kilometers of the Silver Star road is pushed through by local contractor Ross Postill to the current day village area. Construction of two rope-tow lifts and an A-frame day lodge were also built in 1958. In 1959 a poma lift was installed from the 5,000-foot (1,500 m) level at the parking lot to the top of Silver Star Mountain, replacing the rope tow. In 1964 new t-bars were installed to replace the slower rope tows and 1965 a second A-frame structure was added to the day lodge. In 1967 and 1968 the Summit and Yellow Chairs (6,000 feet) built by GMD Mueller were installed, making Silver Star Mountain one of the largest ski areas in Canada.
Silver Star Mountain Resort Era
In 1981 Silver Star Sports purchased by Norm Crerar, Charlie Locke, John Hindle, Rob Marshall and John Gow and becomes Silver Star Mountain Resorts Ltd. The first Nordic trails were also cleared. In 1983 the Putnam Station Hotel is built and is Silver Star's first on hill hotel. From 1984-1990 many new hotels and amenities are built on the hill. In 1990 the Silver Queen chair was built by Doppelmayr and serves as the bunny hill. In 1991 the original Putnam Creek and Vance Creek express quads were built and opened up extensive amounts of terrain. In 2001 the Schumann family, owners of Big White Ski Resort since 1985, reach agreement in principle with the Honourable Judd Buchanan, (Order of Canada), majority shareholder of Silver Star Mountain Resort on the purchase of the majority assets of Silver Star Mountain Resort. In 2002 Silver Star Mountain Resort invests $10 million in resort expansion plan featuring: The Comet Express, a $5.2 million, six passenger, high speed, Leitner-Poma chairlift which replaces the Vance Creek quad. This state-of-the-art lift is the largest of its kind in Canada, 5,993 feet (1,827 m) in length and with a capacity of up to 3,000 passengers per hour. Trip time is under 6 minutes. The Powder Gulch Express replaced the Putnam Creek quad and is also built by Leitner-Poma. This $4.1 million quad has a length of 2,025 metres and provides access to Silver Star's award winning black and double black diamond terrain for over 1,600 snow enthusiasts per hour. $700,000 is also spent on improving Guest Service infrastructure including a new bakery, a new retail shop, a Wonder Carpet beginner lift, and upgrades to the Tube Park. New for the 05/06 season Silver Star Ski Resort announced third new lift in three years, the $5.5 million Silver Woods project. 420 acres (1.7 km2) of never before skied terrain, serviced by a new Leitner-Poma high-speed detachable quad, the "Silver Woods Express". New for the 06/07 season the "Alpine Meadows Chair" a fixed grip quad chair was built in the Attridge area replacing the aging Mid T-bar. For the 07/08 season the Silver Queen chair was reconfigured.
Silver Star is world renowned for its Cross-Country Skiing facilities. Silver Star offers over 60 km of daily groomed Nordic trails for all abilities and age groups. Silver Star is also a training ground for some of the best racers in the world and is a frequent training ground for Olympic athletes. Canadian and International competitions are held at Silver Star every year that showcases some of the best talent in the world.
Silver Star skiers also have access to neighboring Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, allowing them to use over 105 km of some of North America's best Nordic skiing.
Named "Rockstar", Silver Star's terrain park consists of an extensive rail garden and also has an assortment of table top and step up jumps for all abilities. Silver Star also has an Aerial Training Site, a Dual Moguls Race Course, and a race center which hosted the 2005 Canadian Masters Slalom Championships.
Village & Accommodation
The Silver Star village and accommodation developments have been designed with a distinct Victorian alpine theme. There are over 10 hotels and over 100 vacation homes and condos available for vacation rental on or around the mountain village with many being ski-in/ski-out.
Retail & Dining
Silver Star has a selection of gift shops, retail stores, and a grocery store. As far as dining, there are coffee shops, family or fine dining, a wine cellar and a pizza joint.
Silver Star offers an extensive snow school for any age group and ability with over 100 qualified instructors.
- Tube Town
- Outdoor Skating
- Mini Z Snowmobile Park
- Sleigh Rides
- Day spa
- Indoor Rock Climbing
- Fitness Centre
2004 - Silver Star hosts the western edition of Raid the North, a 36-hour adventure race series featuring four-person teams navigating a 150 km wilderness racecourse of paddling, ropes, mountain biking and trekking. The resort amenities and surrounding wilderness draw 27 teams from as far as Washington and Winnipeg.
1999 - 4th annual Kokanee 24 Hours of Adrenalin. Tucked away in the Okanogan Valley, Silver Star Mountain Resort was the host to the 4th annual Kokanee 24 Hours of Adrenalin on the weekend of September 4–5, 1999. Riders participate in Solo, 4 Person-Elite, 5 Person-Open Age, 5 Person-All Female and Corporate-6-10 person categories. Each rider takes a turn riding the course similar to a running relay. At the start riders began by running 700 meters from the start up the mountainside and then back down into the expo area where they hopped on their bikes and headed out onto the 18 km course. Starting in the heart of Silver Star Mountain Resort at 5280 feet, riders began climbing the long, gradual 8.5 km trail 1000 feet to reach the summit and that is not where the climbing stopped. The long gradual climbs were followed by fast downhills and singletrack. The events Solo category draws World Class endurance racers such as BC natives Chloe Lanthier, World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Champion and Greg Blackwell. Both won the Solo category adding another impressive victory to their resumes. Other Solo riders on hand were Silver Star legend DAG (58 years old) placing seventh and Alex Nilsson from Bournaby (65 years old) placing ninth.
- Friday $10 Ski evening & fireworks
- Christmas Eve fireworks & torchlight parade
- New Year's Eve fireworks & torchlight parade
- Weekly Winter events (in season) - Family activities, Wine Tasting, Movie evenings & more