Mountain Biking on Silver Star Mountain - Vernon, Okanagan
Activity:To tell you the truth, I never knew Silver Star had mountain-biking. My Dad suggested it and I thought, why not? But I didn't have high hopes. Boy was I wrong! I had an epic day at this gigantic mountain. The mountain opens at 11 o'clock and I think I was one of the first people to take the chairlift up. Silver Star has Canada's largest six-passenger mountain bike chairlift. It's called the Comet Express and it'll have you standing on the mountaintop in less than eight minutes. The first thing you'll see is a huge trail map and a training center for beginners. It's all downhill from there.
My first run was called World Cup, a black diamond hump run, which definitely loosened me up. If you're not advanced, don't worry, you can still try it. Just take the deak-out options. Next I tried Rock Star, perfect for doing tricks. It has big jumps which give you plenty of air time. Then I discovered World Cup, my favorite. I liked this run because it had a huge 30-40 foot corner ramp which was awesome.
I also tried the new run Super Star. This is the run I should've done first. It has a lot of smaller jumps and berms, which let you ease into the groove of mountain biking. Another amazing run is Double Dog. It reminded me of the North Shore, lots of ladders and stunts. Flow is a technical run and it packs a thrill a minute.
After five hours of biking though, I can tell you your hands and legs start to hurt. It becomes that much harder, but you always have to stay focused, otherwise you'll be saying, "Hello," to the dirt. I've introduced myself a few times to the dirt. Silver Star is one of a kind. Plenty of trails will supply you with fun till you fall over in tiredness.
If you're the lone biker in your family, you can persuade everybody else into going to Silver Star by telling them this:
- Silver Star has lots of wild flowers, by far the most I've ever seen. Jen and Coleman even found wild strawberries. My parents must've shot an entire roll of film.
- Silver Star has paved paths you can ride your bike on, and they're not too hilly-perfect for little kids.
- Silver Star has a small pond near the parking lot with millions of tadpoles. My sister, Jen, was scooping tadpoles out of the water with her bare hands.
- Silver Star is only 20 minutes away from Vernon, which has Kalamalka Lake. Kalamalka Lake has a sandy beach area equipped with docks and a concession. You can spend a couple of hours in Kalamalka Lake without ever feeling cold. Need I say more?
Expense rating: Mountain biking is not an inexpensive sport. Dad says you need deep pockets.
: Silver Star has some of the best runs I've ever been on. There isn't a whole pile of people up there, so you don't have to wait for the chairlift or worry about ramming into the back of somebody else as you're biking down the mountain.
Also Silver Star has a repair shop and a bike rental. You can even rent a Devinci if you want to.
My family was grateful there was something else to do other than mountain biking. They went biking, had lunch, took a hike, and visited the candy store, which made Jen and Cole's day. Mom was saying the houses at Silver Star look like doll houses. I heard you have to use at least six colours of paint on the outside of your house.
Details:Silver Star is about 20 minutes outside of Vernon. Website: www.skisilverstar.com . Check out my other mountain bike activities: Mountain Biking on the North Shore, Mountain Biking at Apex Mountain - Penticton, Okanagan, and Mountain Biking on Mount Washington - Courtenay, Vancouver Island.
Area:Okanagan Valley (Silver Star Mountain is NOT in the Greater Vancouver area, but in the Okanagan Valley which is about a 3.5 hour drive).
Educational highlights:The elevation of Silver Star is 6,280 feet. In the summer, the elevation can make quite a difference in temperature from Vernon (20 minutes away). When we left Vernon the temperature was 37 degrees Celsius, by the time we arrived at Silver Star the temperature was 19 degrees celsius.
Fun for the adult?:Of all the mountain we visited this summer, I think Mom and Dad enjoyed Silver Star the most.