Silver Star Mountain Resort, Kelowna, BC, Canada | CruiseBe
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Silver Star Mountain Resort

Activities, Natural sights
ski resort, skiing, nature, activities

Silver Star Mountain Resort (Silver Star) is a ski resort located near Silver Star Provincial Park in the Shuswap Highland of the Monashee Mountains, 22 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 provides summer lift access for mountain biking and hiking from the end of June through to September.


Alpine Skiing Terrain

Silver Star has an annual snowfall of 700 cm or 23 ft (7.0 m) There are a total of 128 marked trails, 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: one Six-Pack Express chairlift (Comet Six-Pack Express), two detachable high-speed quads (Silverwoods Express, Powder Gulch Express), two fixed-grip quads (Silver Queen Chair, Alpine Meadows Chair) one T-bar (Home Run T-bar), three beginner magic carpets, and two tube lifts, on 3,269 acres (13 km2) of skiable terrain.

The resort spans two mountain faces of a mountain valley and has four 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 1,915 m. 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 developed area called Alpine Meadows.

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 was 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 in 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, reached an 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 invested heavily in new chair lifts and opening up new terrain followed by further expansion in 2005/06 to open up the Silver Woods ski area. 2005 was also the expansion of the Silver Star Bike Park to start using the Comet Six-Pack chairlift for biking. New trails were cut and all of the existing trails were extended all the way down to the bottom of the Comet chair.

Nordic Skiing

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. Although it lacks the systems in place for young families such as group lessons for children, ski pulk rentals, family fee structure. 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.

Terrain park

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.

Silver Star Bike Park

Expanded in 2005 to start using the Comet Six-Pack the bike park features more than 50 km of downhill bike trails and more than 30 km of XC trail. The bike park features a 4 bike carrier lift system that uses a bike carrier on every second chair so you hardly ever wait in line. Biking terrain (XC and DH combined) consists of roughly 23% beginner green trails, 43% intermediate blue trails and 34% advanced and expert trails.

On-mountain activities

Apart from skiing and snowboarding, there are several other on-mountain activities. These are:

  • Tube Town
  • Outdoor Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Mini Z Snowmobile Park
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowshoeing
  • Day spa
  • Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Fitness Centre
  • Bike Park
  • Hiking trails

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