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10 Unique Ways to Explore Silver Star This Winter
For a small mountain town, there sure is a long list of things to do in the winter months. But, Silver Star offers so much more than an impressive bucket list of winter activities to try. This is the kind of place that feels like a home away from home. A place where you can feel welcomed by the locals. A place where a shared table at the local coffee shop can turn into a lasting friendship.
Here are 10 very special ways to explore the community and its interesting people and places.
1. Ski or Ride “The Back Side”
If gleeful powder turns are your thing, you’ll be spoiled for choice at SilverStar Mountain Resort, where 3,282 acres (1,328 hectares) are frequently blanketed with double-digit snowfalls. First-time visitors are often pleasantly surprised to learn that the cruisy frontside of the mountain only scratches the surface of the skiing and riding experience. In fact, 45% of the terrain is rated most difficult to extreme, with similar fall lines to some of North America’s largest resorts. Once dubbed the “hairy back side” by a local, Putnam Creek is a gnarlier playground, with chutes and steeps accessed off the aptly named Powder Gulch Chairlift.
2. Take a Snow Cat to Paradise Camp
There’s nothing quite like a moonlit night in the mountains, and the evening snow cat and dining adventure is a one-of-a-kind way to experience the magic and feel the soul of the Monashee Mountains. By day, Paradise Camp is a cozy ski lodge to grab a hot chocolate and a meal between laps on the Back Side. By night, the lantern-lit mountain hut offers a warm and inviting dining experience with a three-course, Okanagan-inspired meal prepared by local chefs.
3. Appreciate Canadian Contemporary Art
Celebrate Canadian art and meet the locals at Gallery Odin. For 20 years, Kalman and Maria Molnar have curated a private collection of stunning artworks from across the country and right here in the Okanagan. The salmon-coloured character home, nestled in the village, is an intimate art experience with two annual exhibitions (winter and summer).
4. Cross-Country Ski in the Tracks of Olympians
This town has a reputation for being one of North America’s top Nordic skiing destinations on the international circuit, which is why it’s a favourite for resident and visiting elite athletes alike. Together, SilverStar Mountain Resort and Sovereign Lake boast Canada’s largest continuously groomed network of cross-country trails and the nation’s biggest cross-country ski and snowshoe club. Thanks to consistent snow throughout the season, Nordic skiing runs from November to April, bookended by training camps, and competitive race events. The marquis event of the season, Sovereign2SilverStar Ski Marathon, takes place April 6-7, 2024.
5. Discover Ski-Themed Legends and Lore
Have you ever wondered where the name Silver Star came from? Or how skiing got its start in this Okanagan haven? Discover old tales, meet ski pioneers, and learn community history when you take the Silver Star Mountain Museum’s free self-guided walking tour. The journey begins at Pinnacles Suites, with key stops at the Chilcoot Lodge and Vance Creek Hotel, and Silver Star Village.
Photo courtesy of the Vernon Museum.
6. Glide, Ride, and Slide Your Way to a Multi-Sport Day
Have you ever been skiing and biking on the same day? Keep the adrenaline pumping long after your day on the slopes is done and venture out for more snowy adventures. Your all-inclusive ticket gives you full access to snowshoe trails, Tube Town, Brewer’s Pond outdoor skating rink, and the SilverStar Mountain Resort cross-country skiing venue.
7. Savour Pastries Baked at 1,600 m (and other delicious eats)
Frank Berkers, owner of Bugaboos Bakery and Cafe, is the local expert when it comes to baking at elevation (it’s harder than you might think!). He uncovered the secret from a fellow chef in the Pyrenees Mountains and has been whipping up European-inspired pastries from his shop in the mid-mountain village for two decades. Sweet tooth favourites include fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, eclairs, and cream puffs bathed in Belgian chocolate. Soup, house-ground coffee and sandwiches round out the menu.
8. Wine and Dine
The Okanagan Valley is decidedly “having a wine moment,” especially now that Vogue Magazine declared the area a must-visit wine region in 2022. Chefs who call Silver Star home take inspiration from local foodie culture, dreaming up interesting menu items sourced from Okanagan farms, vineyards, and artisan makers. Whether you’re sampling mixologist-crafted cocktails at Black Pine Social and indulging in an elegant, chef-prepared dinner at The Den, you’ll find plenty of ways to taste the terroir in the village. Sample local wines and seasonal ingredients from the Okanagan at a variety of delicious eateries, restaurants, and pubs throughout the village.
9. Meet a Local Ski Pioneer
Maybe it’s the great snow. Maybe it’s the amazing community. But, this town has a habit of attracting Canadian skiing legends of all ages. Pop into the Village Ski Shop to say hello to owner and skiing hall of famer, Brian James, and ask him about his decades-long career in the industry. Hit the slopes and you might see Paralympic Gold Medallist Josh Dueck with his family, or progress your Nordic skills under the wing of an elite Biathlon athlete Karen Messenger.
10 . Celebrate in the Mountains
Powder-filled adventures aside, the schedule is packed with inclusive mountain, art, and culture events to look forward to this winter, beginning with the annual Light Up ceremony in December. Make the most of your visit to Silver Star, whether it be celebrating pride, dancing at open-air mountain concerts, challenging yourself at a sporting event, or cheering on others. What’s more, local bars and restaurants offer game nights and live music throughout the season to keep the excitement going. Check out the events calendar for a list of things to do this winter.
The Silver Star experience is all about great people, playful adventure, and community spirit. Start planning your visit and experience the magic.
Photo credits: Brian Goldstone, Jackson Parker, Lianne Viau, Anna Sellers, Substrate Studios