Sunset for the season at Buller and Baw Baw

UPDATE 6/8/20:

Buller’s attempt to stay open lasted one day – they followed suit, Buller and Stirling are closed to visitors until September 13th, details here

UPDATE 5/8/20:

AS anticipated, Baw Baw announced they were closing all facilities until 14 September earlier today.

Buller’s website says lifts will operate tomorrow:

As at 7pm on Wednesday 5 August Mt Buller and Mt Stirling remain open to visitors who are permitted to travel pending further government advice. Lifts will operate on Thursday 6 August.” (our italics)

According to DHHS Victoria Level 3 guidelines:

Can I do snow sports? Cross country skiing is permitted for people who live close to an area where this is possible.”

Which would appear to preclude lift access, but allow Stirling, or Buller, earn-your-turns, for those living close. How close? Go figure .. Like so many guidelines there is a lot of grey area. But as above, Buller think they can still run lifts. One further point in the DHHS Level 3 guidelines, which sums up why everybody really needs to do as little as possible outside their homes is this: “Victorians must use common sense and consideration when it comes to their activities. Lives are counting on it.”

Three weeks of Level 3 don’t appear to have achieved much for bringing down Melbourne’s COVID numbers yet – except they would presumably have been even worse without them. Lax interpretation of the restrictions has undoubtedly contributed to that.

Original article 2/8/20:

Quite amazingly, given the circumstances with Melbourne in Stage 3 lockdown, Buller and Baw Baw, have remained open with lifts turning.

The latest news of Level 4 restrictions for Melbourne from tonight and Level 3 for the rest of regional Victoria formerly unrestricted surely means the end for lift-accessed skiing for Victorians.

Only those living there will be able to access the mountains for AT/XC/splitboarding/bootpacking earn your turns either – as long as that falls within the “excercise or outdoor recreation” definition of the Stage 3 rules as detailed below.

Another great sunset and full moon tonight at Buller ..

There has been no official announcement yet, but that must surely be only a matter of time.

It’s a turn of events made harder to bear by the relatively successful containment and isolation of the 4 active COVID-19 cases in Mansfield Shire surrounding Buller.

But given the situation in Victoria it has been almost certain to happen.

These are the Stage 3 restriction details in effect from 11:59PM on Wednesday August 5th –

Regional Victoria including Mitchell Shire will move to Stage 3 restrictions

This means you must stay home except for the following four reasons:

  • For food and essential supplies
  • For study or work
  • For care and healthcare
  • And for exercise or outdoor recreation

When outside your home, you must wear a face covering.

No visitors are allowed at your home, and you are only allowed to gather with one person from outside your household in public.

For latest go to COVID details on Vic Govt site

So not much scope for skiing in that.

Just when some natural snowfall was on the way at last. Murphy’s Law comes into play.

It’s small solace, but losing this snow drought season is surely better than losing a mega snow season – as is happening right now across the Southern Hemisphere in Chile (with 100% ski resort closure) and Argentina (with only 4 of 30 resorts open and those only for locals), despite the best snow in decades. NZ and Lesotho are the two countries bucking the COVID closure trend, and NSW .. so far!

Thanks for hanging in as long as you could Buller and Baw Baw! And shout out to all our friends with businesses and jobs up there, the Aussie snow industry joins tourism and hospitality as among those worst affected.

Roll on 2021 ..