Lookout it’s … snow time
EARLY season snowfalls, snow guns pumping and some positive news on the weather front.
Welcome to winter 2016 at Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.
The Queen’s Birthday celebrations in the mountains will kick off with a bang this weekend – fireworks of the pyrotechnic variety at Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain.
There will be a host of live music throughout the weekend, while the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s travelling roadshow will put on three shows at Falls Creek.
But these events won’t be the only thing packing a punch this winter.
A multi-million dollar off-season investment in snowmaking capacity will make Hotham’s Heavenly Valley “snow sure” much earlier in the season than previously possible.
Families too are set to benefit with the age limit on kids ski and boarding passes increased for teenagers under-18.
On the accommodation front, one of Falls Creek’s seminal properties, Astra Lodge, has had a multi-million dollar summer makeover to restore it to its award winning best.
There will also be multiple milestones to celebrate throughout winter.
Falls Creek CFA is marking 21 years in the resort, the Dinner Plain village three decades.
The Dinner Plain Hotel first opened its doors on June 8, 1986 a number of display homes opening a short time later.
Thirty years later and the now 5000bed village is ready to party this weekend and for most of the season.
They will also be talking up new sled dog tour operators and night snow tubing.
The rise of complementary activities continues unabated with the operators of Hepburn Spa retreat again setting up camp at Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain.
Across the ridge at Falls Creek a to- boggan slope will be brought inside the village boundary, there will be “fat biking” and even snowmobile for the kids.
Weather forecaster Jane Bunn is tipping some big snow days.
“It all comes down to a simple equation. To make it snow you must have: low pressure, moisture and cold enough temperatures,” she said.
“My feeling is that we will have several ridiculously huge dumps of snow (thanks to high moisture), producing some absolutely epic days this season.
“But what happens those only time will tell.” in between
AFTER a dry autumn the weather turned in late May and so too did the snow guns at Falls Creek and Mt Hotham. The man-made snow was further blessed with some natural falls in the past two weeks raising the hopes of that first ski or board this weekend. But the snow-covered runs and corduroy finish don’t happen by accident with some of the hardest working and hardy souls of the snowmaking and grooming teams swinging into action almost two weeks ago, including Falls Creek’s Josh Young and Chris Coppack. More stories Page 5. PHOTO: Chris Hocking