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Big White or Silver Star

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've cashed in some frequent flyer points and booked a trip to Kelowna for March 1 to 4. This is going to be on the cheap (hostel bed for $25 a night), but I need to decide whether it's worthwhile to rent a car so I can do both resorts (costs $120 more than taking the airport shuttle to one). Should I split the trip between the two resorts, or should I concentrate on one? And if so which one? :

I ski a mix of blues and blacks, don't mind a bit of bumps, and need to improve my powder technique.
post #2 of 7
I would do both as they have somewhat different character as ski areas.

Backside Putnam Creek area of Silver Star has long steep trails, reminds me somewhat of Telluride's chair 9.

Big White gets more snow, has some open alpine terrain at the top.
post #3 of 7
Frontside of Silver Star has lots of blue/black runs with a bit of bumps and lots of groomed stuff. Great if you like to cruise. Never been to Big White but may get there this year.
post #4 of 7

Silver Star is the clear winner!

The village is more compact/quaint/attractive.
The skiing is MUCH more challenging and varied on the "back" side (Powder Gulch) than anything at Big White.
Fog is almost never an issue on the back side, and the trails face north, so they are cold, diminishing crowds and keeping the snow good.
The traverses to and from the trails on the back side are a mixed blessing. New snow lasts, quite literally, days on the further out trails. Once had six CONSECUTIVE first-track foot deep powder runs by gradually fanning further and further out on the traverse.
The front side has terrific sun exposure for spring skiing, if that's the weather you happen to hit.
There is world class, gorgeous cross country skiing for the afternoons in spring after the lifts close for the day, or just as a change of pace if the downhill is subpar on a given day.
The owner of Bugaboo's Bakery runs a great shop with primo hot chocolate.
It's one of the best places on Earth. But please tell noone!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Doing Both

I opted for a suite at Big White's Whitefoot Lodge (staggering distance to the bar I understand) and a rental car so I can do at least one day at Silver Star. It's a little more expensive than my original bare bones approach, but it should also provide me with some working space at night for marking assignments. Three nights at around C$90 per night through owner direct would seem to fit in. Surprisingly, all the budget rooms available through central booking were already taken for my days(but not any of the surrounding period). Is there something happening I should know about during the first week of March?:
post #6 of 7
It could be Spring Break for the Grade School set (a larger block of time off that many school districts observe instead of a week off at Easter), or Reading Week for colleges or university students. Don't really know exactly cause I've been out of both loops for a longer time that I'd like to admit.
post #7 of 7
You get in just under the March Break wire,they don't break until the 9th.Backside of SS has some very challenging stuff,try Cowabunga if you've got the legs.They call Big White Whiteout,cuz when it dumps you can't see anything up top.No worries though.Just go play in the glades all day.Doesn't sound like you are an extreme skier,so my vote would be Big White.Lots of chances to work on the pow form.
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