Mary at Silver Star

We’re one week into our ski vacation and we’ve only progressed about 100 miles from the US/Canada border.  We made better miles than that on our bicycles this summer.  Heck, I made better miles than that when I hiked the PCT.  The reason for our slow progress is that we keep encountering good ski areas in British Columbia.

We’ve skied the last two days at Sovereign Lake Nordic Center near Vernon, B.C.  We found the relatively flat terrain here we were hoping for after the tortuous hills we encountered at Nickel Plate.  It was nice to do some relatively effortless gliding for a change.  The trails here are well groomed and wind their way through dense forests of snow-laden, pencil-like fir trees.  Were I five years old, I would have imagined trolls and other fairy tale creatures amongst the trees.

After complaining in my last post to this blog about having the wrong wax on our skis we went tromping through the snow covered streets of Kelowna looking to buy some.  Ski wax, we learned, is not a popular item.  We finally found some in the fifth sporting goods store.

Mary was surprised to learn that the needed wax is hot wax which means it has to be melted onto the skis.  She was aghast to learn that I intended to apply it in our hotel room, fearing that I would make a mess.  I must confess that even I was a little concerned when I plugged in the applicating iron and a cloud of hot vapors spiraled toward the ceiling.  Would it set off the fire alarm?  Would it activate the hotel sprinklers?  Would Mary’s worst fear be realized?

Fortunately no.  My waxing operation left no mess and my jury-rigged apparatus worked fine.  The blue wax greatly improved our glide once we got to the trails.  Without the wax to blame, we have only our less than optimal cardiovascular systems to blame for our slow speed.


You’re looking at the price schedule for lift tickets at the Silver Star Resort.  This is what downhill skiers pay and it is the main reason we don’t downhill ski anymore.  $85?  Yee gads!  When you add together hotel costs, meals, transportation, gear rental, and lift tickets, a family of four would run up costs of at least $1000 per day!  Contrast with that the $10 – $15 per day we have been paying to cross-country ski.  We’ve been skiing our way through Canada for a week now and we haven’t spent $1000 yet.


A snowy day on the trail.

Mary was perusing one of those freebie newspapers you get at hotels and she read about a non-commercial nordic ski area in the hills above Kelowna.  We checked it out the next day.  It was a little hard to find.  We had only a kilometer reading to guide us.  There was no sign marking the turn off.  When we arrived it was snowing and there were no other skiers in the tiny parking lot.

We somewhat apprehensively took to the trail on our classic (as opposed to skate) skis as the falling snow added inches of fluffy powder.  We initially had some glide but the new snow eventually adhered to the bottom of Mary’s skis so that they essentially became snow shoes.  We had the trails to ourselves.  Falling snow makes a forest the most perfect quiet.  Had I not heard the faint shushh of my own skis I would have been in a soundless world.

Next up: Revelstoke, a town about ninety miles north.