Mt Buller News
Staying safe in the snow
WHILE those on the mountain, and visitors, are making the most of the fantastic recent snowfalls it is important to be aware of your environment and your personal safety.
And with the uncertainty of when COVID lockdowns will take place it is especially important to know safety measures when the ski areas are not maintained and patrolled as usual.
The deep snow and freezing temperatures bring unique risks and challenges and I wanted to share a few reminders and some information with you.
The lifts and overhead cables across the ski area hold heavy loads of ice and snow particularly following heavy snow falls.
Keep clear of all overhead lines and towers which can drop icy deposits at any time.
Also be aware there are often large chunks of ice (sometimes hidden under a thin layer of fresh snow) sitting in these areas so traverse with caution.
During lockdown periods the small, skeleton mountain operations crew continues with essential maintenance and de-icing lifts.
The immense weight of ice build-up can easily damage lift components and can even pull down whole lift towers if not removed.
You might see our team working overhead - please give them a wave but keep a safe distance as lifts or cables can suddenly move without notice.
Tonnes of snow is sitting on roofs which can and will slide without warning.
Look up, look around you and avoid walking near snowladen roofs, heavily loaded trees or anywhere snow could slide.
Never let kids play outside unsupervised and teach everyone in your family about the dangers of snow sliding from roofs and trees dropping branches or breaking under heavy snow - it can be fatal.
UNMARKED HAZ- ARDS AND VARIABLE COVER:
If you are touring, snow shoeing or exploring be aware there are unmarked hazards beneath the snow including drains, creeks, rocks and logs.
It is easy to get trapped or tripped by hazards with serious or fatal results.
UNPATROLLED SKI AREA:
During lockdown periods the ski area is not routinely groomed and maintained so the cover is variable and unpredictable.
● Remember the Ski Patrol is not on duty.
● Avoid heading out alone - always go with a buddy.
● Make sure someone knows where you are going and expected return.
● Always carry a charged phone with you and keep it in an inside/warm pocket.
● Conditions change quickly so carry warm layers and safety equipment such as a shovel.
● Never head into terrain you don’t know.
● Know your gear and practice before you head out.
● Lost or injured? Call 000.
● Tobogganing is never allowed on the ski area and is very dangerous.
Importantly, a reminder the chutes from the Summit are always dangerous.
There is a sheer ice layer and the conditions are lethal.
For your own safety do not enter this zone.
Follow the signs and warnings on the ski area - they are there to keep you safe.
Enjoy the snow and look after one another.