Great table service at Falls Creek. Pic: Falls Creek Facebook
Thredbo is measuring up in the village. Pic: Thredbo Facebook
Perisher: Table clearing got a bit sloppy today. Pic: Perisher Facebook
In deep at Mt Hotham. Pic: Mt Hotham Facebook
Mt Buller – holding up its end. Pic: Mt Buller Facebook
To me the marker of a great snow storm in Australia is what happens in Thredbo Village.
Located at 1365 metres, it’a a bit below the recognised level where snow regularly settles these days in Australia.
So when you’ve picked up 20cm there you know it’s on! That was the marker this morning with an estimated three times that amount up top with about 40cms at Antons. Wow.
And there was certainly no shortage elsewhere either.
Perisher was calling 40cm of snow in 24 hours by early in the morning with more coming down during the day.
Across the border Mt Hotham picked up and even 24cm in 24 hours while Falls Creek did the same.
Even Mt Buller got a decent drop – about 10cm overnight to give them an average base of about 30cm.
The great news is it has been cold – temperatures in the high alpine struggling to get past about -5 all day with wind chill making it feel like about -15c.
While the snow switch gets flicked off tomorrow the suggestion from the likes of Snowatch is it will remain cold through until next Thursday where another front could drop a further foot over three days.
Safe to say the season has started folks!
Epic Falls (see what I did there). Chris Hocking captures it superbly at Falls Creek. Pic: Falls Creek Facebook.
I’ve found the only true way to prepare for a pending snow storm is to crack open a beer and fondly recall epic dumps of season’s past.
Here are five of the best:
1. 2014: June 21
Early renditions of the Opal card were considered useless. Pic: Perisher Facebook
There was the usual June tetchiness. Of course there was. Then there was a little scuttlebutt that something was a’brewin’ not that long after the traditionally barren opening weekend. By Saturday June 21 it had arrived.
Four days later News Corp journalists were inventing new words as a once in a century June storm left around 120cm at the top of Perisher.
Snowmageddon, snownado, megablizzard, snowpocalypse – call it what you will but it was something else.
The Snow Gauge explains:
- The key base prices across resorts in a table
- The word on season passes, right now
- Why one resort has a big spring advantage
So, all ski resort prices in Australia are pretty much the same, right? Well, ummm, not quite.
Ok, if you bowl up for a day, on the day, you’re not going to notice too much difference at the five majors.
But I actually discovered some not insignificant price variations on a range of products as you’ll see overleaf.
It should come as little surprise to you that ski resorts will happily take as much of your money as they can get – and the earlier the better.
They’ll do you a good deal on a season pass if you buy in advance (I would argue too far in advance when it comes to Hotham/Falls where the pass more than doubles in price if you didn’t get it by the end of the previous season) and pre/early season accommodation deals abound.
But when it comes to fate’s fickle hand, snow holidays can be crueler than most leisure activities. Book in the first week of July in 2014? You were laughing – weren’t you? Riding top to bottom at Thredbo with a cheese-eating grin, not thinking about the wads of cash you were spending because the conditions were so good. Book for the first week of July in 2015? You’d be kicking stones, the cat and anything else you could wrap your Dalbellos around. Just to rub it in the snow came by the bucket load when you returned.
… or this. I’m thinking this.