Snow Report 12 September 2012 - Australia & New Zealand


Here we are in the middle of September and who would have thought the Australian ski resorts would still have over 1m to 1.5m of snow! It has been a long time since it has been this good. Far too long!

So glad, so glad to have been there at the season peak snowdepths for all resorts - I hope you were there too! Great skiing has been had with fresh snowfalls during the week and clearing or sunny weekends through season 2012.

There is still some great skiing to be had across Victoria until the end of the school holidays. I think the resorts will be open for skiing until early October this year. Spring is a great time to learn to ride in soft, forgiving snow and warm temperatures.
Falls Creek - The Ys Groomed

Mt Hotham
Natural Snow Depth: 156-203cms
We hit Hotham's Blue Ribbon area at is peak and you'll need to get up there soon before it gets too warm. So much fun early! Over at The Orchard conditions have been fantastic over the last month. I'm not going to talk about Lower Playground as I was so chuffed to play around here for the first time ever, and its probably all over now! Your loss!

Falls Creek
Natural Snow Depth: 153-169cms
It must be a record for Falls with all lifts open and all terrain open for such a long period of the season. The bottom of The Maze might be a little iffy, but who cares when you can cruise around the open spaces and find your favourites. Let me know if you see The Ys groomed again ... ever!

Mt Buller
Natural Snow Depth: 83cms
Hit Buller only once this year, and although it lost out a little this season, it was damn fine when I was up there and Buller is a fantastic mountain if you know how to make your way around it. May next year bring a bumper year!


New Zealand has decided to hold winter in late August and early September this year! It was looking pretty rubbish across the Southern Lakes for most of the NZ winter. The north of the South Island provided some promise with some great conditions ... and then the past few weeks have turned it on for some brilliant late season skiing all the way across the South Island.

North Canterbury and Nelson

While Rainbow has recovered nicely for some good Spring skiing (50-110cms), Hanmer Springs sadly had to give up under the warm August temperatures. Mt Lyford (126-165cms) is going strong but could do with some cold blasts to stay open for the rest of the month.

Ohau 12 September [Source: Ohau Facebook page]

The weather to date has favoured the Canterbury skifields this year. Porters (150-70cms) continues to look nice, while Mt Hutt is sitting pretty (205-205cms) after recent snowfalls.

The Mackenzie

Ohau (220-100cms) is having a cracking year and is highly recommended for anyone heading over at this time of year. Roundhill and Dobson are keeping up interest in the Mackenzie ski fields.


Treble Cone has welcomed a late burst that has finally covered the Home Basin (216-44cms) and is looking exceptionally promising over this coming weekend. Cardrona opened the Valley View lift again just today to trigger some fantastic skiing across this lovely ski field (115-70cms). Lots more to come in Wanaka this weekend.


Falls Creek/Mt Hotham Ski Report - 1/2 September 2012

Falls Creek Village from Zipper on 1 September 2012
Yet another week in ski season 2012 saw a good, strong Thursday to Friday storm bringing snow to the Australian skifields. What a great season it has been!

And its not over yet. There is heaps of snow for fun, spring skiing throughout September and into the school holidays.

The weekend of 1st/2nd September was clear skies and gloriously sunny after moderate snowfalls on Thursday and Friday. Conditions were fantastic, indeed they were at their peak, with Falls Creek sitting on about 180 centimetres snowdepth and Mt Hotham topping 2 metres.

The Summit at Falls from the Ys on 1 September 2012
We went up to Falls Creek on Saturday and cruised around the entire mountain enjoying the brilliant snow conditions. The jinky Milky Way was finally open; the fully-covered Summit was glorious; and The Maze was a great place to explore.

The runs known as the Ys (because they appear to be a Y-shape on top of a Y-shape) had been groomed - sacrilege some might say as they're usually for keen short-turn skiing! The first time I've ever seen one of them groomed. We went down a couple of the Ys - a groomed one and an ungroomed Y - to get the ungroomed effect also!

Blue Ribbon at Mt Hotham on 2 September
There were even some untouched lines around left over from the snowfalls on Friday out the back of Ruined Castle. Plenty of people were seen hiking for some powder.

On Sunday the drive up to Mt Hotham was fantastic on a crisp, sunny morning. What a view across to Mt Feathertop with snow cover low down and banked up alongside the road!

In the warming, morning sun, the Blue Ribbon area was softening very quickly and we headed there first. The slopes were groomed on both sides of Blue Ribbon lift, and there was as much snow cover down there as I have seen. Boondoo/Roaring Forties was fun. Some years Blue Ribbon doesn't even open all season - this year we've skied it several times.

The Orchard at Mt Hotham on 2 September
Late in the morning we did a few laps of Lower Playground - somewhere at Hotham where we've never skied before. There's not usually enough snow cover, but this year there was enough to groom this black run beautifully. Nice first time for us. Hardly any other people seemed to be aware of the terrain available there.

But in a good snow year you can't go past the fun to be had out at The Orchard on a sunny, warm day.

All the runs were in beautiful condition, with lots of snow to let you ski through the snow gums. In fact, I've never seen the branches of the gums disappear so much under the snow. Well, that's what 2 metres of snow does!