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Visitor reviews for SilverStar Ski Resort
May 06, 2013
George Lamb from United Kingdom
In March we spent 2 weeks skiing in Silver Star and it was amazing! The resort is very small compared to European resorts or larger N. American resorts such as Whistler or Vail. It is located in the Okanagen region, an hours drive from Kelowna Airport or 5 hours drive from Vancouver.
In fact, it has just 5 chair lifts but the variety of runs off each lift was impressive. On the frontside of the mountain there were ample greens and blue runs for you to cruise around on and perfectly suited to beginners and intermediates. In the Silverwoods area it is all about tree skiing with wide open gladed areas and also some tighter trees for those who like to turn quickly between them. On the backside is where the fun happens with lots of blacks and double blacks for any level of skier to be challenged. And the snow that covers the runs is superb: light, fluffy powder that falls from the sky regularly.
The village, like the resort, is small but perfectly formed. All the buildings are painted bright colours and it has a very romantic charm. Accommodation can be found to suit all budgets but we managed to find an absolute bargain condo on ownerdirect.com. The condo, like almost all others in the resort, was ski in/ski out which is brilliant; modern furnishings and had it’s own hot tub!
We booked the kids in to ski school for morning lessons for a week and ourselves in for two morning lessons.The kids had the best time with them actually asking to go back for the afternoons! The instructors had a great rapport with the children and were very patient and understanding. They made the lessons fun while teaching them some great skills and technique and we saw their skiing improve leaps and bounds. Our instructor was also great. As we are advanced skiers we just wanted a few tips to tidy up our skills and we had certainly got that, we even got filmed and had an opportunity to watch it back with the instructor which really helps to see what we were doing wrong. I would return to Silver Star for the ski school alone! Seriously, can’t recommend it enough!
There is a good variety of dining options and bars/pubs but no nightclubs as the resort is much more suited to families. Our favourite apres stop was Long Johns, where a pitcher of beer will only set you back $12 and a huge burger with the best sweet potato fries for another $15. We also loved The Den which is a bistro style restaurant and bar with main courses around $25 and drinks are very reasonably priced with again a pitcher costing only $12. If you want to cook for yourself or get bored of the on-mountain offerings the large town of Vernon is a 20 minute drive down the mountain.
The lift pass is called the ‘My One Pass’ as all for the same price you get access to the ski lifts, nordic trails, tubing and ice skating! They have really positioned themselves as a fantastic family resort and also have a climbing wall and a bowling alley.
Next year we are definitely going back. There is enough at Silver Star to keep you entertained for at least a week and you could combine your trip with other nearby resorts such as Big White (about 1.5 hours drive away), Revelstoke (2 hrs) and Sun Peaks (2.5 hrs).
Overall: 4.2. Based on 24 votes and 9 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of SilverStar.
Public Transport: 4.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to SilverStar, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near SilverStar, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.7
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in SilverStar.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.8
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at SilverStar, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) SilverStar is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) SilverStar relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.1
(1) There are no snow groomers at SilverStar, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at SilverStar are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) SilverStar is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at SilverStar, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.3
(1) SilverStar usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.6
(1) The staff at SilverStar are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at SilverStar are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.7
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) SilverStar has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at SilverStar, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.9
(1) Not even a kicker at SilverStar, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around SilverStar, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) SilverStar has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.3
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.3
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.1
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.1
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.1
(1) Overall, SilverStar is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.2
(1) Overall, SilverStar is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
January 19, 2013
Tom from United Kingdom
Silver Star is a great resort near Vernon offering a wide variety of ski terrain as well as other activities to keep the whole family amused. The quaint village has a number of good restaurants and bars but don't expect much crazy late night life (other than the saloon on the weekends). There is tubing, bowling, indoor climbing, snow mobiles and ice skating to keep the kids entertained after a day on slopes. There is great skiing terrain from green runs for beginners all the way to a large number of double black runs on the backside for the more initiated. Kids will love exploring all the tree trails and Peanut trail is a firm favourite. All marked runs are well maintained with a number well groomed nightly. The ski school has brilliant instructors that got us and the kids skiing all over mountain with confidence. Our instructor was patient and really enthusiastic throughout our lesson. The kids actually looked forward to going back the next day! There was also an option for our 3 year old to have a 1 hour private lesson while spending the day in the Star Kids daycare and it was great to see him sliding about and working on his snowplough turns.
February 25, 2012
wes from Canada
Haha, anyone who judges a resort based on the groomers isn't a real snowboarder/skier. I live at Silver Star - great people, great range of terrain. The front side is full of trails that snake through the trees due to the biking in the summer. Silver woods is a nice open gladed area that has little kickers to hit all the way down, great place for any skill level. If you're looking for a rush check out the back side, steep chutes and pillow lines will give it to you. The only thing I can complain about is the lack of snow but I'm just used to the west coast and there's never anyone here so fresh snow stays fresh for days. In closing, my suggestion to some other reviewers is to go explore the trees, you might have some fun instead of judging the grooming all day.
February 16, 2012
Sean from United Kingdom
Now snowing again at Silverstar so good covering of powder 16th Feb. Runs are well groomed with plenty of fast blues with rollers for the boarders or intermediate family/group skiing. Ticket here gives you access to Big White which is a great day out for some different tracks and conditions. Overall, compares well with the Alps but with much better guest services.
December 04, 2011
Martin Simons from Canada
Reading another reviewer's comments, I was doing nothing but nodding my head - after spending my youth growing up and skiing Vancouver Island - I moved to the interior again for the search of the soft snow.
Silver Star was a disappointment - after having myself spending thousands of hours grooming - I was shaking my head - track marks - everywhere.
March 29, 2011
Chad Davie from Canada
Silver Star..where can I start. After moving from the coast this winter to experience this interior champagne powder I was in for a surprise.
The mountain seems to have a fun looking village but on closer inspection you notice it's just the same overpriced tourist trap goods located all around.
There is no main day lodge like other hills have, they just have a run-down small area tucked away downstairs for people who bring their own food. It's hard enough to meet people at this resort due to the 3 bars as it is.
The grooming is laughable. Having spent over 4000+ hours in snowcats - conventional and winchcats - I am ashamed to see what my brethren have (not)accomplished. There are trackmarks usually everywhere once the snow becomes "packed powder" and I don't think anyone on the team has used a blade before (the big multifunction plow on the front to get rid of moguls/ churn the snow to soften it for the tiller).
If there is a safety manager at this resort they should be having a strong word with the grooming crew.
When it snows - expect amazing dry powder! I've been shown the light so to speak - from my wet heavy coast days.
Unfortunately, when it does snow - it averages 3-8 cm of freshies. So it goes quick.
All around the terrain selection is nice. But in all true realities - I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.
Big White, just a medium distance drive away, has lots more terrain (owned by the same people though... so expect the same quality grooming and arrogant help).
Revelstoke is also close and have amazing terrain, and no crowds! and it is light on the wallet too! I would suggest here over anywhere else locally.
If it was "my mountain" like the advertising campaign suggests, I would be embarrassed.
Short season, no (or very, very rare) deep snow days, expensive lift tickets, a joke of a local discount, for dollars per acre of skiing - shop around.
February 09, 2009
A Bond from United Kingdom
Had 3 days skiing in Feb 2009 at Silver Star and very enjoyable it was too. Silver Star has small acreage but is well spaced out & arranged so there is a good sense of travelling around and each area has its own feeling: Silver Woods area has nice short cruisy blues and trees/glades to play in, Powder Gulch is a better mix of blues and blacks (some genuine double blacks here), Attridge is a bit stuck out of the way but because of that was always empty with nice tree runs and good snow; main quad lift area mostly longer cruisy blues.
There is a massive terrain park at Silver Star with full range of ramps/rails/hits for beginners and gnarly dudes. Only complaint would be that the park is not served by its own lift so you have to ride down to the bottom of the main quad, ride it all back up again and go half way down to the start of the park. Vertical is limited but fast lifts do their best to help out to achieve big vertical over the day's skiing. Village is tiny at Silver Star - this is a one street town - but has all you need: 4 bars/restaurants, each with a different atmosphere. Long Johns always popular with down to earth feel, very extensive menu & extensive BC wine list. The Saloon is a massive place with pool table, table hockey (this is Canada after all) and big screen tv, reasonable menu but fairly standard grub. The Den is cosy with daily changing menus; good grub when I ate there. Bulldog Hotel tries to be more sophisticated and has commensurately more expensive food menu; ribs must be eaten to be believed. All offered apres-ski special deals on food/booze. On the mountain at Silver Star, there is the Paradise Camp under the Powder Gulch lift which serves breakfast from 9.30am and lunches from 11am. Only managed brekkie there (which was always filling) but lunch menu looked attractive - bulk and quality can't be beaten. Outside the 'village' there was little to be done, so I recommend staying as close as possible if you want 'apres' or evening drinks/nibbles.
This is a great beginners resort & I can see why they market themselves at Silver Star as a 'family resort' but even adventurous intermediates could enjoy 3 or so days here without being bored. Longer than that would not satisfy. For visitors from Britain, depending on your ski level/time available, I would recommend combining this with another resort for a 7/10 day trip. I would suggest Big White or Sun Peaks for twinning.
July 26, 2005
Kerry & Jackie from New Zealand
We spent a winter here, it was great, weather was mostly fine with snow at night, very few days where we didn't want to ski. Temps ranged from -26deg to 5deg, winter snow was dry & powdery, spring was great corn. Nice tree skiing, a lot of skiable terrain, easy stuff on the sunny side (Vance Creek), more challenging at the back (Putnam Creek)where some runs were almost vertical, yet over there was also the smoothest & most even gradient we'd ever skied on - Gypsy Queen. Nice little eatery over at the halfway station on that side too. Silver Star Village is very pretty, always something on, good choice of accommodation & eateries, swimming pool, gym, and night skiing as well. As Kiwis, we loved the ski-in/out of the place, so easy to drop off a jacket at your lodgings & just click back on & ski off down Skunk Hollow to the chairlift for another run... there were a few races there, an Over-the-Hill downhill for masters-types, with local GS & slaloms now & then. The FIS course was a good one, right length & pitch. Christmas Bowl was often moguls and there were all sorts of off-piste places that begged to be explored, all trails (usually)got us back to a lift base unless we really got carried away with tree-skiing & tried to go all the way to Vernon... Apparently there are a few bears about & also the odd cougar track - we saw photos of a bear breaking into someone's house, he looked friendly. The mountain-host people are great, say Hi to Tom & Betty Campbell if you run into them. We had a great time there, we will be back when funds permit!!!
January 15, 2004
Dirk Terpstra from Canada
Small resort with great skiing possibilities. Typical Canadian style.
Friendly runs on the front side (Vance Creek) and nasty steep ones on the back side (Putnam).
Visit footloosecanada.com for more info.