Aussie ski season start best for a millennia?

snow action team 05.06.2019

It just keeps getting better! New Leichardt Quad Chair opens at Perisher tomorrow, plus Quad and Happy Valley, with 20 lifts for the weekend!

Having a shot at the new terrain today – lift cranking from 10am tomorrow! © Perisher

We were too limited – Falls Creek are calling this LWE their best start ever! They will open 7 lifts. Thredbo are calling Friday Flat and Cruiser so far. Hotham open Friday with Audi Quattro quad and more for weekend.

7 lifts open at Falls for the weekend © Falls Creek

Buller of course already fired up Bourke St last weekend, and Perisher will have all 4 resort areas open on Saturday.

How good is the Aussie ski season now, still a few days out from the official June long weekend season opener? Perisher already fired up last Friday, still in May. For this Saturday they will have all 4 mountain areas open!

Kriso Oliver brushes out the cobwebs day 1 2019 season at Perisher © Owain Price

That’s very unusual. For an Aussie ski resort to open continuously from May onwards is almost unheard of. Occasional early dumps have allowed brief promotional early openings – like Buller in April a few seasons back for a couple of days for example.

Crossing the bridge at Perisher day 1 of 2019 ski season
Looking good first bridge crossing of the season .. can’t believe it’s only May! © Owain Price

But at Perisher this is no promo. From day 1 they had beginner facilities with a conveyor belt lift giving some very young shredders their first shot at snowboarding. The whole of Front Valley was groomed and firing for everyone else. Mid-morning the park kicked in with 2 perfectly seated rails and 2 boxes. Off the sides there were little pow stashes and natural features to hit when it was safe to take a little hike – winch cats were working hard to get more terrain ready for the weekend.

Young snowboarder day 1 of 2019 season at Perisher
Little shredders were having a great time © Owain Price

Mountain management deserve a shout out: the effort involved to get everything working so well for such an early start is huge.

With more snow and snowmaking this week they are working even harder to open all four resort areas there. Yes, Perisher, Smiggins, Blue Cow & Guthega will all be cranking for the official opening weekend. Which is amazing.

After 35 years skiing there we can’t remember an Aussie ski season start looking and skiing so good, so early.

Back in ’85 we were up at Smiggins on day 1 and there was plenty of snow – actually too much for my humble talents then. Stacking at the top of the chair I couldn’t get the rental skis back on, so getting colder and crankier I walked all the way back down to the rental shop and gave them a serve about their dodgy skis.

The step-down rail was one of 4 features in an immaculate day 1 park set up © Owain Price

“Try ’em now mate” said the rental guy when I stopped for breath. Of course with no snow on the bindings inside they worked fine. Live and learn..

In ’93 we drove up Friday arvo ahead of the LWE to Perisher Manor and there was not a snowflake in sight, then it dumped all night and next morning Front Valley was pretty good with half a metre or so of freshly groomed snow.

There must be other good openings you guys can no doubt remind us of.

But all areas firing? Don’t see that often. We can’t think of one this century, so it was millennia ago it last happened, if it ever did.

Certainly making the Epic Australia Pass look like better value than ever. We clocked on with ours day 1, in May, which opens up the crazy, but doable, possibility of skiing every month for 12 months with the same pass .. stay tuned for our progress on that one. And get yours if you haven’t already by the June 11 deadline – with Hotham, Falls and Perisher on the one ticket down under never mind all the options up top, it’s a great deal.

Day one of 2019 ski season at Buller
Day 1 2019 season at Buller with the shiny new 6 pack express in action © Mt Buller

At Mt Buller they fired up last Saturday, a full week early, with free skiing on their shiny new 6 seat express lift. Over 2000 enthusiastic locals and visitors flocked to the resort to be amongst the first to ride the lift and make some turns on Bourke Street ski run. For the weekend they will have both their 6 seaters cranking (or whirring, they are pretty schmick lifts) plus Fox & Skyline.

We don’t want to put the mockers on anything, but it’s always a good idea to go skiing when the snow is good – you never know what will happen next in an Aussie ski season.

Still plenty of great June deals on offer too – check Perisher site here for those.

For Buller accommodation deals check here.

Hotham is also looking a million dollars ahead of the LWE. For a great deal there check out Arrabri Lodge – non-members can book online, still some good dates available.

Over at Thredbo top-to-bottom for opening day is looking a good bet. For the best apartment deals there get onto the Lantern Apartments.