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“ski And Snowboard Coverage In Australian Travel Insurance Policies” – Ski resorts have dismissed warnings about the potential for below-average snowfall this season as they gear up for a massive opening weekend.
Australia’s ski resorts have dismissed warnings about the potential for below-average snowfall on the slopes this season as they gear up for a massive opening weekend.
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Meteorologists warn that if several weather factors combine this winter, the 2023 snow season could be the worst in decades.
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And while images show patchy snow cover at the best of NSW and Victoria’s biggest ski resorts, crews have brushed off any concerns ahead of the start of the season.
Michael Fearnside, director of operations at Perisher Ski Resort – the largest in the southern hemisphere – said it was “definitely not doom and gloom” for the industry.
“This is my 38th winter working in the snow industry and some of our best seasons have started with less snowfall at the start,” Mr Fearnside said.
“Our business is weather dependent but we’re always one snowfall away, it’s no different for farmers waiting for the weather to break.”
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Like many other resorts, Perisher has made significant investments in snowmaking that has reduced its reliance on natural snow, and has snow guns ready and waiting to deploy “as soon as conditions are right.”
“Our snowmaking covers 53.4 hectares across the resort and sets us apart as having the most reliable ski and board experience all season long,” Mr Fearnside said.
“It’s definitely not doom and gloom, we’ve seen it before and we’re just waiting for the weather pattern to settle down.”
The nearby Snowy Mountains ski resort of Thredbo, in Kosciuszko National Park, needs to produce a generous helping of snow, despite that and Perisher was treated to his first falls in April.
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Meanwhile, just across the border in Victoria’s Alps, Mount Buller Alpine Resort has been producing a steady supply of snow since early May and has a network of 341 snow-making guns ready to “kick into action” at any time.
Resort spokeswoman Raila Morgan said “everyone is hands on deck” putting the finishing touches on the grand opening ahead of the King’s Birthday long weekend.
“Recent seasons have seen bumper early snowfalls and we’ve been spoiled with a lot of natural snow early on,” he said.
“And as much as we like to see snowfall any time, we take comfort in the fact that early snow doesn’t necessarily translate to a good snow season.”
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In fact, Ms Morgan said, the two best snow seasons on record at Mt Buller – 1956 and 1981 – had “no snow to start the season in June”.
“But we’ll leave the forecast to the professionals, and like all snow enthusiasts, we’ll be watching the forecast closely and hoping for the best.”
Victorian resorts – Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and nearby False Creek – are all hoping to repeat the record-breaking 2022 snow season, the first full returns since the long Covid lockdowns.
Mount Hotham’s general manager of operations, Len Dobell, said the mountain resort had its “best season on record” last year.
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Andrew Eckersley, head of marketing for False Creek Alpine Resort, said the resort had “over 500,000 visit days” in 2022 and is already looking at similar bookings in 2023.
“There was huge demand last year with people not being able to ski as much as they wanted to,” Mr Eckersley said.
“The fact that there isn’t much variation shows that there’s still an appetite to meet snow.”
And while those numbers were helped by earlier snowfalls that led to the start of the season last year, he said he hoped a cold front would bring some snow by the end of the week, even though this season has been remarkably snow-free.
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Sky Australia meteorologist Alison Osborne confirmed that although a cold front is moving through the Alpine regions, it is not guaranteed to bring snow.
“The best weather systems for good snowfall are those with more precipitation after a colder change, so it’s colder enough for heavy snow,” he said.
“It’s the other way around, heavy rain is coming before the cold weather. The condensation level is very high.
“This rain is likely to wash out the outflow cover and it will be warm, windy and humid, making snowmaking conditions unfavorable.”
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Cool westerly winds will finally push over the Alps on Friday, lowering freezing levels in time for the start of the snow season on June 10, but not enough for significant snowfall. Skiing in Australia takes place in the Australian Alps of the states of New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory and in the mountains of the island state of Tasmania during the Southern Hemisphere winter.
The first ski tow was built in 1936 on the Mount Buffalo Plateau in Victoria. Australian skiers first competed at the Winter Olympics in Oslo 1952 and have competed in all subsequent Games, winning medals at every Games since 1998.
Malcolm Milne became the first non-European to win the Ski Race World Cup in 1969, and Olympic medalists include Zally Steggall, Alisa Camplin, Dale Begg-Smith, Lydia Lassila and David Morris skiing and Tora Bright, Scotty James.
Australia has extensive skiable terrain in the southern hemisphere winter in the south-eastern states and the Australian Capital Territory, between about 1250 m and 2200 m elevation. The height of snowfields in Australia varies with latitude; However, viable winter snow is usually found above 1500 m: Thredbo, near Mt Kosciusko, is Australia’s highest elevation point at 2037 m and its base elevation is 1365 m. Kiandra in the North Skifields is 1400 m high, while Mount Mason near Hobart, Tasmania is 1250 m high.
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Australia has five major downhill ski resorts: Perisher and Thredbo in New South Wales and Mt Buller, False Creek and Mt Hotham in Victoria. Smaller slope resorts such as Selwyn Snow Resort and Charlotte Pass in New South Wales, Mount Ba Ba in Victoria, and B Lomond and Mount Mason in Tasmania offer a more relaxed experience than the busy major resorts and are popular with novice skiers and families. Cross-country skiing is popular in Kosciuszko National Park, Alpine National Park, Yarra Ranges National Park, Baw Baw National Park and Mt Buffalo National Park. It is possible in the ACT’s Namadgi National Park and in the Tasmanian forests under the right conditions.
There are skiable terrain in three states: New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, as well as in the Australian Capital Territory, during southern hemisphere winters. The ski season runs from June/July to September/October. A number of well-serviced resorts have been developed, including: Thredbo, Perisher Ski Resort, Charlotte Pass and Selwyn Snowfields in New South Wales; Mount Buller, False Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Ba Baw and Mount Buffalo in Victoria; as well as the smaller resorts of B Lomond and Mt Mawson in Tasmania.
New South Wales has some of the highest terrain and ski resorts: Thredbos Karel’s T-bar ends at 2037 metres, Perisher’s highest point at 2034 meters and Charlotte Pass second at 1990 metres. In Victoria, the highest points are Mount Hotham at 1845 metres, False Creek at 1842 meters and Mount Buller at 1805 metres.
Jindabyne is the main service town for New South Wales resorts, but most Australian resort ctres have accommodation on the snow. Other ski-served towns include Cooma and Adaminaby in NSW and Bright Victoria. Canberra is about two hours’ drive from the New South Wales ski-fields, while Melbourne is in good proximity to some Victorian resorts (Mt Baw Baw is less than two and a half hours’ drive and Mt Buller three). The resort village of Dinner Plain in Victoria has ski facilities.
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Charles Kerry’s photograph of skiers from the 1900 Kiandra Snow Shoe Carnival. Skiing began in Australia in Kiandra, NSW, in 1861.
New South Wales is home to Australia’s highest snow country, oldest skifields and largest resort. Recreational skiing in Australia began in 1861 in Kiandra, New South Wales, when Norwegian gold miners introduced the idea to the frozen hills surrounding the town.
The world’s first and longest-running ski club, the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club, was formed in Kiandra that year.
Cabramura Ski Club. Cabramurra is Australia’s highest town and has a private ski club slope for members’ use.
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Kiandra is often isolated by deep snow, which makes it inaccessible in winter. In 1861, Norwegian miners introduced recreational skiing to snowbound mining settlements after producing forty pairs.
In the months before the first winter snow. To avoid confusion with the traditional skate the skates are described as (two palings turned in front d and about four feet long). In 1861 there were no failings or posts in Kiandra.
Other early ski clubs reported in 1861 include the “Trysil Skite-g Skiloberforing” (Shot and Ski Practitioner’s Association) in Norway and the Onion Valley Snow Shoe Club in the United States.
The Norwegian Association held its first competition in January 1862. Alpine ski clubs were first established in Munich,
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