There have been huge snowfalls for most of Australia’s ski resorts ahead of the main season start on Saturday, although not everywhere has benefitted.
The biggest accumulations, of up to 60cm (2 feet), were reported by ski areas in New South Wales with Perisher, which has already opened a week early, and Charlotte Pass posting the biggest numbers.
The heavy snowfall came after a week of low temperatures in which ski areas had already been able to build a snowmaking base to runs, so this combination of machine made snow with lots of natural snow on top has created unusually great conditions for opening weekend.
Australian areas traditionally almost all open over the Queen’s Birthday long-weekend in the country and sometimes open with little or no snow so early in the winter.
But despite Sydney reporting its coldest temperatures for over 120 years, not all of Australia’s ski areas got a lot of snow.
In Victoria Mt Buller has little fresh snow to see on its webcams and is instead crediting its snowmaking efforts in May and early June building a 45cm (18”) base for being able to open. Another Victoria resort, Mt Baw Baw, said the snow there turned to rain, leading to flooding and “damage” so it won’t have any skiing for opening weekend. The resort said it over 275mm of precipitation (beating the previous record of 145mm).
Elsewhere though it is looking good. Thredbo (pictured above and top) announced on Wednesday, after its first 40cm (16 inches) of snowfall was reported, that it will be opening on Saturday with Gunbarrel, Cruiser, Merritts Gondola and Easy Does It all open for skiing and boarding serving Walkabout, Ballroom and Squatters Run in the Cruiser Area as well as High Noon, Dream Run and Friday Flat, with the Easy Rider Terrain Park also making its season debut.
Hotham (below) will have their Road Runner, Summit Quad and Summit Trainer lifts spinning from Saturday and say they plan to open up more terrain as soon as they can and Falls Creek say they will have Halley’s Comet, Towers and Drovers Dream lifts plus Mouse Trap Carpet operating from opening day plus the Eagle Express and Gully chairs open for access to the Village bowl and Cloud 9 with Main Street, Drover‘s Dream and Wombats Ramble among the open terrain.
The lockdown in Victoria and Melbourne following cases of the Delta variant being found there have now ended, but there’s currently a ban on residents of Melbourne travelling more than 25km from the city, ruling out ski trips from there for opening weekend.