Early season, limited runs open, things get squashed anyhere, but at Thredbo with luck you are only 5 minutes or so from freedom even then.
Today’s social media shots from Thredbo making it look almost top-to-bottom skiable got us reflecting on early season’s past.
Just because most people are stuck lapping the main open runs doesn’t mean you have to be. Nothing wrong with snowgun snow, nor the amazing amounts of it they make these days, but a few leg stretching laps of it is usually enough to get me anxious for more variety.
Third generation Thredboans like Sam Tomasi probably have where-to-find-the-goods in their DNA already.
Like this stash, far out in Golf Course Bowl on July 6 of a slow starting season nearly a decade ago. I scooted out there with him and Peter Wunder in search of more, and we found shady chilled boot to shin deep snow with some sort of base underneath. Too easy.
As long as some sort of on-snow, or mostly on-snow, runout line exists a few laps of this make for a far more interesting day in my book.
Same thing a few Julys later with InterSchools clogging up the main runs even more.
Interschools at Thredbo is a great event that just seems to get bigger every year.
Often the second week of July still doesn’t have heaps of natural snow though, so if you’re not interschooling the snowmaking trails can get busy especially.
But escape is at hand.
If there’s nothing open lower down off the snowmaking zones then just 5 minutes or so hike out the back from the top of Crackenback you can find total freedom.
No kid racers, no parents, in fact no one else at all this July 12 when Peter Wunder and I took the short walk option over the mesh bridge at the start of the Kosci summit track.
This was 2017, before any of that winter’s big ‘Snowmaggedon’ storms had rolled through, but we still found some boot deep stashes to play on in the lee of the granite boulders if when it was blown off ice in more exposed areas.
The views go forever, it’s pristine and peaceful, at least it was till the cat thundered past below us putting in the track for when the trail around the back officially opened.
School holiday and Interschools busy down below, all to ourselves up above. Freedom achieved, and our couple of hours sessioning the terrain made for a fun day.
Out wide skier’s left off the Cruiser Quad the Stanley’s area opens up some more fringe benefits just minutes from the main runs. It’s steep enough that you can seriously hurt yourself in here, or get slid on with a dump, so don’t go past the boundary unless you know what you’re doing etc.
Of course there are more rewards with more effort and time going further afield to the likes of Twin Valleys, Leatherbarrel and Twin Humps beyond, Dead Horse Gap etc. In my book these are generally better left till there is sufficient snow to make them good – long way to go for rubbish. Whereas you don’t lose much checking out the close ones.
Call me time poor, call me just plain lazy, but to get out there in 5 minutes or so is pretty good.
Bring it on soon..