Pack the car the night before, wake at a ridiculous hour, layer long underwear under track pants, then pull away from the world of rustling palm fronds, bougainvillea, and perennial hibiscus flowers before L.A.’s 10 million or so other residents wake up and clog the roads.
Silver Star’s 3,065 skiable acres, easy-skiing snow and Painted Lady-inspired village perch on the very northern end of British Columbia’s wine country, just 20 minutes from the small, unpretentious city of Vernon. Taken together, the ski resort, the city and the leisure-friendly North Okanagan wine region offer a rare mix of quality experiences for a broad array of ski vacationer tastes and budgets.
Travel: After a snow-starved season, the king of Canadian ski resorts comes back with new terrain, hotels, dining and deals. Let's get the ugly facts out of the way: It did rain in Whistler last January. For eight torrential, unheard-of days. "It was an anomaly, says mountain manager Doug MacFarlane, who's been here for 17 years. (Last year was the second-worst season on the books, with 33 fewer feet of snow than during the record-breaking '98—'99 season.) To Whistler's credit, the lifts kept running, but little could save the season—not even the sun that shone through clear skies for the next six weeks straight.