The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

How young is too young to ride?

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017


How young is too young when it comes to skiing or snowboarding?

It is a question I’ve been mulling over on and off for a while.

Then I saw this 14-month old on social media on the weekend and it really made me think.

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The moment I knew my 52-year ski career was over

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017

Michael Sharwood

Michael Sharwood

Michael Sharwood had the last ski run of his life all worked out: a run down the Blackcomb Glacier on his 80th birthday.

Like many of the best laid plans it didn’t eventuate as what seemed to be the most innocuous of falls ended his skiing days three years short in January this year.

But Michael doesn’t want your sympathy. He’s skied 110 resorts over 52 years. He’s travelled the world. He’s made life long friends. He conceived (well, conceived of!) his only daughter on a chairlift in Aspen.

This is his story. And a thank you to the sport he loves so much.

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Anatomy of a perfect storm

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016


There may have been bigger storms but the consensus is that there haven’t been too many drier.

When it snows in parts of Canberra and Goulburn, NSW and Woodend, Lancefiled and Gippsland in Victoria – that generally only means epicness in the alps.

There were reports of up to 85cm in 24 hours and while some are scoffing in their windblown Weaties, we speak to those who were there for the rundown on a dump to remember.

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Bill Barker, ski patrolling and the snow leopard

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016

Bill Barker

Bill Barker is something of an institution/legend in the Victorian high country. He’s also the man who’s helping to keep you safe at Mt Hotham. With suggestions of some big snowfalls this winter (perhaps as soon as next week) it will pay to be careful out there. Bill talks about his job – the risks, rewards and why you shouldn’t underestimate the dangers of the Australian backcountry. Oh and yeah, we’ve included the infamous snow leopard video too …

With two deaths in the snow-laden Australian high country, another two within resort bounds and several other close calls, was it good luck or good management that Mt Hotham avoided casualites or a serious incident during the big snow falls of 2014?

Perhaps a bit of both; but it certainly helps when you have a man like Bill Barker in charge of your ski patrol.

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Snow Porn: The best shots of June 24

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016


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!

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