Vintage video shows life at Silver Star in the 1960s

Time travel back to the Star

Silver Star Mountain Resort was not always the world-class attraction it is today.

There was a time when it was little more than a snow-covered mountain overlooking the sleepy town of Vernon.

But obviously that has changed over the years as the Star is now a destination for thousands of pow hounds.

Francois Arseneault posted the three-minute long black and white, 16mm footage of the hill from an event held in the mid 1960s.

Arseneault posted the video to the Vernon & Area Community Forum, but other historic videos, as well as motorsport videos, can be found on his Youtube channel CanadaMotorSports/Reel Life.

It was in the 1930s, Vernon’s citizens first discovered the mountain was a superb destination for skiing.

The mountain could only be accessed by trails, and later, a small, unmaintained road which only allowed vehicles halfway up the hill.

In its early days, the hill was only frequented by the most adventurous.

Although the snow at Silver Star was better, the Silver Star Ski Club decided to move to the Birnie Range in the 1940s, an east-facing hillside overlooking Kalamalka Lake on the west side of Highway 97, hoping to make skiing accessible to a wider audience.

On Feb. 9, 1939, the Vernon News reported “the Silver Star Ski Club, which will be host to the second annual Okanagan Valley ski championships, on Sunday, Feb. 19, has completed an addition to the main jump on Birnie Range that should make leaps of 110 to 120 feet possible. Jumping for men and junior boys will be one of the features of the meet.”

It was here that the club started their annual four-way championships, consisting of ski jumping, cross-country, downhill, and slalom events.

Memberships cost between 75 cents for youth and teens, and $2.50 for adults.

In 1948, the club moved its activities away from Birnie Range after a mild winter produced a lack of snow. They tried a couple different locations around Vernon, before deciding the lower elevation was not suitable for skiing and returned to Silver Star.

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