Return of the snows

An enjoyable weekend at Mt Hotham ... but the aftermath of last week's warm weather was serious damage to our snow base.

Last week's record July temperatures were followed by some rain. This stripped about 30-40cms of snow from the 1m base at Hotham and the 75cms base at Mt Buller. The result was about half of each ski area having to shut down.

We arrived in beautiful Harrietville in the Ovens Valley on Friday evening. Shady Brook Cottages was just as we remembered, set back in the gardens of a large property next to the river and right at the base of the hills. These are great cottages - warm, cosy, modern and generously spacious.

The gentle, persistent sound of the rain continued all night and must have turned to snow on the mountain as the drive up required chains to be fitted.

The Orchard, Gotcha, and Blue Ribbon lifts had all closed during the heatwave so skiing was limited. But it happened to be a Demo Weekend where you can try out new ranges of skis: this made the weekend much more interesting! We must have tried on a dozen pairs of skis over the two days and it was remarkable the variety in performance. Definitely have some new favourites for an upgrade!

Sunday 7th August was far snowier and delivered different conditions to test out the skis. Heavenly Valley at Hotham was still a lot of fun and the snow was dumping as we left. So much so that there seemed to be some people struggling on the road out. Apart from the car in the ditch, I did feel sorry for the various Queenslanders who drove 30kms with their snow chains on. New tyres!

The forecast is for snow to continue through this week. All the ski resorts are beginning to slowly recover from last week and midweek is looking promising. Hopefully they can get back up to 1m again and open all the lifts.

Perhaps Mt Hotham again after a break this coming weekend. Would love to go and see more snow there.

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