Steve Lee’s Backcountry Tours from Falls are your last best shot for ‘powered’ skiing and riding there this season. The Aussie ski legend is ready to rock, as soon as the rocks are covered. And as long as regional Victoria remains out of lockdown.
COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, with Falls Creek lifts ‘suspended’ until at least 19th August (the reasons for which are presented in Vail Resort’s COO Peter Brulisauer’s letter here), but the Falls Resort Village open and functioning (as detailed on the link here), Lee is waiting for good news on the snowfall front and no more bad news on the lockdowns front.
On the snowfall front Steve’s says they need around 50cm to make things skiable – unfortunately the area missed out on the snow that hit the NSW resorts and backcountry the past few days. That’s in the lap of the Gods, no snowmaking out the back.
The other side of the equation is out of his control – that’s in the lap of the Premier, medical experts advising him, and everybody’s diligence or lack of in minimising potential spread. We all know, or should know, what to do on that front.
But with those two provisos aside, there really is no better powered skiing and riding option in Australia than Steve’s famous tours. Even better, you don’t have to pay heliski, or even catski, prices to enjoy them.
At from just $179 for morning group sessions to from $1074 for a private 4 person half day there are plenty of affordable options.
The same goes for terrain and level options – there is something in their 450ha area to suit intermediate to expert skiers and boarders.
“From the super cruisy open bowls and gullies of Rocky Knolls to tree skiing Pretty Valley, or dropping into the black diamond steeps and chutes of Mt McKay.”
The ride on the custom snowmobiles is almost as much fun as the skiing, your kids if you take them will likely say more fun. On the kids front there is no exact age or size requirement – if the kids can ski/ride OK they will handle it.
“They have to be competent on blue runs. But if they book a private we can keep them on terrain that’s suits” says Steve.
For those who don’t know Lee (many would recognise him from commentating on numerous Winter Olympics) the blurb on the website is as all true: Steve is a legend of the Aussie snow scene, 3 time winter olympian and world class freerider. As a Falls local Steve knows the backcountry literally like the back of his hand.
Nearly 30 years ago we had the privilege of watching him smash the longest Downhill course on the World Cup circuit, the Lauberhorn at Wengen in the Jungfrau. Even more than how good the race was, I’ve never forgotten skiing with him briefly off a lift with a near flat run out for the first 100m; he just disappeared ahead like I was standing still – superior glide speed being one of his attributes.
No shame in getting left behind by Lee, he’s Australia’s second best ski racer ever, just shaded for first spot by another Falls skier and his inspiration as a youngster, Malcolm Milne.
But of course he adapts the pace to the clients.
So if you are in Victoria’s regions, especially for local skiers and riders missing their snow fix, then get on to lock in some tentative dates for as soon as the snow allows the go button to be hit on the link here.
No one would be putting money on lifts re-opening, even in August. There are just too many ifs at the moment.
So if you’re not into earn-your-turns Steve Lee’s Backcountry Tours are the last best shot at salvaging some memorable snow sessions out of Falls this winter – subject to the two ifs outlined above of snow and no more lockdowns/restrictions.
As soon as Japan flights get back on the menu anyone heading to Hakuba should check out his Hakuba tours too.