Top up snow on its way

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE - ByVANESSA BURGESS

IF weather fore­cast­ers are cor­rect, the pre­dicted snow­fall in Au­gust will set both Falls Creek and Mt Hotham up for the re­main­der of the sea­son.

Both moun­tains re­ceived nu­mer­ous nat­u­ral snow­falls last month and were trans­formed on July 11 and 12 when more than 40cm of snow fell at the re­sorts.

Mt Hotham and Falls Creek News spoke to Falls Creek Ski Lifts and Mt Hotham Skiing Com­pany’s An­thony O’Shea last Fri­day and he said July hadn’t been as good as he’d hoped for, how­ever, Au­gust looked even more promis­ing.

“We’ve had a fairly dry July but we’ve got about half-a-me­tre of nat­u­ral snow and close to one me­tre in snow mak­ing ar­eas,” he said.

“The next few fronts that are com­ing in this week­end (July 25 – 26) and con­tin­u­ing next week, look to be fan­tas­tic and should top up our snow mak­ing ar­eas.

“It’s go­ing to be one of those rare events where the tem­per­a­tures are su­per cold, down to -9 at one point and per­fect pre­cip­i­ta­tion.

“It re­ally is the mak­ing of the per­fect snow storm event.”

Mr O’Shea said Au­gust looked like it had more of the same in store and both Mt Hotham and Falls Creek would be set up for the rest of the sea­son.

“It looks as though Au­gust is go­ing to be re­ally quite snowy and if the fore- cast is ac­cu­rate the snow­falls could set the re­sorts up so guests could be skiing right through un­til the end of Septem­ber and even into early Oc­to­ber,” he said.

“It’s kind of the op­po­site to last year, where we had im­pec­ca­ble snow­falls early in the sea­son and noth­ing re­ally in Au­gust and Septem­ber, so if the snow keeps com­ing we could have an amaz­ing last cou­ple of months on the moun­tains.”

Both re­sorts were hit with some sleety wet snow on July 22, how­ever, Mr O’Shea said the dam­age was quickly un­done by Mother Na­ture.

“We had about 4cm of re­ally wet snow across the re­sorts, mak­ing skiing con­di­tions not ideal, but we quickly re- gained that with the dry crisp snow­fall on Fri­day (July 24), and more is set to hit on the week­end.”

Au­gust is set to be a busy month in the Alpine Re­sorts with nu­mer­ous rac­ing events on the cal­en­dar.

“We got some rac­ing events at Hotham with Chumpy Pullin host­ing a num­ber of board events and Falls Creek will be gear­ing up for the Falls Freestyle Fes­ti­val, which is geared at in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion and then steadily it will be­come more se­ri­ous,” Mr O’Shea said.

“We’ve also got Storm the Castle in mid-Au­gust which is a big freestyle event and new to Falls Creek this year is a night team race which will be Aus­tralia’s long­est be­gin­ner run called Wom­bat’s Ram­bler.”

JULY’S snow­falls al­lowed Falls Creek Re­sort to open more ter­rain and skier Tom Costa found fresh pow­der in the ex­pert Cab­bage Patch Zone. With more snow pre­dicted in Au­gust ski­ing and board­ing op­tions will be end­less within the re­sort.

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