Blue Lake is the best readily accessible chunk of glacially sculpted ski terrain in mainland Australia.
Yes, we had an Ice Age too, along with giant wombats and a walking route to Tasmania.
The ice, the big batties, and the track to Tassie are all long gone. But the magnificent cirque lake ampitheatre at Blue Lake remains, supplying some amazing day-trip doable lines from May to November in a good snow season.
It’s a no-brainer for #2 on our Best Last Lines list. Like #1, Twin Humps, in 2020 sooner rather than later is the go.
Getting there is a reasonable day trip, either via the Illawong swing bridge – a skin (main winter) and/or muddy hike (now) from Guthega car park; or a chilly crossing of the Snowy on the track down from the car park at the end of the Kozi road above Charlotte Pass when that is open after October long weekend.
The latter is the shorter option – a 10 minute walk down to the river, the crossing (get some wader boots if you can – hire from Wilderness Sports), then an hour or so skin to Blue Lake.
Our BC guru Steve Leeder reckons an hour and a half for the hike to the bridge, then an hour skin from there with light gear.
Either way you won’t be disappointed.
“Quick access and loads of options. Skiing blue Lake any time of the year is a super fun day” says Steve, who is out there as often as he can.
“The first look you get into Blue Lake Cirque gets the stoke levels high. It’s a great intro to some solid back country lines and even some rad stuff for the seasoned vet.”
Steve is certainly the seasoned vet, who will always find the gnarlier line. If you’re less seasoned but more veteran, like me, there’s a mellower chute skier’s right, and cruisy ways round the far sides.
Just stay well clear of the centre cornice zone most of the time. Massive slides and massive chunk drop offs are common here, and have produced fatal results. The debris can get covered with following falls of snow too, not fun to slam into. The cornice chunks can be big as buses.
With caution and common sense there is plenty of great skiing. Steve nailed this line early last September the same day as the slide in the middle.
Cirques usually offer steep boot pack options to do some repeat lines, and Blue Lake is no exception. Set your track and session it as much as your fitness allows before heading home. If you don’t like a boot pack go the longer zig zag skin option either side.
Late season nearby Carruthers offers another smaller cirque above Club Lake that is even a little quicker to access from the Kozi road than Blue Lake. A couple of the chutes there tend to hold snow till late spring.
Blue Lake snow conditions check?
How easy is this – just click on Perisher’s Kozi cam for a great view of Blue Lake chutes and the approaches.