Let the snow season begin
PRE-season snowfalls, beefed up snowmaking and a host of new and old favourites await visitors to Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Dinner Plain this winter.
A week out from the opening and the resorts are optimistic about having skiable snow on the ground for the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Optimism is also on the rise at Falls Creek after a mammoth summer of “green season” visitors taking advantage of the resorts’ multi-million dollar bike trails and private investment in accommodation, notably Elk at Falls and Astra Lodge, unmatched in more than a decade.
The summer also brought changes to some of the resorts’ major landmarks – the old Great Alpine Road ticket box to Hotham is now a visitor services centre in the Corral Carpark, Falls Creek’s well know brown water tank a work of art courtesy of a giant mural.
Mt Hotham too has been spending up with the completion of its $4 million snowmaking system delivering mountain-made snow to the top of the resort’s beginner runs on the summit.
This winter Dinner Plain too will add to its offering with the first year of Alpine Laser Skirmish, think Hunger Games without the consequences, being run by the team from Howling Husky Sled Dog Tours.
The opening weekend at the resorts will feature the mandatory fireworks, both pyrotechnic and live bands, but there will also be fashion shows at Falls Creek and Mt Hotham – some with complimentary “champers” and free snow tubing down at Dinner Plain, with a lift ticket.
From the top of the Summit to the SNOW TIME: Mt Hotham Ski Patrol director Bill Barker got to take it all in last week when he hit the slopes after a few days of big snow falls. With the mountain’s snow guns also blazing resort staff will be hoping favourable weather conditions continue and more snow is churned out by Mother Nature and machine. bottom of Heavenly Valley at Mt Hotham, across green, blue and black terrain there is now snowmaking.
Mount Hotham Skiing Company general manager Belinda Trembath told that the whole area was now going to be ‘snow sure’ from much earlier in the season.
Weather forecasters are less optimistic – conditions are predicted to be dry during June, the upside being that the investment in snowmaking will be able to make the most of what are also predicted to be clear, chilly nights in the mountains.
PHOTO: Karl Gray