All posts by Snowriders Australia

Celebrating National Threatened Species Day at Falls Creek

By Ian Scoop Talbot

September 7 is National Threatened Species Day in Australia. The date commemorates the death of the last known Tasmanian tiger, which died dismally at the Hobart Zoo 82 years ago this year.

Of all the threatened species in this country, one lives very close to home in northeast Victoria. The mountain pygmy-possum is a small, ground-dwelling native that lives amongst the alpine and sub-alpine boulderfields and rocky scree in southeastern Australia.

They are the only Australian marsupial that hibernates for long periods during the winter months.

What is remarkable about the mountain pygmy-possum is how we came to know of them. In 1896 Scottish South African doctor and palaeontologist Robert Broom was working in Australia, when he discovered the species. Not alive, however, but in a fossil. It was thus assumed that the little pygmy was long extinct.

That wasn’t until 1966 when a live, unfossilised version was discovered in a ski lodge at Mount Hotham. With only one verified living animal, the 1967 Guinness Book of Records recorded the mountain pygmy possum as the rarest animal on earth.

On Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September, local ranger Meaghan Raymond will be on hand at Falls Creek Cross Country to discuss what Parks Victoria is doing to help the possum, as well as things you can do to help endangered species survive.
Falls Creek Cross Country is also offering free ski hire on the day for anyone who wants to get out and explore the High Plains.

Aussie resorts: deepest base in 14 years

This weekend latest antarctic blast has left our Aussie resorts blanketed in  a thick layer of fresh snow.

From Mt Buller in Victoria to Thredbo in NSW, conditions this weekend are expected to be some of the best in recent years.  In fact, today’s snowfalls are predicted to take snow depths past 2 m – and that mean snows to Christmas, prompting Hotham and Perisher to extend their snow seasons into October.

Mt Buller’s Rhylla Morgan, reported this  morning that skiers and boarders are reveling in the excellent conditions right across the   mountain open.  “With well over 1 and half metres of cover and now fresh snow landing, it’s a great day to be out on skis today,” said General Manager of Buller Ski Lifts Laurie Blampied.


Mt Buller will remain open for skiing and boarding until the end of the October school holidays and the excellent snow cover is boosting confidence in school holiday bookings.

Conditions are similar at Thredbo in NSW.  A solid snow bearing weather system rolled across the Snowy Mountains over night delivering 25 cms of fresh snow to Thredbo Resort this morning. Snow is continuing to fall this afternoon to the village levels with up to 40 cm expected in the next 24 hrs. The mountain and the village are looking exceptional in white.



“We were expecting the snow to fall but the intensity was surprising, it was consistent and heavy for most of the morning and into the afternoon. This really is the giving season, it just keep delivering the goods” said Susie Diver Thredbo Communications Manager.

The 2018 season is shaping up to be one of the best for a while with the Snowy Hydro snow depth eclipsing the 2 m mark this week, giving us the best snow tally at this time of the year since 2004.

All images courtesy Thredbo and Mt Buller.

Charlotte Pass to be upgraded under a $10M plan

Charlotte Pass Snow Resort Pty Ltd (CPSR) today announced a 10 million-dollar, 10 Year Capital Investment program for the resort.

This unprecedented investment at Charlotte Pass will see an increase in lifting capacity and the expansion of accessible terrain, through the installation of a brand-new Surface Lift towards Mount Stilwell and the replacement of the Basin Poma with a new surface lift.

The snow season will be extended to operate from the June to October long weekend each year, with the installation of automated snowmaking to cover the Kosciuszko Triple Chair (to Mid-Station), Kosi Carpet and Basin Poma areas.

The ‘Grand Old Lady of the Mountains’, the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel will be undergoing a major refurbishment of all guest rooms, food and beverage outlets.

The Charlotte Pass Oversnow Transport fleet will be expanded, with 2 additional Oversnow vehicles. Charlotte Pass will also be investing in a range of initiatives to improve the environmental performance of the resort.

This investment will also see the development of Year-Round activation of the resort, including the construction of conference and multifunction facilities at the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel. The resort will also move towards the provision of Accommodation, Food & Beverage facilities Year-Round, as well as the operation of the Kosciuszko Triple Chair during peak periods.

Kevin Blyton, Chairman of the Blyton Group said “today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to the long-term growth of Charlotte Pass Snow Resort. We believe this investment over the next 10 years will transform Charlotte Pass, building on its legacy as an on-snow experience like no other”.

The Charlotte Pass 10 Year Masterplan will deliver the following new initiatives from 2019 onwards:

Extended Snow Season
• The Charlotte Pass Snow season will operate from the June to October long weekend each year (subject to snow conditions).

Installation of next generation automated snowmaking system – Snowmaking system to cover the Kosciuszko Triple Chair (to Mid-Station), Kosi Carpet & Basin Poma
• Construction of new pumping station
• New underground piping & electrical cabling
• Installation of fully automated snow making guns

Refurbishment of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel – Retaining its heritage characteristics while upgrading the standard of accommodation
• Upgrade of all guest rooms and suites
• Upgrade and re-configuration of Adams Cocktail Lounge
• Upgrade of The Cellar Bar.
• Expansion of Gift Shop and General Store.
• Re-configuration of hotel heating and plumbing systems.

Replacement of Basin Poma lift with a new surface lift – Next generation surface lift tailored specifically to beginners
• Undertake feasibility and Environmental Impact study.
• Preparation of Development Application and Environmental Impact statement.
• Installation of surface lift to replace Basin Poma, with greater lifting capacity than the existing Poma

Construction of a new surface lift towards Mount Stilwell – This will significantly expand the skiable terrain on offer at the Resort
• Undertake feasibility and Environmental Impact study.
• Preparation of Development Application and Environmental Impact statement.
• Installation of new surface lift towards Mount Stilwell, with associated underground power and communication cabling as required.

Expansion of oversnow fleet – Ensuring ongoing rapid, safe and reliable access to the resort
• Purchase of 2 additional Oversnow vehicles

Continue to improve the environmental performance of Charlotte Pass
• Replacement of automated Programmable Logic Controllers used in connection with the operation of the Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP).
• Construction of roof over outdoor tanks at the STP, improving the overall energy efficiency.
• Re-cladding of STP buildings.
• Sealing of roads within the resort.
• Development of stormwater monitoring program.
• Increased investment in energy saving initiatives.
• Development of new waste and recycling program to increase awareness.

Construction, re-configuration and refurbishment of buildings
• Construction of new staff accommodation building
• Re-configuration of current Bella Vista staff accommodation to become new Charlotte Pass Snow Centre, encompassing:
o Expanded space for further development of Children’s Snowsports programs.
o New ‘Day Lodge’ venue.
o Central Oversnow Transport Hub
• Re-configuration of Snow Centre to become dedicated Equipment Hire Centre

Implementation of Year-Round Resort Activation
• Provision of Food & Beverage Facilities Year-Round.
• Operation of the Kosciuszko Triple Chair during peak periods.
• Accommodation to be available year-round.
• Development of a Summer Events Program.
• Development of Conference & Function Facilities, with construction of multifunction facilities at rear of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel to facilitate functions and conferences of various sizes.

* All proposed works & timeframes are subject to NSW Government Planning Approval process

15cm of fresh snow at Mt Buller

15cms of snow landed at Mt Buller early this morning to the delight of skiers, snowboarders and snowplayers who were out early revelling in the fresh and powdery snow conditions.

There is a fresh and very good cover in resort which is perfect timing for one of the most popular weekends on the winter calendar. The resort hosts the thrilling Burton Cattleman’s Rail Jam event on Saturday and with Twilight Sessions this weekend skiers and snowplayers can enjoy extra time on the snow until late under lights.

“Mt Buller is looking beautiful right now with plenty of light fresh snow sitting across the mountain and snow falling to lower levels,” said Rhylla Morgan from Buller Ski Lifts. “This weekend is set to be a cracker with all the action and adrenaline of the Burton Cattleman’s Rail Jam on show in the village tomorrow night. These are the best snowboarders in the country and they always put on a breathtaking show.”

“The riding up here right now is superb thanks to lots of fresh snow sitting on an already very good base. We will have every lift in the resort rolling this weekend and it’s going to be a good time to get out and explore the mountain.”

Mt Buller recommends visitors this weekend book their resort entry online the day before and arrive early as it will be a popular weekend.

Follow up snow showers are expected to continue into next week.

The snow is back!

The snow is back in the mountains this week with Thredbo and Perisher reporting 30 and 20 cm of fresh, light snow, respectively.

After a week of variable weather, everyone is excited to welcome back true wintery conditions, as a blustery cold front moved through the region bringing solid snowfalls and very cold temperatures, at 5 below zero.

Perisher presently has 46 lifts turning giving guests plenty of terrain to explore across Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega. Thredbo is also going off with some of the best conditions of the season so far.

Today, excited skiers and boarders lined up early to get into the fresh snow and they were rewarded with fresh tracks both on and off the piste.

The snow is set to clear tomorrow to a mostly fine week, with conditions again perfect for more snowmaking.

All images courtesy of Thredbo and Perisher.

Buller Air Zone launch gives Mt Buller new altitude!

Mt Buller today announced the opening of Australia’s newest indoor acrobatic facility, the Buller Air Zone. Featuring one of the largest airbags in Australia and the largest inflatable bouldering wall in the world, the facility will take indoor activities at Mt Buller to new heights.

A landmark partnership between the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA), Ski & Snowboard Australia, Buller Ski Lifts, and the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Resort Management Board (RMB) saw athlete training programs at Mt Buller recognised as an official Olympic Training Centre. This cements Mt Buller as the Victorian home of future Olympic champions in aerials and mogul skiing.

These elite athletes need an indoor facility to train, develop and enhance their acrobatic skills. So the OWIA and RMB have spent $0.5m constructing the Buller Air Zone, a purpose built facility which will also be open to the public throughout summer and winter.

Mark Bennetts, CEO of the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Resort Management Board said, “This is a tremendously exciting facility for the mountains. Our elite athletes will be able to train year-round, and visitors will be able to play, jump and climb in our freestyle playground. It will help boost tourism to Mt Buller and the Mansfield region, providing another activity for families, school groups and training camps in summer. It also provides another activity for winter visitors to enjoy during the daytime or at night once the lifts stop turning”.

The Buller Air Zone features five trampolines including a 20’x10’ mega tramp, waterfall tramp, giant air bag, “walk the ridge”, climbing ladder, inflatable bouldering wall and fixed climbing wall with self belay devices. It will be open daily throughout winter and at selected times throughout summer.

“We encourage everyone visiting Mt Buller to come and give BAZ a go!”, said Mr Bennetts. “There are special sessions for younger kids and the facility is available for group bookings. We are also pleased to offer a 20% discount for Mansfield Shire residents. So everyone from young children through to Olympians can enjoy playing and training at Mt Buller.”

Visit for more information on the Buller Air Zone including opening hours and bookings.

Thredbo: “It’s dumping and there’s no sign of it letting up yet”

Skiers and snowboarders at Thredbo Alpine Resort were greeted with fun powder turns this morning, with every run delivering smiles for miles and great coverage across the entire mountain. The Powder Bowl and Bushranger were the pick of the morning, offering deep turns and lots of fun natural features to play with. The fresh flakes on Friday Flat ensured for plenty of family fun including snowball fights and snowman building.

Conditions are still fresh and dry up top, with plenty of pow stashes to be found. The village is looking like a winter wonderland, perfect for a post ski or board lunch and hot chocolate.

It’s still currently snowing, with experts claiming another 10cm+ to fall, making for another awesome day of fresh turns tomorrow.

This snow storm will set up a sensational week of riding, with the sun expected to make a reappearance around Tuesday. Between the amazing weather and conditions across the mountain, it’s going to be another awesome week of school holidays with heaps of fun activities and entertainment for all families to enjoy.

Best start to the Aussie snow season in 18 years

Hopefully some of you out there have managed to get up to the mountains this weekend.
Perisher wrote to us yesterday to advise that they have now opened all four resort areas, after Guthega made its season debut on Saturday.

Last week saw 82cm of snow fall which set up the resort to open a large amount of terrain. Mother nature has been very kind this year allowing most resorts to open a wide range of terrain; the most they’ve been able to open this early in the season for 18 years.

In fact, yesterday saw 33 lifts spinning across the Perisher with links between Perisher, Blue Cow and Guthega allowing skiers and snowboarders to move freely between the mind-boggling amount of terrain on offer. Excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions prevail this weekend and the consistent clear sunny days and cold evenings have allowed the snowmaking teams to pump out snow night after night.

What a great start to the season. Let’s hope it continues. Send us your images and stories if you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains.

The SRA team.

It’s going off in the mountains this weekend

What an amazing week it’s been in the mountains this week. And this weekend is sure to follow suit in what will be surely be the best weekend of the season to date.

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Perisher and Hotham have received 80cm and 100 cm of snow this week respectively and all are heading into the weekend with the best snow conditions since 2000.

In NSW, Blue Cow opened yesterday too. With the Ridge, Summit and Terminal Quad Chairlifts spinning, there is some amazing skiing and boarding to be had on old the crowd favourites, Zali’s and Excelerator.

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As we move into the weekend, Mt Perisher is opening tomorrow and Guthega on Saturday.

Perisher_Media_JM_June 20, 2018_4

All images courtesy of Perisher

Perisher to open 32 lifts this weekend!

The 2019 season has started with a bang!  The first winter storm of the season has been relentless, bringing with it 82cm of new snow since last Wednesday..

And it’s not stopping there either.  Pete the Frog Taylor from Snowatch is predicting another 10 cm over the next 10 days.

Perisher_Social_JM_June 15, 2018_2.jpg

Joss McAlpin, Perisher, reports ‘six days of freezing temperatures, heavy snowfalls and strong winds have provided sensational early season conditions. So much so, that this weekend we are opening 32 lifts, across all four ski areas.

  • Thursday – Blue Cow open for the season featuring the Ridge and Summit Quad Chairlifts
  • Friday –  Mt Perisher open for the season with the Mt Perisher Triple and Double Chairlifts
  • Saturday –  Guthega opening including  the Freedom Quad Chairlift”

Perisher’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Brulisauer, echoed Joss’ comments, indicating “the early season conditions are the best he’s seen since 2000”.

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All images courtesy Perisher.