.....with the sounds of fun! That's right - we're only halfway through another OK Valley ski season but there's still a half season left to enjoy. And with this year's mild winter (sans that one cold snap) it's a perfect time to get up to your local hill and enjoy the beauty of the valley we live in.
Not a skier? Not a snowboarder? Not a problem! Our local mountain resorts offer more than just the slopes. Here's a quick overview of what they have to offer for residents and visitors alike.
Known to us locals as 'Biggie', this hill has more than just skiing and snowboarding to offer for sure! Located only 56 kms from downtown Kelowna, did you know this resort mountain is the 2nd largest in BC? (Whistler/Blackcomb is first.) This modest resort area opened in 1963 with only two T-Bars. Now with 118 designated Alpine trails and over 25 km of Nordic trails there's a run for skiers and boarders of all skill levels. Guests can stroll through the village, shopping and dining in world-class restaurants and pubs. Try snowshoeing, ice skating, ice wall climbing, take a horse drawn sleigh ride, go snowmobiling or grab a tube and toboggan the day away! With rental accommodations from hostels to chalets and spa rooms, there's something for every budget and mountain skill-set. See more at www.bigwhite.com
Crystal Mountain and Telemark
Crystal Mountain Resort is a small day-use ski area near Westbank, BC. It has two chair lifts and a T-bar and has 30 designated runs most of which are groomed. It was long known as Last Mountain Ski Resort, but changed its name to Crystal Mountain Resort in the 1990s. Crystal Mountain offers lessons for skiing and snowboarding as well as offering rentals for snowshoeing. Only 15 minutes from the center of Westbank this is a great and affordable little hill for a quick day trip or even a couple of afternoons. And Telemark just below the ski hill offers a 2500 acre facility with a modern, spacious chalet with heated washrooms and snack bar. They have over 50 km of groomed trails for both classic and skate cross-country skiing, 4.3 km of lit trails, biathlon range, 62 km of snowshoe trails, classic and skate ski and snowshoe rentals and lessons. See more about both locations here www.crystalresort.com & www.telemarkx-c.com
Twenty-two km north of the city of Vernon, Silver Star's snow season runs from late November to mid-April weather permitting. Silver Star has been awarded as "Best Small Resort in North America" and has also won numerous awards on being one of the best family resorts in Canada and in having the best groomed runs in the country. The annual snowfall of approximately 700 cm of Okanagan champagne powder makes the resort a vacation destination for snow lovers of all kinds! Silver Star also provides summer lift access for mountain biking and hiking from the end of June through to Labour Day. The area also offers offers over 60 km of daily groomed Nordic trails for cross country skiers and snowshoers. The village and accommodation developments have been designed with a distinct Victorian Alpine theme. There are more than 10 hotels to choose from and more than 100 vacation homes and condos available for vacation rental on or around the resort village with many offering a ski-in/ski-out feature. The area also features skating, indoor rock climbing, snowmobiling, tube tobogganing, sleigh rides and a day spa. See more at winter.skisilverstar.com