Let the snow sea­son be­gin

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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