POW your way into 2020: 72 hours in Sun Peaks, Revelstoke and SilverStar


They say that what we do in the first 21 days of a new decade will help set the course for what your next 10 years will be like. So I hit up Sun Peaks, Revelstoke and SilverStar Mountain Resort all in 72 hours, saying Happy 2020 to myself, my way of setting my intentions for a decade of adventure. Here's how you can do it too. 

After watching the recent reports on Dec. 30-31 2019 of a “snowmaggedon” hitting Sun Peaks, Revelstoke and Vernon’s SilverStar Resort - and with about 72 hours’ notice - by buddy Kyle Habiak and I jumped in the car and headed out for some snow-seeking adventures to ring in the next decade. What we brought back, besides our very happy souls, was our first SnowSeekers’ #RoadTrip2020 story.

Spontaneous road trips are a gift many of us may have forgotten to give ourselves. Think back. When was the last time, with minimal notice, you dropped everything and hit the road?

Sun Peaks Mountain Resort to Revelstoke (about 260 kms) and then Revy to SilverStar Mountain Resort (around 165 kms), are all within a three-hour drive of each other, make this a stellar three-day ski or ride adventure.

Know and go with SnowSeekers' snow conditions.

 First stop Sun Peaks

Our first #RoadTrip2020 stop was at Sun Peaks to experience a historic situation. “Many of our locals, who’ve lived up here for upwards of 40 years, had not seen a storm system like this come through, ever,” said Aidan Kelly, who is part of the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort team. “Sixty-plus cms over a 48-hour time period Dec. 30 to Jan. 1; it was hard to believe. It just kept snowing.”

Sun Peaks
Photo: Doc Pow

Team Sun Peak’s member Aidan Kelly enjoying the champaign POW Jan 3, 2020.

Sun Peaks Powder Hack

You want to be organized on a powder day and Kelly had a great resort “hack” up his sleeve to ensure no time was wasted. “Look at the night's grooming report, so on that powder morning, you know what was groomed to experience groomer runs with a nice powder layer on top.”

We followed Kelly for a morning tour around the mountain, including epic powder turns down runs, including Lone Fir and Run Away Lane. We like to say we POW'ED our way into 2020.

For your #RoadTrip2020 look to Sun Peaks’ mountain exploration options, including its “First Tracks” with a breakfast that includes a private powder buffet for the first hour of the day. 

Revelstoke or Revelstuck?

Photo: Doc Pow

This shot taken on Jan. 4, shows an adult next to a snowbank. People have been getting Revelstuck in Revy lately, but leaving RevyStoked as the snow just keeps piling up.

The drive from Sun Peaks to Revelstoke is a beauty, driving through the “ranchy” feel of the Thompson region and then into the Rockies, home to Revelstoke.

With so much snow dropping onto the community in such a short time, there have been reports within the past few weeks of people getting stuck in Revy. Having first-hand experience of what conditions are like at this vertical playground, you may just want to get stuck like this.

“Since December 20, one system brought in 35 cms of snow in 24 hours," says 10-year local resident and futurist Jean-Mark LaFlamme, adding there have also been more overnight dumps of 10 and 20 cms.

That kind of epic snow first brought LaFlamme to Revy and it's what has also kept him “Revystuck” for the past decade. LaFlamme took us for some over-the-top, face shot after face shot turns. 

We also made some local connections riding a demo deck from Trapper Snowboards. Their boards are sourced from local wood, and our ride made us feel like we were on autopilot. One example of their work, is the Ursa Major, an all-mountain powder board, made in Revelstoke featuring the work of local artists. How cool is that?

You can stay “Revystoked” and shop here now.

Next to the non-stop snow, Revy’s got a whole roster of events upcoming in January and February. You should plan and go now.

Dogs on patrol at SilverStar.

Gold Medal Snow at SilverStar

Less than a two hours’ drive from Revelstoke you'll be in Vernon and up to SilverStar Mountain Resort.

“It just hasn’t stopped snowing since the middle of December around here,” said SilverStar local Rick Bauer. He's been a long-time “blue jacket,” or volunteer mountain host, and spends some of his season touring guests from all over the world across SilverStar’s huge variety of terrain.

The new gondola that went in last summer sure has opened up new travel patterns, not that SilverStar ever had line-ups, to begin with.

"Ultimate, is the one word I would use to describe this place,” says Habiak after his first-time visit to the Star. “Ultimate in the way you travel through the resort and its terrain; it’s super easy to navigate with easy access to a big network of lifts,” of which there are nine.

With so much terrain to explore, meeting up with a local and learning their lay of the land helps set the stage for ski and ride success around here. SilverStar offers daily opportunities to connect and ski with a local. Check out the details here.

Photo: @fishseye3 on Instagram

Top Tips for your #RoadTrip2020

Habiak, a former Edmontonian and now a resident of “Pow Town” (aka Powell River, B.C.), spends a lot of time on the road for his work and has these four top tips for planning your best ever ski or ride road trip in 2020.

1) Never stress about the destination; each resort has everything so remain “tranquilo” (relaxed in Spanish). Sun Peaks, Revelstoke and SilverStar/Vernon really do have it all, including great apres, sport shops, groceries/dining, legendary accommodations and anything you could ever need.

2) Bring a cooler for your road snacks: hummus, apples, craft beers, all the good kinds of cookies and lots of water (stay hydrated because with all the POW on these slopes, you might forget how much fun you are having, but your muscles won’t.)

3) Keep your plans straightforward. For example on this trip so we didn’t feel we were driving every day, we spent two nights in Revelstoke with a morning drive to SilverStar.

4) PopARide is kind of like Airbnb for ride-sharing. If you're hitting the road this winter and have extra seats, post them on PopaRide.com. You can earn money, which you could then donate to Protect our Winters Canada and/or Trees Canada and travel carbon PLUS in 2020.

Photo: Doc Pow

Cruising through the Okanagan at SilverStar.

It's time to set your adventure intentions for the next decade. Get on the road this month because the snow hasn’t just arrived, it just won’t quit! Let us know where you end up and please use the tag #SnowSeekers so we can follow along.

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