New York Times

12 Months of Skiing, From Chile to China (extract)

JANUARY Canada: Silver Star, British Columbia Chances are, you’ve never heard of Silver Star, a resort with an unpretentious mom-and-pop feel that is outshone by Whistler Blackcomb far to the west. But this resort in the sunny Okanagan Valley, about five-and-a-half hours east of Vancouver, offers the perks of a larger operation. The place has just six main lifts (not including a connector T-bar and magic carpets) on a measly 6,282-foot-high summit, but those lifts deliver you to 3,065 acres of skiing on 115 named runs with a decent 2,500-vertical-foot drop. Much of Silver Star’s 275-inch annual snowfall comes in lighter and drier than Whistler’s coastal sludge, especially during January storms. Even if conditions turn bad, you can cross-country ski on some 62 gorgeous miles of groomed trails — some of which are reachable from the ski lifts, a rare treat. In the village below, you’ll find a lovely but sleepy base area of brightly painted frontier-style buildings that house a modest spa, an enticing bakery, several restaurants and — not much else. Go elsewhere to party. ( TIM NEVILLE