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!
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.
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.
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 ..