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Big White / Silver Star

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just wondered if anyone has skied/stayed at Big White and it's sister, Silver Star. How is the skiing, what are the best dates to ski there, what are accomodations like, which are the best places to stay????

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Should the lack of responses tell me that nobody goes here. Does that mean no lines and nobody on the slopes?

If you have an opinion on Big White or Silver Star, please post it here.

post #3 of 9
interior BC is a wonderful place, especially in the winter, even in a bad one like last year.
I think both places were discussed fairly extensively in some threads towards the end of last season. You ought to go back and check.
Big White is a much larger resort, further from Kelowna, and you pretty much need to stay on the hill. Silver Star has wonderful terrain, is a training center for the Canadian Nordic program and has a very kitchy neo-Victorian base village--and it is only about 15 miles from Vernon. Vernon and Kelomna are big enough--well over a 100,000 between them--that local traffic on the weekends is noticeable at both Big White and Silver Star.
Now that the resorts are under common (I thin Aussie) ownership, their is a fifty buck helicopted shuttle between the two of them. I don't even know if that is fifty dollars US or Canadian.
Short conclusion--don't go to either of these places unless you are willing to take on powder, terrain and a definitely non-US holiday atmosphere.
post #4 of 9
I love Silver Star, it's an awesome mountain and great place for a family vacation. Lots of on hill accomodation. They often call it ski out walk in (5 minute walk off the trail to the place but ski out the door). Lots for kids to do at night. Somewhat limited eating choices for dining out. You can order groceries on the internet and have them at your door when you arrive. Kids have to be pretty mobile as the mountain layout is a bit funny for the best terrain and you traverse a lot to get to and from different areas. They've always had a great ski school and the new director is one to keep up that rep. Lots of kids programs too. Best time is probably mid January to end of march. Can get pretty goopy in April but depends on the year. The mountain features great grooming on some steeper fall line terrain and also big round bumps on long steep consistent pitches. Not a lot of high alpine skiing there but lots of snow below tree line so you don't necessarily miss it.

I don't know big White that well but certainly don't like the aesthetics or density of the village. As mentioned above Silver Star's village is very quaint and nicely done with consistency in theme. I believe Big White offers a lot of intermediate terrain, not as much high end and the steeper stuff is more alpine that is hard to access as they get a lot of fog/cloud. That goes along with the fact they get a lot of snow. The lay out is more centralized and might be better for small kids to get around the mountain on. Yes they are the same owner now and Australian, I think it's the guy who owns Persisher. That means they make it very easy for you to do a transfer between mountains for a split holiday. Helicopter option or about 1.5 hour drive. I'm sure they offer a shuttle but I'm not sure if it involves an airport stop. Airport is in between the two and about 45 minutes from airport to on hill accomodation either one.
post #5 of 9
It over two years since my visit and did not stay at either village. We had a vehicle and stayed at B&B's close to the mountain as it was cheaper. Vernon is close enough to commute each day, and has a good range of restaurants. My meal at a greek place called something like Dimitris was excellent, and you usually cant go wrong at 'Earls'.

Stayed at a B&B 10 miles from Kelowna, on the way to Big White, and the drive as a real drag each day. Next time I'd stay in the Big White village. I thought the Big White village did not have the atmosphere of Silver Star. Okay, Silver Star might seem tacky, but it appealed to me more than Big White's spread out village cente, had no appeal and felt almost 'empty'.

As for terrain, Silver Star's Putman Creek side is challenging enough for anybody, plenty of double and triple black runs. At Big White, venture over to the Gem Lake chair, longer runs and a lot more black runs. On a week day we had these runs to ourselves, just awesome.

I was only at each resort for two days, so cannot consider myself an expert.
post #6 of 9
Has anyone visiting Big White or Silver Star had an opportunity to visit Sun Peaks since all the expansion? How does it compare?
post #7 of 9
Went to SPeaks in January: LONG, WIDE Runs, although not very steep; GREAT village, although small, which may be why it is great. Good size mountain for 4-5 days. Once they replace a VERY slow lift on far left side it will have a very good system (at the moment it has 3 express quads).

Will definitely go back again, and will go to SStar and BWhite as well.

post #8 of 9
Originally posted by Aaron:
Has anyone visiting Big White or Silver Star had an opportunity to visit Sun Peaks since all the expansion? How does it compare?
I haven't been to Sun Peaks for 2 or 3 years but it's not a place I'd hurry back to. Ok hill but some lift issues as mentioned above. Some awesome grooming on steep open runs. The village was coming along but not a ton of ameneties. My impression was it's a nice hill but they have a real big resort attitude and it's a long ways from being a big resort yet. Worst of both worlds. I think Silver Star or Big White has it all over Sun Peaks.
post #9 of 9
I was there for a week this season, I arrived on Jan 23rd, its an awesome place to stay, I stayed in one of the vacation homes, it was the green joint right at the top of the Silver Queen chair.

The skiing is really good especially over the putnam creek side, the village is wonderfull with a few good restaurants especially the putnam station.

I liked Red Mt and Fernie better for the quality of the mountain. Silver star was the nicest to stay at though.

Hope that helps.

[ June 13, 2003, 06:05 PM: Message edited by: FLI355 ]
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