Anthony Sharwood doing some spring preparation on the Lake Run, Portillo. Pic: Glenn Cullen
September and October don’t have to be no-man’s (or woman’s) land for skiers and snowboarders looking for somewhere to ride.
These are my top five resorts to ride around the globe that will be rocking for another three to seven weeks so there’s plenty of time to get you fill before the northern hemisphere winter starts.
All resorts listed are based on current conditions and my first hand experience, well except for one place I haven’t got to quite yet …
But they’ve had two feet and I’ve got nowhere to stay!
The snow’s coming and you don’t have a bed. Everywhere is full. But The Snow Gauge has run the rule over some left field options for NSW – they may not be the closest or always the absolute best but they can mean the difference between a riding a powder day – or just reading about it.
And they reckon a week in politics is a long time.
Have a look at what’s happened in our skifields over the past week and it’ll have you start thinking Donald Trump is the new normal.
There was the glorious day that was Wednesday 13 July that finished with up to 85cm of snow and a top temperature of -3.9 degrees all day at Perisher Valley. Then Saturday tipped out at 10.3 degrees. Tuesday had 21.6 mm rain. Friday is calling for tops of 7 degrees. After that? A lazy two feet of snow over a couple of days. Head hurt yet? Mine does.
So the deal is you’ve left it late again waiting for the perfect storm but are fast running out of options with Perisher, Thredbo and Jindabyne fuller than a centipede’s sock drawer. Here my friends are the alternatives …
Early goods at Mt Hotham. Pic: Mt Hotham
Valley boy. Pic: Instagram @buryperi Rider JAke Shanahan @_jacobra_
Night Falls. Pic: Chris Hocking
Digging in at Perisher. Pic: Perisher
Thredbo – the storm before the calm. Pic: Sean Duncan Instagram @seanbfunkin
In deep at Falls Creek. Pic: Chris Hocking
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.
Pond skimming is fun. Not so much in the middle of winter, granted. Pic: Teton Gravity Facebook
This isn’t the story I thought I’d be writing.
After the first significant watery event of the season (interspersed with a fair bit of snow) I was prepared for the Australian ski resorts to avoid the r-word like Souths and Essendon are dodging wins at the moment.
But what I read surprised me.
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.