Snow It All discusses dangers of avalanches in Australia

Snow It All talks about avalanche danger in Australia in this piece:

“The ski and snowboard world is a tight-knit community. When someone is badly injured or loses their life on the slopes, chances are you have shared a lift line with them, have met them at a bar, know them personally or are related to them.

Deaths at the snow in beach-obsessed Australia hits deep – and there have been a few already this season. A season that has been heralded for big powder storms and some of the best conditions in over a decade – conditions few of us are used to so accidents are bound to happen.

Excitement has been contagious and a fervor to be the first to get the most of each storm has infected already over-excited skiers and boarders who have attempted terrain outside of their skill level, ducked under closed ropes or hit the side and back country without appropriate equipment or knowledge.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/blogs/snow-it-all/when-a-ski-trip-goes-wrong-20140813-3dm4z.html#ixzz3ATqfugG8

Where is Australia’s best ski resort?

Great story by Miss Snow It All at www.theage.com.au

“Imagine for a moment Australia’s perfect ski resort. The terrain of Thredbo and Hotham, the ski-in ski-out village of Falls Creek, the scale of Perisher and the urban proximity of Mt Buller.

Those devoted to their ‘own’ resort would find this sacrilege. There is no-one more passionate than a skier or boarder addicted to their resort of choice. When discussing the competition, stereotypes abound.

Buller has attitude and too many clubbies, Thredbo is old-school skier territory stuck in the past, Perisher is like Pitt Street in peak hour, Falls is flat (the ultimate insult) and Hotham too disjointed. I’ve heard them all this week while on snow tour in New South Wales and Victoria.

One thing overly-passionate skiers like to do is criticise other skiers, or at least the areas in which they choose to make their turns, in an effort to justify their own choice of field. Who really cares? Are you having fun? Then you are winning, regardless of where you lay your snowboard.

Haters will always hate. So who really does have the most going on (in a good way)? Does Victoria or New South Wales come first across that best package line?

For apres ski, Victoria lords it over New South Wales. Thredbo and Perisher don’t even come close to the on-mountain dining and drinking options, and standard of Buller and Falls Creek. My liver can attest to that.

For terrain Perisher wins in scale, Thredbo in vertical and variety. That’s a no-brainer, though Hothamites will rightly argue otherwise and Buller this year has been better than any other, or so everyone keeps telling me.

My personal favourite sidecountry run is Dead Horse Gap, so easily accessed from the top of Thredbo. Steve Lee at Falls Creek will say his terrain is better, but you have to pay for the service of being guided and transported by skidoo, so they can’t really be genuinely compared.

The best run on a powder day? Has to be The Bluff at Thredbo, if you can get to the front of the stampede. Though isn’t any run a good run on a powder day?

Charlotte Pass and Guthega at Perisher in New South Wales both win for charm, Falls Creek for happy lifties and lift queues (the chairlift capacity far outweighs the bed capacity in the village, so queues are rarely seen). Victorian resorts have swanky day spas, New South Wales resorts don’t.

For honest snow reports, Falls Creek wins this week with their ‘worst house on the best street’ email to their database. There’s nothing skiers and boarders like more than the truth and nothing they will chastise you more for than lies.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/blogs/snow-it-all/victoria-v-nsw-where-is-australias-perfect-ski-resort-20140730-3ctwz.html#ixzz3AIC2LjbA

Good description of Mt. Buller in Australia from On The Snow

On The Snow wrote a helpful piece on Mt. Buller in Australia:

A three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mt. Buller is close enough for a day’s escape. There are 25 runs in total divided into two areas of the mountain: the Northern Slopes and Southern Slopes. Intermediate runs are found on both sides of the mountain, favorites include the wide cruising slopes of Little Buller Spur and Wombat. Most advanced runs are on the south side, such as the popular Federation, Wood Run, Bull Run and Wombat bowls. First-timers can find their feet by buying a Discovery Pass which costs $108 (AUD) for one day which includes a two-hour lesson and access to seven beginner lifts. Buller also has five miles of cross-country trails, three terrain parks and two toboggan parks.

When to go: Early June to Early October

Terrain: 740 acres

Lifts: Three high-speed chairs and 10 surface lifts

Après-ski: After working up an appetite on the slopes, relax with a gluhwine next to the fire at the Moosehead bar or head to the lively Kooroora bar—a favorite locals’ watering hole. Choose from a range of dining options, including gourmet burgers, Italian, Asian, tapas and more.

Resort facilities: Mt Buller is also home to the High Alpine Spa Retreat—Australia’s highest day spa. Buller has more than 30 bars and restaurants and around 7,000 beds, some of which are ski-in/ski-out properties. There’s also a ski school, a range of shops, a movie theater and ski rentals.

Ski pass prices: Daily lift tickets cost $113 (AUD)

Transportation: Located 154 miles from Melbourne, it’s a three-hour drive away via the Hume Highway or Maroondah Highway. Park about a mile from Buller and take the free shuttle service. A number of private coach companies also operate between Melbourne and Buller.

Australian Geographic lists best ski resorts down under

Interesting story in Australian Geographic:

“WHY HEAD OVERSEAS FOR an action packed winter getaway when some of the best slopes are right here on your doorstep? Save on flights, avoid the hassle, and kick-up some of Australia’s powder bowls for longer this winter.

Whether you’re about to embark on your first-ever ski experience or are a seasoned boarder – look no further, Australia has an alpine playground suited to you.

Ski and Snowboard Australia Chief Executive Officer Michael Kennedy says skiing in Australia beats its New Zealand counterpart hands down. “Skiing in New Zealand is completely overrated,” he says.

Staying local means you don’t have to battle long lines at the airport, he adds, or worry about baggage restrictions and more.  “There’s something very nice about jumping in the car and driving up to where you’re staying,” he says.

New Zealand has bigger mountains and more snow, but you’re not necessarily guaranteed a ski, Michael says. “People have expectations, and then because of the weather, they can’t get up the mountain at all.

And the cost of skiing in Australia isn’t much different from overseas. “A lot of noise is being made- but the industry is making an effort to provide better value for money. Resorts came out at the end of last season and promoted early bird passes and helped to generate some excitement,” Michael says.

Michael says Perisher will draw in the biggest crowd this season, and Mt Buller will continue to pull the Melbourne weekender market. Falls Creek is the place to go for families, says Michael, while Thredbo continues to provide a unique European village feel.

Read more about ski resorts in Australia

Miss Snow It All discusses privileged skier problems in Australia

Another fun story from Miss Snow It All in the Syndney Morning Herald:

Australia is in the middle of a snow rush. The double header snow storm that hit hard two weeks ago has been followed by another massive half-metre dump this week, with more predicted on Saturday.

Today is a bluebird powder day across Australia’s resorts. Let’s just say skiers, snowboarders and resorts are on a serious high champing-at-the-powder-bit to get first tracks and boast their luck on social media, to make the rest of us lament our non-powder lives.

But with every manic high their comes a low, a downer, a moment when it all gets too much and the toys get thrown out of the cot.

We call that ‘privileged skier problems’. Those moments when you can’t really believe what came out of your fellow skier or snowboarder’s mouth, or even your own.

Paid too much for your ski pass? #privilegedskierproblem At least you can afford a ski pass.

Lift line too long? #privilegedskierproblem You could be lining up for food stamps instead.

Today I am cursing my ill-timed trip to Falls Creek (at least I am going to Falls Creek, right?), arriving tonight, and therefore missing this morning’s bluebird powder day. If that’s the biggest problem in my life, then clearly I should cancel therapy.

In moments of exhaustion I have heard myself spitting chips that there’s no gluten-free to be had, like a crossfit addict deprived of kale. I have complained about the stampede of fellow skiers and boarders behind me as I try to get first tracks, and I have screamed blue murder at my choice to ski in a blinding wind blizzard storm.

Seriously? #privilegedskierproblem

Read more in PRIVILEGED.

Late snow forces ski resorts to rely on artificial snow in Australia

Australia is sometimes the petri dish of climate change – a place where global warming is not just a theoretical concept but a tangible reality.

Environmentalists point to the fact that last year was once again the hottest on record, seeing drought and devastating bush fires. And a late snow has forced the ski industry in places like Mount Buller to rely on artificial snow to keep resorts operating.

But the country’s conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott is viewed by many as a climate change sceptic. He once described the science behind human-induced global warming as “absolute crap”.

He has pledged to abolish the country’s carbon tax and has shut down a number of climate research bodies.

The BBC’s Australia correspondent Jon Donnison reports.

Smith Travel Blog picks best ski resorts in New Zealand and Australia

 

 

The Spire, Queenstown, New Zealand

Looking for the best ski resorts? Itching to ski New Zealand or ski Australia? Good timing: as you read this, snowflakes are falling in flurries across the ski fields.

It’s set to be one of the best snow seasons, so whether the snow gums of Falls Creek are beckoning or the Remarkables’ impressive mountain ranges near Queenstown tickle your fancy, Mr & Mrs Smith will get you there.

We even have a bunch of hotels in winter wonderlands with 30 per cent off. There’s no better time than now to don those long johns, sip mulled wine and set off on an alpine adventure.

Azur Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand

Azur Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand
‘Mind-bogglingly beautiful’ is the only way to describe this corner of the world. Azur Lodge’s free-standing stone and silver beechwood villas offer uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu’s smooth expanse, all the way to the mountainous horizon of the Southern Alps. Aromatherapy burners and soothing essential oils in bedrooms set the mood for a relaxing respite amid nature. The double spa baths and rainforest showers hint at sexy soaping; floor-to-ceiling windows let the outdoors in. Choose number 5 for added seclusion. There’s no restaurant here, but breakfast is served from 7am to mid-afternoon and the sociable bar that pops up in the main lodge daily more than makes up for you having to venture into town – or just order in with the help of the concierge. View offer

QT Falls Creek, High Country, Australia

QT Falls Creek, High Country, Australia
A change from its calmer summer self, Falls Creek in winter sees adventure-seekers flock to QT Falls Creek to play amid the freshly powdered scenery. Embrace your inner chef with the in-room kitchenettes or sample international cuisine at Bazaar, the hotel’s restaurant that dishes up Asian-influenced cuisine and organic salads. Stingray bar (only open in peak season) will entertain you with local musicians and DJ sets while you sip a hot toddy and nibble Mexican-inspired snacks. Almost all rooms have hot tubs stationed on private balconies for watching skiers slalom down the mountain – it’s not a bad setting for a glass of bubbly, either. East Tower rooms offer the best vistas, but for your own fireplace and a roomier Jacuzzi, the Two-Bedroom Penthouse E306 is a must. No need to pack the Uggs, there’s underfloor heating in these swish abodes, so your tootsies can get some air after being booted-up all day.

The Spire, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Spire, Queenstown, New Zealand
Nestled in Queenstown’s CBD, rubbing shoulders with boutiques, bars and restaurants, you’ll find The Spire. Set a peaceful distance away from the excitement and crowds on the ski fields, this is the perfect destination to enjoy the town’s adventurous activities before retreating to sophisticated cosiness. This boutique sanctuary is home to 10 suites, each one graced with stone-clad fireplaces, private balconies and L’Occitane toiletries. Choose Room 6 for its exclusive views of the hotel’s namesake spire. Settle in at No5 Church Lane, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, where you’ll be plied with warming tipples and Thai tapas. View offer


Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand

Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Incredible alpine and lake views teamed with energy-saving practices and locally-sourced, seasonal and organic produce set Matakauri Lodge apart from the competition in Queenstown. Executive Chef Dale Gartland will let you order tailor-made creations on a daily-changing menu – he’ll even source fresh seafood and game on request. Deluxe Suites 7 or 9, located at each end of the lodge, give a bit of extra privacy, but really, every single one of the 11 rooms is blessed with flawless flashes of mesmerising mountains and velvety Lake Wakatipu – not to mention fireplaces and soaking tubs by floor-to-ceiling windows. Adventure is in the air here, so don’t forgot that instead of staring at the view, you should get amongst it – ski down Coronet Peak or jet-boat through ice-cold water that’s trickled down the Southern Alps. View offer

See the full list of stylish hotels in Australia and hotels in New Zealand with 30 per cent off, browse more of Mr & Mrs Smith’s stylish boutique hotels and offers or call the expert Travel Team. Smith guests enjoy exclusive extras at all stays.*

*Copy compiled by Kat Williams

Australian ski resorts report almost five feet of new snow

Patrick Thorne files this great report with inthesnow.com:

Australian ski areas – which started their season badly on June 7th with almost no snow following a record warm May, are celebrating snowfalls of up to almost five feet (1.4m in fact) during the last four days.

The snow has now stopped leaving resorts well-covered ahead of the weekend and the country’s school holiday period.

“We expect to have over 40 lifts operating for the weekend across the four resorts areas of Perisher, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega,” said Samantha Hales, Communications and Media Manager at Australia’s biggest resort which now has a 102.1 cm base,

“There is a lot of work to do to get the resort open after a big storm as we need to get out there and groom out the wind drift, build lift tracks and ensure the resorts is safe for guests.”

Meanwhile at Mt Hotham called the snowfall ‘Snowmageddon 1.0’ and are expecting ‘Snowmageddon 2.0’ to follow bon later this weekend,

“Snowmageddon 1.0  started last Monday and brought the snowfall we have all been waiting for. Within 3 days we had over 70cm of snow, got 6 lifts going and are looking forward to the best school holiday skiing and riding in years.  Another front is coming in on Saturday and we will be hitting the 1-meter mark by Saturday night/Sunday morning,” said a statement from the resort, which currently has seven  lifts running.

Check it out at SNOW.

Charlotte Pass great for back-country skiing and families in Australia

Flip Byrnes finishes his tour of New South Wales ski resorts in Australian Traveller:

Charlotte Pass: Snowbound Wonderland

Best for: Back-country bandits and families.

In a nutshell: You never forget your first love, and for many of us, that’s Charlotte Pass. Nestled against the flanks of Australia’s largest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko,Charlotte’s is a 45-minute over-snow cat ride from Perisher, and a universe away. There are no cars, no roads, just a handful of lodges dotted around the magnificent, refurbished 1930s Kosciusko Chalet.

Back country enthusiasts are drawn by easy access to off-piste terrain and families love skiing the intimate five lifts over 50 hectares. In a week, you’ll know every lift operator’s name, and like us, return thirty years later with your own generation of future pro skiers.

Underrated run: A little hike goes a long way. Hike to Kangaroo Ridge Cornice or Guthrie’s Chutes for some adrenalin-inducing action.

Best spot for an après: Sink into a leather couch fire-side at Adam’s Cocktail Lounge in The Kosciuszko Chalet, or sink beers while sinking balls in a game of pool in The Cellar.

Local tip: Day trips to Charlotte’s are available from Perisher ($97 for adults and $60 for children). There are two return over-snow transport packages with either a lift pass and hot lunch, or a two-and-a-half hour snow shoe tour with picnic lunch.

More info: charlottepass.com.au

Family will love the Selwyn Snowfields in New South Wales

Australian Traveller’s Flip Byrnes continues his guide to ski resorts in New South Wales:

Selwyn Snowfields: Family Nirvana

Best for: Snow newbies who don’t want to burn gold bars trying a new sport.

In a nutshell: It’s small; with 10 lifts and 45 hectares of terrain. But that’s what renders it perfect for people who fall over when not even moving on skis. There’s nowhere to get lost, help is always at hand and the family that skis together, stays together.

It’s also great value at $82 an adult and $45 a child for a peak season day pass, and if you’re breeding future free-riders who just want park-play, a terrain park ticket accessing the two parks is a cheap-as-chips $25 per person.

It’s a day resort, meaning there’s no on-snow accommodation, but the Snowy Mountains Holiday Centre can arrange packages and hotels around Adaminaby (smhc.com.au).

Underrated run: First timers can score a great initial impression of powder skiing down The Meadows on snowfall days, running from Emu’s Chase straight to the Race Course T-bar.

Best spot for an après: The Swinging T-bar on the mezzanine is the best place (okay, the only place) to kick back with a cup of barista perfection. Alternatively, Wild Brumby Schnapps (with locally-made schnapps) overlooks the slopes. Put your feet up and enjoy the sweeping views (wildbrumby.com).

What’s new? Public barbecues were added this summer, near the Toboggan Slope – ready for winter picnics. The snow-making capacity has also been increased with snow guns being mounted on lift towers.

Local tip: Seeking a calorie injection? The Bake House in Adaminaby has a mouth-watering range of Danish pastries to refuel weary ski legs (02 6454 2092).

More info: selwynsnow.com.au