By: Magi Scallion
Many Canadian runners have a love-hate relationship with winter… or maybe just a hate relationship. It’s a tough time of year with shorter days, colder temperatures, and poor running conditions on the whole. My strategy has always been to participate in a winter sport and to look for beautifully sunny winter destinations. It also helps that I do primarily contract work so I can switch my hours of work to early mornings and evenings so that I can exercise and be outside during the sunny part of the day.
This week I’m visiting one of my favourite winter destinations. Silver Star mountain in Vernon, BC is a great place to visit if the winter blahs are getting you down. First and foremost the cross-country skiing is excellent (more than 100 km of groomed trails) and the downhill skiing is pretty good as well. The ski village is also very charming: the houses are all painted in bright colours and walking is the primary mode of transportation.
There is a delicious coffee shop / bakery in the village, at which I spend a lot of my time. The coffee is good and the baked treats (croissants, cookies and more) are absolutely mouth watering. It’s a great place to enjoy lunch or an afternoon snack after a good morning of skiing. We normally stay in vacation rental homes with hot tubs while on the mountain… and hot tubs are not hard to find. There is not much so nice as sitting outside in a hot tub while snow falls in the evening.
Finally, the resort is high above Vernon, and normally high above the clouds. It’s really lovely to feel the sun on your face while looking down the mountain at a layer of clouds. We all need a little bit more Vitamin D in the winter.
I highly recommend Silver Star as a winter destination – whether you’re a cross-country skier, aspiring skier, alpine skier or pure runner. I’m sure you’ll find it a relaxing and cheery break during the long winter months.
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.