It’s your pri­vate play­ground, un­touched and un­groomed Back tours are “all white”

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

SKI­ING with Steve Lee. It’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Well at Falls Creek that op­por­tu­nity arises twice a day, half-day tours with the leg­end of the re­sort, three-time Win­ter Olympian and one of only three Aus­tralians to have won at World Cup level.

Spe­cially de­signed trans­ports take skiers and board­ers into Lee’s per­son­nel play­ground – 450ha of un­groomed, un­tracked snow.

There are deep chutes wor­thy of a di­a­mond black run and other se­cret hide­aways that can pro­vide an un­touched play­ground to skiers of all abil­i­ties.

“If you are a strong in­ter­me­di­ate, happy to go up and down Ru­ined Cas­tle then you are go­ing to have a pretty good day on one of our tours,” Lee said.

“There is plenty of va­ri­ety out there – whether we are tack­ling Mt McKay or the Rocky Knolls.

“We put peo­ple into the ter­rain that bests suits them, it’s no fun for them, or us, if they don’t come away from the day talk­ing up the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Lee, who these days shares his year be­tween win­ters at Falls Creek and the Ja­panese re­sort of Hakuba, says the early snow falls didn’t re­ally help his back coun­try tours.

“We re­ally only kicked into gear af­ter that big dump a cou­ple of weeks ago,” he said.

“We need the snow to be packed down and while the early snow was good for the groomed runs in the re­sort there re­ally wasn’t the depth there to be con­fi­dent of tak­ing a group out on a tour.

“But we’re used to it – gen­er­ally we are here from open­ing week­end and then we play the wait­ing game and go deep into spring.

“But those three days late in that week af­ter that fall were among the best ski­ing I’ve done in Aus­tralia.”

Lee said it pays to plan ahead with his in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar tours.

“We find that we book out pretty quick,” he said.

“We can take nine on a tour and with the snow­mo­biles and sleds we can get a cou­ple of decent runs into the half day whether that be morn­ing or af­ter­noon.

“Peo­ple gen­er­ally book ahead and we work it all out – if for some rea­son we can’t get you out on that par­tic­u­lar day we’ll make ev­ery ef­fort to work it into one of the other days in your ski hol­i­day.”

The back coun­try tours leave from the top of the Ea­gle Chair in the morn­ing and just af­ter lunch and you’ll need a valid lift ticket.

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