Girlfriend getaways. Stagettes. Those words likely evoke images of debauched women’s weekends soaked in alcohol and overspending at outlet malls. Though not quite extinct, such group excursions have recently evolved to more elevated experiences: think spa weekends, wine tours (yes, still drinking but tastefully) and healthy, adventurous outdoor activities, such as cross-country skiing. A nordic wild woman experience at SilverStar Mountain Resort—wild as in the great outdoors tempered by refined apres-ski time—is mere minutes (by air) or hours (car) from Vancouver. Get your skis on and see how an XC Supercamp will transform you into snow goddess. —Michele Marko
snow sashay. The nordic Supercamps—three days or week-long—cater to every ability level, whether you’re a terrified novice or an accomplished cross-country skier looking to improve technique, the small groups (six-eight) will see you get the (ultra-patient) customized, coaching attention to acquire or improve your skills. There is one more Supercamp in February, but you can set up your own group (a minimum of six people)—and you don’t have to be a 20- or 30-something, they cater to every age. After a few hours, you’ll be sashaying through some of the 105 kilometres of the perfectly groomed, nordic trails at SilverStar or nearby Sovereign Lake. You can ski half or full days, and camps include yoga (and wine!), talks with experts, ski waxing clinics and social evenings.
stay. SilverStar offers an array of on-mountain accommodations ranging from hotel rooms to luxe suites in lodges with kitchens (there’s a small grocery story in the village). In the evening, the village is a magical winter fairyland with all the twinkling lights and an easy walk to restaurants and bars. But if the resort is fully booked, don’t despair. Vernon is about a 25-minute drive to the resort and there are a number of hotels in the town. The recently-renovated Best Western offers a fridge and microwave in basic rooms and kitchens in one and two-bedroom suites.
savour. Dining options on the mountain range from chalet casual at The Den, to creative (and yes, healthy) pub fare at the Red Antler, to fine dining at the Silver Grill. And should you venture downhill to Vernon, the Phoenix Steakhouse and Bar serves up great ambience, food and a good local wine list.
sip. It may be winter but that doesn’t mean all the wineries are all shuttered. Just minutes south of Vernon is the Scenic Sip route—a collection of wineries that stay open for tastings. Of the eight wineries on the tour, perhaps Grey Monk is the best known but this gives you a chance to taste and purchase wines often only available at restaurants. You can appoint a DD or hire one of the many local tour companies that depart from the mountain.
spa. Perhaps after a day on the trails, the sashay or glide moves stretched you in unfamiliar ways, a relaxing massage at Elevate—the new Aveda spa—will reset you for the next day. All treatments incorporate Aveda’s natural skincare and beauty line.