Last winter was Kristen Heard’s second season working as a ski instructor at Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon in British Columbia. The 24-year-old CSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor from Sydney loves the terrain, the people and the mountain lifestyle of Canada. This Aussie skier has a stash of vegemite (in travel tubes), although she says vegemite definitely tastes better out of a jar!
A typical day
I arrive at ski school at 8.30am to set up or do a day-care lesson for an hour. That’s usually followed by a two-hour group lesson, for either kids or adults. After lunch I usually have another two-hour lesson.
Is it fun?
I’ve been coming to Silver Star since I was 13 and knew that when I was older that I wanted to spend a season or so in Canada. Now, I just don’t want to leave! The best thing about my job is getting to meet new people every day from all over the world and hearing about their lives. Although, it can be a challenge teaching people who speak little or no English.
First impressions of Silver Star Mountain Resort
My first ever impression was “is this it?”? Such a cute, quaint and unique resort, I thought to myself what can I possibly get up to here? Silver Star has definitely changed over the years, with more terrain and new activities being introduced every year.
Why ski at Silver Star Mountain Resort?
The snow! And at Silver Star there are no chairlift lines to get up the mountain and no crowds on the slopes. You can ski a whole run sometimes and not see a soul and I love the scenery.
I haven’t skied in Australia since I was, like, 10 but I do remember waiting around a lot!
Silver Star might look small from the village but there’s so much to discover and lots to challenge yourself. If you are a family, Silver Star is the best resort to come to as we accommodate for everyone and every age.
In my free time…
In my free time I ski and train. Other than that I just hang out with friends. Snow shoeing is definitely fun. I’m also going to learn to cross country ski next season, which I’m really excited about, and fat biking is also on my to-do list.
Is Canada cold?
Not for me. I love the cold that’s why I escape summer in Australia. It’s an average of -5C during winter but you keep warm by layering. It’s all about the layering underneath what you wear and drink lots of hot chocolate!
Has your family visited Silver Star Mountain Resort?
Yes, they were here for about two months. They skied nearly every day and caught up with all our friends. They love the general atmosphere.
Favourite spots in Canada
I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Vancouver over the years and explored there. Capilano Suspension Bridge is my favourite place in Vancouver. I’ve also visited Grouse Mountain (the view of Vancouver from up there is AMAZING if it’s a clear day).
Where would you take family?
Well I think I would do little road trips around the Okanagan. There are so many beautiful spots around there like BX Falls, Kalamalka Lake and Okanagan Lake. Oh, I’d definitely have a night at Sparkling Hill Resort. It’s absolutely beautiful if you like Swarovski Crystals.
Three things you’ll miss most about Canada
Everyone I interact with on a daily basis
Kristen Heard is a ski instructor at Silver Star Mountain Resort
The best month to ski in Silver Star is definitely February. It starts to quieten down and this is usually when we get the best snow!
A great place to stay is the Snowbird Lodge, which is in the heart of the village.
The best tip is to come on in and get a lesson, especially if you haven’t skied in Canada before. The terrain can be a bit intimidating; it’s definitely not like Australia.
Silver Star Mountain Resort is one of several excellent ski resorts in British Columbia. Others are Whistler Blackcomb, Big White and Sun Peaks. Find out more about Canada’s best ski resorts and read about Australia’s top travel instagrammer Lauren Bath’s skiing trip to Alberta.