The Search for the Missing Winter (hint: it’s not in Vancouver)
To say it’s been a mild winter on the West Coast is putting it lightly. Temperatures have hovered in double figures, our heating is now off during the day and I ate brunch outside on a patio this weekend. Down in the city it’s been amazing to have spring arrive so early, but it’s not so welcome in the mountains. All three local resorts have suspended their winter operations, and it sounds like Whistler might not be far behind. I have a season pass at Grouse Mountain and managed to make it up three times before they closed. If I’m honest, February has been so busy that I would barely have had time to make it up once a week anyway, but that doesn’t stop me feeling a bit cheated by Mother Nature. Nowhere near as cheated as the resorts must feel I’m sure, especially as there’s nothing they can do about it. Grouse have offered winter pass holders unlimited ziplining and tours of the viewing platform at the top of their wind turbine which I actually think is a pretty cool gesture and one I can’t wait to take advantage of. Unlimited ziplining!
This still leaves me with the issue of a snowboard and no snow, a problem that I had to go further afield to solve. The man and I decided to swap sunny Vancouver for snowy Vernon over the February long weekend, and guess what. We found winter! When we arrived at our Air BnB apartment our host told us that the area is experiencing record snowfall – the highest in 83 years. Unfair, much? Although it was a particularly warm weekend (such is life), there was still lots of snow on the ground. We walked in it, hiked in it and finally snowboarded and skied in it when we took a trip to Silver Star Mountain Resort.
I really loved Silver Star and I’m so glad we picked it for our first resort outside of Vancouver. The resort itself is very small and ‘cute’ with rows of multi-coloured buildings housing restaurants, hotels and a few shops. It’s absolutely tiny compared to Whistler in terms of size and population (especially Australians) and way more laid back. The mountain itself is pretty sizeable and there’s a front side and a back side. We only had a few hours as the dog was at daycare so we opted for the beginners lift ticket, which is an absolute bargain at $35 for the day. We were allowed to use three lifts; two were for small beginner zones and one was the Summit Chair which starts right in the Village and has access to a few blue and black runs. We stuck with the Summit Chair and had a great afternoon enjoying short lift lines, bluebird skies and almost powder! When we were done we headed to The Den Bar and Bistro for an amazing burger with everything in it….pretty much literally everything. YUM.
We loved Silver Star so much that we’re hoping to get back for a long weekend at some point this season to take advantage of their lift tickets and accommodation deals. They have some amazing luxury ski in-ski out lodges with personal hot tubs right on the balcony, I wish we could afford to stay there! Until then I’ll spend my time staring at the Vancouver
golf courses mountains and keeping my fingers crossed for some frozen precipitation, and a lot of it.