Australia’s Snow Skiing Season Begins
After a very slow start to the 2014 season in June, Australian ski resorts are celebrating massive snowfalls which have left some areas covered in more than a meter of snow – just in time for the country’s mid-year school holidays. Communications and Media Manager of Australia’s biggest resort, Samantha Hales, noted that there will be more than forty lifts operating at Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes and Guthega this weekend. Staff members at the resort are working hard at grooming snow, building lift tracks and ensuring that the ski areas are safe for the influx of guests expected at the weekend.
Referring to the bountiful snowfall as ‘Snowmageddon 1.0’, Mount Hotham has already got lifts going and is anticipating excellent school holiday snow skiing and snowboarding activity. With predictions of more snow – ‘Snowmageddon 2.0’ – the resort is geared up to receive guests with all the facilities needed for loads of snow sport fun.
With gold being discovered in the remote region of the Victorian Alps in 1851, skiing was born out of necessity for the miners in the area. As roads were developed by mining companies, skiing was no longer the most efficient way to travel, but during the 1920s recreational skiers discovered Mount Hotham and development of the area as a ski resort followed.
Located at 1861 meters in the Victorian Alps northeast of Melbourne, Mount Hotham has a ski area of 320ha with superb beginner terrain (20% of area), intermediate terrain (40% of area) and advanced terrain (40% of area). Its longest downhill run is 2.5 km, and it has uphill lift capacity of 24,485 per hour, with snowmaking facilities to augment natural snowfall on slopes.
Australia’s ski areas experienced one of the warmest May months in years, and June produced very little snow, with some areas, including Treble Cone at Wanaka, having their sparse snow cover washed away by rain. Climate scientists confirmed that June temperatures were well above average, further fueling fears that 2014 may be a disappointing season. But all that changed when snow started falling, and excitement is mounting as snow sport enthusiasts plan to head for the slopes in July, and Australia’s ski resorts are ready and waiting with a snow-laden welcome.