Alpine skiing is great at Silver Star Ski Resort, but don’t overlook the Nordic options. Silver Star has a stunningly beautiful, extensive Nordic trail system that’s great as an alternative to downhill.

We signed up for a family lesson, and were paired with a longtime skier named George Young, who took on the task of our varying skill levels—and enthusiasm levels—with aplomb.

The kids learned some new techniques, the adults got some pointers, and we enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon loop in the perfect snow conditions that seem to bless the area. It really was a good balance to the adrenaline rush of downhill we’d had for the previous two days. The utter silence, for one thing. The pointers from the non-judgmental George, for another, as we honed a different set of skills.

My 10-year-old daughter appears to be a natural; my six-year-old, who has always referred to it as “uphill” skiing, learned that she can control her balance with shorter strides—and made it around the entire loop (almost) without complaint.

Silver Star’s new, all-encompassing pass, called the my1pass, lets skiers try out all the options at the family-friendly resort for one price, and that includes cross-country skiing on the 105 kilometres of perfectly groomed trails. Silver Star can offer this ridiculous abundance of cross-country trails because of its unique location, right next to the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre.

You’ll also want to check out the four-lane tubing runs, the giant outdoor skating rink, snowshoeing and the mini snow-machines for kids. (After using her allotted runs on the snow machines, my daughter decided to blow her $5 allowance on five more laps around the track. It’s that fun.)

But back to the Nordic skiing.

There’s a reason why Canada’s elite Nordic skiers and coaches train here regularly, and it has been voted the Number one Nordic destination by the U.S. National Ski Team.

I can’t overstate the quality of the snow. It’s light, soft and fast.

Did I mention the views are spectacular?

Nordic trails are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. If you just can’t tear yourself away from Silver Star’s plentiful and powdery mountain runs for the day, don’t worry—there is Nordic night skiing on a designated loop. It’s open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), as late as 10 p.m. on the weekend, and until 9 p.m. again on Sundays.