Ski Season 2011 got real on Saturday 16th July with a relaxed drive up to Mt Beauty, stopping off at the famous Milawa Cheese Factory for various provisions ... mostly, unembarrassingly it has to be said, cheese-related provisions.
Saturday was a glorious day and it was exciting to cruise over the hill at Glenrowan and see snow on the tops of Mt Buffalo and Mt Hotham from the freeway. The Kiewa Valley was even more impressive with Victoria's highest mountain Mt Bogong majestic in the late afternoon sun.
This time the accommodation was the trusty Allamar Motel in Tawonga South with great views overlooking the town of Mt Beauty. The room had been heated before arrival and much cheese and wine was consumed, resulting in a slightly restless sleep in the comfy, warm bed.
Cloud and drizzle arrived in the morning and this turned to light snow on arrival at Falls Creek. The cloud never really lifted and visibility on the mountain was limited. Knowing the mountain is a huge advantage in these conditions! Many people looked a little lost!
Early on the snow was extremely good, and finding the right spots led to great rewards - Powderkeg, International. Its very impressive to see so much of the mountain open this early in winter. Tree-line skiing provided some entertainment and energetic first-day exercise (and aches on Monday!), but the drizzle arrived at lunchtime and things got decidedly damp by the early afternoon.
Not a bad introduction to the new season and, thinking longer-term, the change in weather means more snow arriving this week to build on the fantastic snow-depth.
Its Buller this weekend and we are a party of four travelling up there on Friday. The next trip will be the weekend of 6/7 August and we will be going up to Mt Hotham if anyone is interested in a ski trip! Let me know!