Buller is simply Australia’s best for more challenging terrain options. It’s something any keen skier or boarder will notice on the drive up if it’s a clear day – Buller looks like a real mountain for the simple reason that it is one. Tony Harrington has the word and the shots to prove why it’s better than the competition.
I’d love a dollar for every time a person overseas asks me about whether Australia has any challenging or extreme terrain. Little do they know. I’ve tried to explain there are indeed some nuggets staashed in the Australian mountains, but I see the scepticism in their eyes when I do.
So it was a real thrill last September to show those doubters the riches Australia has to offer, with a new competition on steep and rowdy terrain on a par with anything you’d find in North America or Europe. Buller X gathered together 18 of Australia’s best skiers and boarders to show they had world-class skills, and frankly the balls and ovaries, to take on a big mountain freeride event that left crowds gasping.
Now to be clear, the Buller X terrain is only for top tier skiers and boarders, and even then there’s a very brief window of a few afternoon hours in just a handful days each season that riding the chutes at Mt Buller should really be attempted. Outside of good and stable cover and ideal weather you simply don’t want to be in this area.
But don’t despair, Mt Buller has plenty of super fun terrain for advanced to expert skiers and it’s tucked away in a myriad of places, some of it right under people’s noses but I’d be a fool to tell all. Let’s just say you can see a lot if you open your eyes when riding the chairs. But some gems are tucked away in quiet corners of the resort and you’ll need to befriend a local to unearth them.
To get started make sure you’ve carved a line down Summit Slide. But be warned, the sweeping view north and east over to Stirling can be a distraction. While you are around the summit McLaughlin’s Shoulder delivers the goods on powder days or on afternoons when the hardpack softens to corn and you can carve it like butter.
If you like trees and the mid-season snow delivery has landed adventure awaits deep down the Northside below Cow Camp.
Down here you will find majestic woolybutts and some of the best Aussie tree skiing you can imagine.
The t-bar scares the crowds away from this magic spot, but for my money on storm days it’s hard to beat.
Some people might ski their whole lives at Buller and rarely stray off their regular commute around the summit and Little Buller Spur, but what I love about this place is we have a true mountain with skiing available on all aspects.
You can dodge the weather, head for steeper colder runs southside, hunt the sun on the northside, and be regularly surprised by little side paths and secret spots.
There isn’t a year goes by where I haven’t found something new, and I’m pumped to see what 2018 brings.
Maybe I’ll run into you out there?
Grab a great deal to Buller on their website – there are specials for all budgets, from the Buller Backbackers Tertiary Student midweek deal – 2 days skiing & 1 night from $185 to deluxe stays at The Mt Buller Chalet Hotel.