It’s easy to sit back and reminisce how wonderful #snowmaggedon was last year, but before you get too nostalgic consider this:
“You know, I did the same week last year and there was a metre and a half of snow then, but the chairs were on wind hold a lot, there were big queues on the t-bars that were open, and it was really cold. I have actually skied a lot more this week than the same week last year”
a Sydney school teacher and keen skier told us today on the triple chair at Mt Perisher, which was offering plenty of fun skiing on virtually 100% snow gun snow.
Yes, she had actually got more skiing in than during #snowmaggedon last year, which puts a few things in perspective. The capacity of the snowmaking, the quality of the grooming, and the effort put in to maximise what snow is made has made a huge difference to Australia’s main ski resorts in the past few years. And the reality is unless you can hack charging in a blizzard for most people it’s actually preferable to be on reasonable snow in better weather.
We had a ball today ripping Mt Perisher for the first time this year, with plenty of hits and rollers to be found for the likes of our new best mate Chris from New Hampshire, who is working the season at Sponar’s. The happy coincidence of both of us wearing distinctive 2013 Armada Norwalks got us talking on the double chair, and one thing led to another, a few shots, and some charging lines.
At Thredbo on Wednesday the car parks were full with school holiday crowds and the slopes functioning top-to-bottom on High Noon and the Super Trail.
At Buller last week there were happy hordes on Bourke Street, and better rider options off Wombat Chair.
Sure, it’s not perfect, but it IS skiing, real skiing, a lot of fun and the result of huge investments and efforts to get that terrain open.
In Perisher’s case most people we talked to on the lifts had taken advantage of the Freedom Pass deal, with our Sydney school teacher already racking up 21 days on snow and planning not just some weekend returns locally but also finally making the big mission to America.
“I’ve got friends in Utah” she said with a grin, and hello USA, a lot of us will be finding friends in Utah, Tahoe and Colorado, wherever the Freedom Pass with Epic Benefits takes you .. find a couch to surf and a school teacher could spend 6 weeks skiing for the cost of the airfare and food.
Sounds like a plan.
With some decent snowfalls coming in the next few days the resorts should be able to get more terrain open, but like the lady said, it has been pretty good already, so don’t just sit there – it’s almost mid-July, the half way point of winter, time to get busy.
And while you can wait for things to get better, what if they get worse? This has been a bloody cold, relatively dry winter so far, ideal for making snow and maintaining it. And providing better conditions than a warmer wetter one with alternate rain and snow events.
The pictures show it how it is – there’s good snow on the snow making areas and very little besides (the green bits should be all white by Sunday), but we didn’t hear any complaints and have none Well, one – we had to hit the road and head back to the office at 4pm – Owain Price