Greg and Cathy in the Okanagans, British Columbia

Cold farewell to Canada

Great views from the peak of Todd Mountain

Some spectacular views from the peak today. Beautiful sunny day, the only problem was the temperature … well into the -20s all day. I risked frost bite taking my hand out of my glove for the photos.  Cathy had a bit of trouble coping with the severe cold and took a while to thaw out in the mountain restaurant. The snow quality was still great and between warming stops we had some good runs.

Last night in Canada tonight. We have had a very special holiday and will never forget the experience.


Snow much fun

Why don't people see me? Anyone would think I look like a tree.

Having a great time in Sun Peaks. Fresh snow last night and very cold today. Cathy had to go inside to warm up after a couple of runs. Yesterday  she gave the lifties a fright when she skied into a ditch while trying to get onto the lift. The whole lift was quickly shut down while an embarrassed Cathy was rescued by the lifties. Skied an amazing run today called “Sting” – really steep (black), groomed with a couple of inches of fresh powder on top – skiing doesn’t get any better than this. Lots of the trees on the mountain have christmas decorations on them. Cathy insisted on taking some “Where’s Wally?” photos of me beside these trees to prove how hard I can be to see sometimes. Great hot tub after skiing and looking forward to going out to dinner tonight. Forecast for temperatures to keep dropping.

Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks Main Street

We had our own private transfer from SilverStar. The driver (Gerry) brought his mother along as a co-pilot but she slept most of the way. Saw guys fishing through holes in a frozen lake – some even erecting basic huts on the lake to keep warm.

Sun Peaks town is like a European village in the Alps. We are staying in a huge condo block and everything is pretty central. Once again we ski in /ski out – it will be hard to go back to the 67 stairs and the bus in / bus out at Thredbo. Temps are pretty mild for this time of year and the lower slopes are just like home – hardpacked. It was great to have our first day on the slopes where we could actually see where we were. The snow quality on the upper mountain was great and Cathy loved the long, wide, uncrowded, groomed runs. The ski area is massive – 3 mountains.

Shopping here is very ritzy – I think it is the Aspen of Canada. Found a great chocolate shop where you can see the chocolatier performing his art. Not as many Aussies around – not really many people at all. Condos are very cheap – might buy one and stay.

Breathtaking view from above the clouds

After more snow overnight we were keen to get on the slopes this morning. As you can see from the photos the views from the top of the mountain were spectacular. Cloud was sitting in the valleys and all the skiers were just standing around enjoying this unexpected delight. SilverStar is almost deserted at the moment and we really don’t want to leave. We have done a lot of skiing here and need the day off tomorrow to let our bodies recover. The trip to Sun Peaks is around 3 hours so there may be a bit of napping on the way.

SilverStar Sunday

SilverStar oversnow transport

Had a great night at the ice hockey last night. We were cheering for the Vernon Vipers and they won in a tight  game. It’s an extremely fast game and players have unbelievable skills. A bit brutal at times and I can see why Canadians really love it. We got into the spirit of the experience by consuming burgers, donuts, hot dogs and coke. Sitting behind us in the stadium was a family who lived at one mile beach in Forster – small world eh?

Another sunny day today and we discovered more of the mountain. A few of the ski companies had a demo day today and I tried a pair of Atomic racing skis. A change of undies was required after the first run – I think I had a bit of a brain explosion and skied way to fast for a 60 year old, but I really enjoyed it on this perfect snow.

Sunny day at last

Cathy trying to make a decision

Biggest day on the slopes yet – first lifts till last lifts. After all the snow of the past couple of days we finally got to see the sun. This let us explore a bit and we covered the entire mountain today. Lots of fresh powder and groomed runs to die for. Time for a beer, a hot bath and a nap before going to the ice hockey tonight.

Strange Paint Jobs

Sunset in SilverStar

Lots of new snow over the last two days. We skied fresh tracks most of the day. Temps are not too bad, around -4. There are some fantastic black runs here that are groomed most nights. Cathy was so pumped when we got home from skiing she went to the Gym for a workout. We have been sampling the local cuisine and Okanagan wines and have to report that both are magnificent. Today’s photos taken from our window (how lazy is that?) show the unusual paint colours on the buildings here. Looks like they went to Bunnings and got any paint that was on special. Most buildings are multi-coloured and it really is a bit weird. Saw a white mink from the lift today and the Canadian I was sitting beside suggested that if I were to get several dozen of these I could make my wife a very nice coat. Booked in to go to Vernon tomorrow night to see an ice hockey match.


View from our window after Cathy experiments with Canadian oven

Our last night in Big White was pretty eventful. The fire alarm went off around midnight and three fire trucks arrived about 10 minutes later. We scrambled into some presentable attire and got ready to run away with our essentials – passports, credit cards and the computer. The flashing lights and alarm continued for about half an hour and was really annoying. Turned out to be a fault with the sprinkler system but the whole scenario was replayed about 5 am  so we didn’t get much sleep.

The drive to Silverstar was quite spectacular as we passed a huge lake system with snow capped mountains in the background. Saw kids in Kelowna and Vernon schools playing in snow covered playgrounds. Our accommodation here is pretty upmarket – even has a 30 seat movie theatre and a fully equipped gymnasium. Once again we are situated right on the slopes and can ski in / ski out. Snow forecast tonight with max temp for tomorrow around -14.

Skiing Heaven

Skiing is too easy in this snow

A big day of skiing. Mild temps, great visibility and we almost have this mountain to ourselves. Haven’t seen much of the sun but who cares with snow as good as this. The improvement in the visibility had us venturing off piste and into some tree runs today. Have a look at these amazing trees in today’s photos. We only have one day of skiing left here at Big White. This is such a good place to come for a snow holiday. We leave with lots of great memories.

Fantastic Canada

Relaxing after a big day on the slopes

Another great day in Big White. Lots of fresh snow last night. It is really civilised to roll out of bed each morning and just ski away from your front door. Variable visibility again but I think this is just normal for this mountain. A few locals from nearby Kelowna around today (Sunday) but this place is so big the runs were not crowded. The outdoor hot tub at our condo was pretty good to soothe tired muscles. I think I might retire and live here – it really is a winter wonderland.

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