Pg. 050 Changing Moods
Jake’s McBride’s photography captures the different elements that make up an Australian winter
Something about the western faces of the NSW snowy that never get old. This knoll is a favourite spot to a lot of backcountry crew. It has incredible views in all directions as well as being the main rout to the famed Watsons Crags.
One of my favourite things about skiing in Australia is the
ever-changing nature of our mountain environment.
The protected lower valleys of our resorts can at times, even in mid-winter, be an extremely tame place – sunny with light winds, almost picnic weather! Of course a nice low pressure system aimed in the right direction combined with the right elements can
change all that. Suddenly the T-shirt is packed away and replaced with your full winter gear.
There is nothing better than cozying up inside your ski jacket, goggles and beanie on, and your jacket hood securely holding the whole lot together while the elements rage violently around you. Traversing the upper slopes of the mountain, the anticipation grows as the wind
constantly whips snowdrifts across your path, hopefully filling in your favourite run ahead.
You can travel all over the world to ski and find that although our mountains are comparably tame, our weather can at times be world-class horrid, especially the wind! This really is a blessing in disguise as the invisible devil scours the main range, blowing snow into the upper bowls,
turning a ten centimetre snowfall in our resorts into 20 centimetres or more.
Of course, the only thing better for the hard core skier than hunting around the resort during a good old-fashioned Aussie blizzard is the day after, when the sun comes out, and you can get into some of our unique backcountry. Here, the options are truly endless, from quick
forays into the side country, right through to a weeklong camping trip.
What seemed impossible to access in yesterday’s Antarctic-like conditions is suddenly opened up. Just a quick hike from the resort and you will find a frozen desert laying in wait, ripe for exploration. A moonscape dotted with frozen features sculpted by the same wind
that deposited the deep snowdrifts in-bounds the day before.
Jordan Houghton samples some of Thredbo’s best spine action on a crystal clear August day.
Jordan Houghton throwing buckets on one of the days of the year, Thredbo.
This is the kind of line most Aussie skiers will never get to shred because they don’t know its there! Coen BennieFaull with super drawn out carve. Yew.
Ryley Lucas contemplating what he’s about to do. OPPOSITE: Harrison and Ryley discussing who’s the guinea pig.
We were camped out deep in the backcountry last year when Perisher ski patroller Sam rocked up late one afternoon and joined our posse. He was instantly the most popular guy in camp because he managed to lug a 6 pack out with him! The next day was super
windy with cloud coming in and out. Here Sam picks a line down Mount Twynam during a semi break in the weather.
Not far into the backcountry and the weather decides to come in and play havoc on Scott Kneller’s day trip. Looks pretty cool though!
Days like this can be deceiving, one minute it’s bluebird, then all of a sudden a few clouds roll through and then boom, white out! Coen BennieFaull following the trails home after a long day in the Aussie backcountry.