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Big white or silver star?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

This is for next years march break (16-21) for four ski days. I like glades and steeps, and my dad more enjoys blacks and blues. We both want to ski powder while we are there. So which one is better? and is there any other ski resort in Canada that has good snow and a variety of runs for both of us?

post #2 of 18
Silver Star has plenty of steeps and really steeps. It has some glades too. The blue runs are wide and uncrowded. The blacks are pretty good too. Snow coverage is OK but not super.

Big White is more focused on the blue crowd but has more snow on average, I think.

Any other ski resorts in Canada with what you want? That's a big place. Whistler comes to mind.
post #3 of 18

Expect a lot of responses about "hold off until the last minute if possible". I'd pick Whistler, personally. Even if it warms up mid mountain, it's usually great from midmountain on up (about 2600' of vertical). Tons of terrain. Nobody can guarantee powder, but Whistler has good odds of new snow. Keep in mind it's near the coast so the snow's heavier. 

 

I'd rather go to Silver Star than big white these days when visiting the okanagan. Silver Star has lots of great off-piste, glades, bumps in addition to lots of groomers. Big White has loads of groomers and caters to a primarily intermediate crowd - and it's busier than the star. 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 7/11/11 at 11:32am
post #4 of 18

I've never been to Silver Star, but I actually loved Big White when I went.  That was March 2005.  I had 1 Sunny and 1 Overcast day.  No Fog.  They had a perfect terrain park and yes plenty of good groomers.  I seem to recall plenty of places to ski glades too, with lots of snow ghosts, even though I was mostly in the park at the time.

post #5 of 18
Silver Star has better vis than Big White. I enjoyed both but preferred SS. Then there is away Red Mtn.
post #6 of 18

Big White is higher, gets a little more snow and a lot more fog.

 

Silver Star has more steeps and bump runs, but most the runs are not very long... Even with all the foggy days that I got in BW last January, I still think you can find more fun options in the trees over there than in SS.

 

In interior BC, I prefer the terrain in Sun Peaks than in BW or SS. It's bigger, has more vertical and variety.

 

 

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the input. My only problem is that silver star looks a bit small to go there four days.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockley Valley View Post

Thank you so much for the input. My only problem is that silver star looks a bit small to go there four days.


You could spend two days at Silver Star and two at Big White. Both areas are owned by the same company and there is a shuttle between them. The airport at Kelowna is closer to Silver Star, but I would bet that there is transportation to the airport from both resorts. Or if you rent a car you could get from Silver Star to Revelstoke in a couple of hours, which could make a good day trip.
post #9 of 18

The Big White-Silver Star shuttle's always seemed really inconvenient when I've been there. http://www.skisilverstar.com/home_showSection_ID_463.html

 

Both shuttles interrupt the ski day--wtf? 

post #10 of 18

Never done SS either (my bad); but Big White is a big areayou should not get bored there.  Either one should offer enough grins and giggles for a 4 day expedition. 

 

If you are worried about variety, how about the Banff areas?  Fly into Calgary, an hour and a half in a rental car and  you are in wonderland.  Should be late enough in the year to be past the worst of the cold, and is there a better view? 

post #11 of 18

Go to whistler they have an amazing early booking deal. They are all ski and stay packages. Up to 45% off. I worked it out for my trip taking the cost of tickets off and I ended up saving 50%. You also basically have your pick for rooms as they are all available.

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages/packages/earlybooking/index.htm

Plus, Whistler is amazing and big.

post #12 of 18

Been to both and can not recommend Silver Star. Housing was eating away at many of the runs and on one you actually had to pole to get around a condo built into the side of a collector run.

 

I'd recommend Big White, which is much larger than Silver Star, and if you wanted an alternate mountain, Crystal is close by (not the Washington one) and Apex, which is a really great hill, is not too far, either.

post #13 of 18
Apex is not in the same league as Silver Star. Apex is a fun little hilll but does not have the terrain SS has,. Yes I have skied both too.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudcult View Post

Been to both and can not recommend Silver Star. Housing was eating away at many of the runs and on one you actually had to pole to get around a condo built into the side of a collector run.



It's true that some housing gets in the way of one run, but it is on the far edge of the front side.  There is lots of terrain that isn't bothered and nearly all of the lodging is ingeniously designed to be ski in ski out.  The advanced and intermediate terrain on the backside is not near anything other than forest so there is no problem at all there.

post #15 of 18

i have skied both extensively 40 years plus they each have their own personality and it depends what you want, Staying in kelowna means an hour to an hour ten minute drive[ss is farther] so you could switch back and forth and sample each, this may be the best option as they can get very different weather patterns, snowfall. If ss has over 90 cm most of the back side is open bw on the other hand needs 250 cm to ski the gem lake life. so late jan to march is the best time, when there is lots of snow
 

post #16 of 18

I haven't skied SS, but we took a family trip to Big White last season and loved it.  I hadn't been for 20 years so it was fun to see how the place had evolved.  Going back this year. 

 

Don't be afraid that there won't be enough for an advanced/expert, there is plenty to keep you occupied for 4 days, or 4 weeks.  Big White may be known for catering to families (which it does well) and it may be known as a place to "cruz the blues" (so would Sun Valley, Vail and Park City, and the entire front range in CO, btw. . . ), but like those venerable places, there is plenty of challenging terrain at BW. . . off the Cliff Chair, Gem Lake, Powder Chair, plus other assorted bump runs through the center of the mountain (typical western "black" runs that are ungroomed).  To be fair, the terrain isn't as intense as Snowbird/Alta, or Whistler, but if you are too much skier to have fun at Big White, you probably should be entering extreme comps.  There is also some fun, low angle glade skiing off Black Forrest, which is great for skiing with the family (my older son and I could pop into those glades and pop back out to find my wife and our younger son on the groomers to the side).  And the real attraction is the light blower snow, if you get lucky.  The top of the main mountain, the portion where the treeline thins out into a series of snow ghosts (off the T-bar), is pretty low angle, but largely ungroomed, so provided that there is decent visibility, it is a great place for lesser skiers to get a taste of 3D conditions.  And it is still fun for stronger skiers (what's not to like about ripping through a foot of blower in and out of the snow ghosts?).

 

Pick one or the other.  4 days isn't long enough to bother with 2 resorts.  And either way, stay at the mountain and ski in/ski out.  That is half the fun - and the point of a destination resort.  No need for a car at either BW or SS and driving 2 hours a day aggregate is a waste of time when there are great, reasonably priced ski in/ski out accomodations. 

 

Pick one or the other, but don't decide against BW because you are afraid there won't be enough advanced/expert terrain for you.  You'll be more than satisfied and more than challenged.

post #17 of 18

Both are good hills, good, not great.

 

Sunpeaks, Red Mountain, Kimberley (for a family style hill), Fernie, Whistler or even Mount Washington on Vancouver Island would ALL be great options. There are so many hills with varying settings, terrain, amenities, it really depends on what you want to do in your 4 days.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gcooker View Post

Both are good hills, good, not great.

 

Sunpeaks, Red Mountain, Kimberley (for a family style hill), Fernie, Whistler or even Mount Washington on Vancouver Island would ALL be great options. There are so many hills with varying settings, terrain, amenities, it really depends on what you want to do in your 4 days.

 



sounds like your just making the list of easily accessed hills that have good skiing. If so be sure to add Apex in with the Okanogan hills,  Revy Kicking Horse, Lake Louise  Sunshine and Panorama are really just a little further up the #1 highway from Sun Peaks. If you go all the way to Fernie can't bypass Castle and Whitefish. 4 days is not enough anywhere. My advice is to take as many as you can each winter and repeat the dosage as long as the legs hold out.  

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