Dave and I spent last weekend skiing at Silver Star, in middle-of-nowhere British Columbia. We had a lovely time, although the snow wasn't quite as powdery as advertised, seeing as it was at or above freezing the whole time we were there. The sticky snow was actually good for me, because there was some steep terrain encountered, and the sticky snow, well, it keeps you in control. I didn't take the camera skiing like I usually do because I wasn't wearing my big jacket (As I said, it was warm. So warm that I was taking my gloves off every lift ride to cool off my hands. Apparently I had a bit of a death grip on my poles.), so there aren't any candid skiing shots. However, I did take some photos. This is a groomer (Snowcat), getting ready to do its thing on Sunday afternoon: There is also a ski lift and some background scenery. And some orange fencing to stop the out of control beginners from crashing into the lift. Always a risk...
Here's a slightly better scenery shot. I didn't take any from the summit (obviously, since I didn't take the camera), but you can get the general idea.
This is a nice shot of Silver Star village:
Most of these buildings are hotels, shops, and restaurants. We stayed at the Bulldog Hotel (below)our first two nights, and had a lovely dinner there Friday night after the $5 night skiing we arrived just in time to take advantage of. I know I shouldn't end a sentence with of, let's not talk about it. The first time it was ending with 'for,' which really isn't much better. C'est la vie.
Here is another mountain shot, taken from the tubing park: I skied most of what you can see there. The mountain was much bigger, this is only a tiny portion. Tubing was SO fun! We only took two runs because it was expensive, and something that you don't really need to do many times to appreciate. Here I am going up the tow rope in my tube - sorry it's blurry, Dave took it while we were both moving. Our last night we stayed in a hostel to save money. This was my first time staying in a hostel, and it wasn't that bad, although the word from those who know is that this is quite a nice hostel compared to most. It was fine. I'm not so into the whole communal aspect of hostels, but we had a private room (no bathroom), and it was only one night so it worked out just fine. Here's our room:Lovely bedspread, no?
Don't we look like we had a nice time? I will say that skiing three days in a row is hard on the legs, and I was glad I've been spending so much time at the gym. Strong leg muscles really come in handy skiing, both for controlling the skis and for recovering from little bobbles caused by the ubiquitous snow snakes. And for skating around, which we did a lot of because there were so many flat traverses. I think I encountered the steepest terrain I've skiied this weekend, and dealt with it quite well. They groom some of their black diamond (difficult) runs at Silver Star, which was great for me. I usually stick to the blue runs (intermediate) because I like to avoid moguls when possible, which crop up on ungroomed black runs (and ungroomed blues I suppose, although ungroomed blue runs are less commonly encountered). So, I enjoyed the groomed black runs, which are groomed with a Snowcat on a winch (I'd LOVE to see that in action). I also had fun skiing through some relatively open glades, which was a new thing for me since none of the ski areas I've been to around Seattle have any gladed areas that aren't crazy steep. I don't do crazy steep + trees. One difficulty is enough!
Silver Star was phenomenally uncrowded. There were no lift lines, and half the time I was the only person on a given run, which was really nice. AND, there weren't very many snowboarders, probably due to the frequent flat traverses, which are hell on a snowboard (so I hear). I would definitely go back to Silver Star, although if we do this next year we're thinking of going to Red Mountain. Also in BC, but a bit closer to home...