ACT News

Bumper ski season heads for the finish line

Ski resorts on the Snowy Mountains are preparing for the final week of the ski season in what has been described as one of the best seasons in almost a decade. 

With the season officially coming to an end, Thredbo spokeswoman Susie Diver described the year as a healthy result for the entire industry despite the doom and gloom felt when ski-fields were only dusted with snow for the Queens birthday. 

Snowboarders at Perisher during what operators describe as "one of the best seasons in a decade".
Snowboarders at Perisher during what operators describe as "one of the best seasons in a decade". 

"It really comes down to an amazing snowfall of two metres within just a couple of days in July and a very cold and dry August that meant the snow cover remained," she said.

"We had very good snow falls in July which were consistent right through that month and then August was very cold and clear which meant snow cover lasted into September so we were set for spring," he said.

"We're always looking to try and improve the experience for our visitors and we have a few things planned for next year that we'll announce closer to the season," he said.

Perisher spokesman Richard Phillips echoed the sentiments of other resorts and said management had decided to extend the season to October 10 given the remaining snow cover. 

"For us the highlights were record snowfall in June and the opening of the new freedom chairlift which was a $4 million investment over summer and has changed how guests move around the resort," he said. 

Closer to home at Corin Forest, management are celebrating the first year using snow machines in nearly a decade and plan to make use of lessons learned in future years. 

"To be at the end of September and still have snow at Corin has been really good for us and we're looking forward to doing it again year," he said.

Charlotte Pass general manager Lachlan Maclean said it was one of the best seasons for snow at his resort and the number of guests and visitors reflected that. 

But the ski season wasn't without tragedy at some resorts. In July, a 25-year-old snowboarder from Queensland was killed at Perisher and a seven-year-old boy at Mount Buller in Victoria died in June after being buried by snow while playing with his siblings. 

A 36-year-old was trapped under two metres of snow at Thredbo in June while a couple in their 60s spent a night lost in freezing stormy weather in May before walking into Thredbo Village unharmed the next morning.