Falls Creek/Mt Hotham Ski Report - 18/19 August 2012

Around half a metre of snow fell on the Thursday and Friday before the weekend of 18/19 August, generating a rush of excitement as snowsports enthusiasts scrambled to get up their hill of choice as soon as possible!

Mount Beauty from Tawonga Gap
This unfortunately caused chaos during Friday at Hotham as accidents on the mountain road blocked it for hours, with people stuck in their cars in the snowdrifts.

It was snowing lightly in Harrietville at dawn on Saturday 18th, a pretty sight to start our weekend! Heading to Falls Creek, we drove over the Tawonga Gap where a few centimetres of snow had settled ... and it was still snowing.

On the Falls Creek road the snow had fallen down to Bogong Village. Chains were being fitted to cars quite early on - up above the Kiewa River - but the road had been well prepared by the snow-clearers.

It was still snowing, quite windy, and cloudy on Saturday morning, but the cover at Falls Creek looked fantastic as we rode the Express up above the Milky Way.

The Orchard and Extreme Zone viewed from Spargos
While the fresh snow certainly looked nice, it was a bit heavy and hard to turn in around Quartz Ridge. Over in the Village Bowl and The Maze some nice turns could be found in the deep fresh snow on the steeper runs. Unfortunately, the winds had ridged snow across the International poma line and it had to be groomed again. That wait, coupled with Summit chairlift breaking down, made for a bit of a frustrating morning.

The afternoon was far better. The wind dropped, the sun came out occasionally, and all the lifts were working! There were some fun runs through The Maze and on the Summit in the deep snow. The Ys was great and Ruined Castle was nice.

Sunday morning brought clear skies and sunshine aplenty! The drive up to Mt Hotham was absolutely stunning with sparkling snow still on all the trees framed on a deep blue sky. Chains were being fitted down before the entry gate and there was solid snow on the road up to Hotham Heights.

In the trees on Twirlygig
We parked at the Loch car park and had a few fast groomed runs on Heavenly Valley before heading over to The Orchard.

The snow was great around The Orchard in the sun. There is full snow cover over all the runs there now. The little "orchard" trees have almost disappeared in places!

We headed back to the village via the steep run with nice views of the rest of the ski area, a run named Spargos.

Skiing the Blue Ribbon area for the first time this season was a thrill! Its such a great area and Hotham really benefits in the year that its open. Wood Run was a lot of fun in the softened snow, but tright down the bottom is still a little patchy with a few rocks oking through.

We decided to head back to The Orchard to finish off a great day with some really enjoyable Twirlygig runs in the trees. The Orchard at its best!

No comments:

Post a Comment