Olympic at Perisher, the only lift we love better closed!

Olympic at Perisher is usually among the last, if not the last, lift to open out of the whole 47 lifts in the network billed as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest ski area. If you’ve ever seen it in summer – a giant pile of boulders – it’s not hard to see why it takes a while to crank the old dogleg t-bar into life there.

It’s always a sign the peak season is in full swing and there’s plenty of snow when it does open.

But otherwise, who cares? We actually like Olympic better when it’s closed!

Sending the rock into Sun Valley below Olympic at Perisher
Steve Leeder popping the rock into Sun Valley on the Olympic face runout © Owain Price

Yes, closed is good in Olympic’s case because for the shortest of hikes above the Perisher Express Quad you can get to the top of it and enjoy the short, but very sweet, steep lines off the face more or less to your self.

It’s July 17, 2020 as I write this. The shots here were from July 18, 2019 – a much better season snowfall wise already but Olympic was still a couple of days away from opening and our resident road-tester Steve ‘Crazy’ Leeder and I got it almost to ourselves.

Lone skier on  a powder day on top of Olympic at Perisher
Snow on the Olympic cable in the background, no competion, working for Steve Leeder © Owain Price

No competition is the simple part of the equation why Olympic is better when it’s shut. The slightly less obvious second reason is that as soon as it does open up giant bumps get formed by the traffic, so even with a fresh dump you are usually slashing over something a lot gnarlier underneath than the smooth face pre-opening.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s a bit of snow in the forecasts for Sunday and Monday, which may wll not be enough to get it open later in the week. But it should be not too dissimilar to the same time last year with some sweet lines to be had – usually the wind blows a lot more in the lee of Olympic than the actual headline snowfall numbers.

Snowboarder slashing boot deep snow on Olympic at Perisher
A couple of guys followed us up on our 2nd lap and got this slashing line © Owain Price

Not to mention the rock drop into Sun Valley – which is accessible running down from Mount Perisher but is always far more impressive shredded as a flowing line from the summit at Olympic.

So while it’s great more terrain has opened up, allowing Epic Australia Pass pre-reservation restrictions to be lifted for midweeks from Monday 20th, we are happy for Olympic to stay closed and do the boot pack to enjoy it.

See you up there ..

 

Olympic snow cam 17 July, 2020 .. how long before it opens?