Going for snow ????

Old Jun 12th 2014, 10:06 pm
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Question Going for snow ????

Hi,

We are planning to go for snowing this time. This is the first time we are going and have few questions for BE members who have been there before.

We are residing in Sydney and our plan is to go there 1st day and come home 2nd day. We don't want to do that much of things and need to hire the required gear & place to stay. So can BE friends suggest what is the best way i should plan my trip ? What may be the best period to go ?
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Old Jun 12th 2014, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

The snow at any time of the winter here in Australia isn't reliable, you could go June, July or August and there might be nothing but a dusting on the top of Mt Kosciusko. If it is cold enough they do fire up the snow making guns though, but so far it has hardly been cold enough up there.

Some make the mistake of booking too early however, June isn't the best time to go. Mid to late July is usually the best period and this is also just after the school holidays.

If you are going with kids places like Selwyn are the best, but that is a lower resort and the snow even more unreliable.

The Threadbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass area is by far the biggest, and most expensive! Accommodation can be crazy prices. Some people stay around the Jindabyne area and drive in to the snow area or use the transport. It isn't quite as good as part of the experience is staying in the snow area and looking out of your window at it with a fire going and all that. Jindabyne whilst nice is generally just cold wet and green.

It is a fair drive down from Sydney, some break the journey in Canberra for a night. I certainly wouldn't do it for less than a week to make it worth while and get the most of your ski pass, which are also expensive!

When you add together the accommodation, ski pass, transport/fuel, equipment hire if needed and food/drinks it works out an expensive holiday!

Might be better off just flying to NZ which has more reliable cover and better set up.

Last edited by Jon77; Jun 12th 2014 at 11:10 pm.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by muditha View Post
Hi,

We are planning to go for snowing this time. This is the first time we are going and have few questions for BE members who have been there before.

We are residing in Sydney and our plan is to go there 1st day and come home 2nd day. We don't want to do that much of things and need to hire the required gear & place to stay. So can BE friends suggest what is the best way i should plan my trip ? What may be the best period to go ?

It's a long drive - 6-7 hours from Sydney - I wouldn't be considering doing there and back in 2 days, as you'll just spend all your time in the car. Allow a bit more time for driving in winter conditions too - particularly if it starts snowing while you're on the road. This can be disconcerting to the novice driver.

I don't think that there has been much snow yet this year, so I think I would leave it another couple of weeks for sure.


S
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by Swerv-o View Post
It's a long drive - 6-7 hours from Sydney - I wouldn't be considering doing there and back in 2 days, as you'll just spend all your time in the car. Allow a bit more time for driving in winter conditions too - particularly if it starts snowing while you're on the road. This can be disconcerting to the novice driver.

I don't think that there has been much snow yet this year, so I think I would leave it another couple of weeks for sure.


S
Current Threadbo live webcams look very poor indeed - Thredbo | Winter Ski & Snowboard | Summer Biking & Hiking

Not that unusual for this time mind, if it is still like this by the first week of July the snow season could be fooked however.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
Current Threadbo live webcams look very poor indeed - Thredbo | Winter Ski & Snowboard | Summer Biking & Hiking

Not that unusual for this time mind, if it is still like this by the first week of July the snow season could be fooked however.

Yeah, that's rubbish!


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Old Jun 13th 2014, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

I never realised how much fun the snow is in Australia...lived here 10 years in various spots on the NSW coast but took a job offer just over a year ago in Albury. Spent over 20 days at Falls Creek as its only just over an hours drive and a couple of days at Hotham last season. We had just as much fun as we did in France of Bulgaria over 15 years ago.
Avoid the school holidays....or go in the September holidays, sure its spring and the snow is slushy but accommodation is about half price of july/Aug, less people on the slopes and usually good deals on lift passes.
Consider the Victorian resorts for true ski in ski out village atmosphere as you dont get that in NSW.
We have friends who drive down from Sydney for a week at Falls every September.
Another option is fly to Melbourne then get the ski bus for $80.
First bit of snow is forecast this weekend, we all have season passes and look to get 30+ days on the mountain. Last year was average by what the locals were saying but we had great cover and all lifts open from the start of July until the middle of September.

i cant reccomend a trip to the aussie apls enough, even if its just a one off......if your serious plan a trip to Japan we had 3 weeks in Nozawa this year...even with flights it was cheaper than staying 3 weeks at an aussie resort

some pics from last September at Falls Creek


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Old Jun 13th 2014, 4:34 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
The snow at any time of the winter here in Australia isn't reliable, you could go June, July or August and there might be nothing but a dusting on the top of Mt Kosciusko. If it is cold enough they do fire up the snow making guns though, but so far it has hardly been cold enough up there.

Some make the mistake of booking too early however, June isn't the best time to go. Mid to late July is usually the best period and this is also just after the school holidays.

If you are going with kids places like Selwyn are the best, but that is a lower resort and the snow even more unreliable.

The Threadbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass area is by far the biggest, and most expensive! Accommodation can be crazy prices. Some people stay around the Jindabyne area and drive in to the snow area or use the transport. It isn't quite as good as part of the experience is staying in the snow area and looking out of your window at it with a fire going and all that. Jindabyne whilst nice is generally just cold wet and green.

It is a fair drive down from Sydney, some break the journey in Canberra for a night. I certainly wouldn't do it for less than a week to make it worth while and get the most of your ski pass, which are also expensive!

When you add together the accommodation, ski pass, transport/fuel, equipment hire if needed and food/drinks it works out an expensive holiday!

Might be better off just flying to NZ which has more reliable cover and better set up.

Jon, interesting to hear the NSW angle.

I speak for Victoria: it's been a warm start but in many years patience is a virtue and you can ski with a late dump in August in the Alps. (Watch the snowcams/keep up with the forums).

I know people who fly to the cheaper NZ destination rather than the closest destination and then hire/drive south through the scenery to the resorts (especially if they have not seen much of NZ). But you can't stay on the mountain in NZ. BTW - all this is second hand. I might as well have quoted all that.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 4:36 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

I don't know but I'm taking a guess that OP is just wanting to take the kids up to play and experience the white stuff rather than requiring skiing conditions and thus only needing a couple of days???? If that is the case then I'd be watching weather reports and ski slope web cams and then just jumping in the car rather than booking somewhere in advance.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
I don't know but I'm taking a guess that OP is just wanting to take the kids up to play and experience the white stuff rather than requiring skiing conditions and thus only needing a couple of days???? If that is the case then I'd be watching weather reports and ski slope web cams and then just jumping in the car rather than booking somewhere in advance.
+1 But you still need to book something I guess and hope accomodation is available.

Originally Posted by oz miller man View Post
I never realised how much fun the snow is in Australia...lived here 10 years in various spots on the NSW coast but took a job offer just over a year ago in Albury. Spent over 20 days at Falls Creek as its only just over an hours drive and a couple of days at Hotham last season. We had just as much fun as we did in France of Bulgaria over 15 years ago.
Avoid the school holidays....or go in the September holidays, sure its spring and the snow is slushy but accommodation is about half price of july/Aug, less people on the slopes and usually good deals on lift passes.
Consider the Victorian resorts for true ski in ski out village atmosphere as you dont get that in NSW.
We have friends who drive down from Sydney for a week at Falls every September.
Another option is fly to Melbourne then get the ski bus for $80.
First bit of snow is forecast this weekend, we all have season passes and look to get 30+ days on the mountain. Last year was average by what the locals were saying but we had great cover and all lifts open from the start of July until the middle of September.
This was posted as I replied and so I will chime in with more VIC stuff (as we've swung away in that direction).

I plan to take my kids to Falls this year - the highest resort alongside that of Hotham. Falls is considered to be particularly modern and family family as it has easy and intermediate runs. Higher - more reliable snow!

Hotham has more advanced stuff but leads me on to the point that in Australian resorts that if some lifts are closed whole sections of the resort can be closed and this also dictates what you can ski - so at Hotham there are bottlenecks where it can get busy.

Mt Buller has supposed to have some of the nicest runs but it is busier as it's the main resort nearest to Melbourne.

The ski-in, ski-out perspective is great - you can even cross-country ski from Hotham to Dinner Plain and go past Whiskey Flat - which is where the Biathlon people shoot. I plan to join them this winter. When my kids are older we will save money by camping in the snow overnight (taking crampons and snowshoes etc) around this area. All part of their education!

You can also ski from Mt Bogong (a backcountry destination) to Falls Creek across the Bogong High Plains having summited Bogong with your gear on foot.
In later years I plan to do this and meet up with the kids/family at Falls. They are too young to do all that.

(Whilst I've touched on cross-country, stacks of the smaller resorts in VIC are geared for it : even Mt Stirling over-looking Mt Buller has a few runs for a bit of exercise if all you are looking to do is get rid of cobwebs).

Qeuestion to the board:

Does anyone regularly cross-country ski? And do they go for a XCD setup, traditinal Nordic (NNN-BC) or even a light AT setup? It's one thing hiring but I am looking to gear up this year and I am seriously considering AT. This is because I want to be able to ski downhill and cross country but still climb or attach crampons for steep ascents. I figure I will still be able to tackle downhill intermediate slopes with the kids to save money on skihire at resorts. They are also good for the steeper slopes of the backcountry mountains of Bogong/Feathertop where regular cross-country is a bit light.

Cheers
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 5:31 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

I would love to do this and get up to the alps as a family holiday and play around and every year between Feb and May I look in to it.

We just can't afford it, every way I seem to look it works out what we consider expensive at the moment, especially as it would have to be school holidays. Part of the fun is staying either very close or on the snow, by that I mean accommodation very near or above the snow line.

When I try and work it all out I find myself working back away from the snow to get more affordable and end up looking at Jindabyne or even as far as Cooma! This defeats the purpose for me and you don't get the most out of it.

We are saving for a house, car and flights back to Europe so will have to keep on waiting............................one year though.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 5:53 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
I would love to do this and get up to the alps as a family holiday and play around and every year between Feb and May I look in to it.

We just can't afford it, every way I seem to look it works out what we consider expensive at the moment, especially as it would have to be school holidays. Part of the fun is staying either very close or on the snow, by that I mean accommodation very near or above the snow line.

When I try and work it all out I find myself working back away from the snow to get more affordable and end up looking at Jindabyne or even as far as Cooma! This defeats the purpose for me and you don't get the most out of it.

We are saving for a house, car and flights back to Europe so will have to keep on waiting............................one year though.
I hear you: the biggest issue I have had from a family perspective is that in previous years my kids (well my youngest at least) were too young - I know they start them young in the Nordic countries..

It is very expensive staying on the mountain but I have decided that this is a vital part of their education and, as such, is absolutely core-curriuculum!

In later years we can save money if we sleep in the back of a car or in a tent
which currently I feel they are too young to do.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 8:49 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

When I was a kid, my parents used to take my sister and I with our sledges up to the Brecon Beacons. Mum and Dad used to just drive around until they found a decent safe slope with snow cover and we'd pull over and sledge and snowfight, etc on that. I have fantastic rip-off free sledging memories. Surely the same kind of experience can be had in Australia?
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 9:05 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by paulry View Post
When I was a kid, my parents used to take my sister and I with our sledges up to the Brecon Beacons. Mum and Dad used to just drive around until they found a decent safe slope with snow cover and we'd pull over and sledge and snowfight, etc on that. I have fantastic rip-off free sledging memories. Surely the same kind of experience can be had in Australia?
The Aussie snow resorts where the snow is is very commercialized, bit like Darlinghust or Balmain up a mountain. I think you have to buy a normal non ski mountain pass to actually get to the good snow play areas. And there are all kinds of road / car restrictions in the snow area, health and safety over kill if you are from the UK and more used to snow driving.

When I was younger I went to the Austrian Alps, we used to go to place called Saalbach which was great, also used to go to the Cairngorms. The Aussie snow resorts seem poor value to me but that is what we have to work with.

Next time I go back to Europe between Nov - April I will get to some mountains. Save the pennies for that as we didn't move to Australia for the snow / mountain lifestyle I guess, My son seems more in to the body boarding / surf side of things.

Last edited by Jon77; Jun 13th 2014 at 9:09 am.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by Jon77 View Post
The Aussie snow resorts where the snow is is very commercialized, bit like Darlinghust or Balmain up a mountain. I think you have to buy a normal non ski mountain pass to actually get to the good snow play areas. And there are all kinds of road / car restrictions in the snow area, health and safety over kill if you are from the UK and more used to snow driving.

When I was younger I went to the Austrian Alps, we used to go to place called Saalbach which was great, also used to go to the Cairngorms. The Aussie snow resorts seem poor value to me but that is what we have to work with.

Next time I go back to Europe between Nov - April I will get to some mountains. Save the pennies for that.
I don't do snow but do you mean that every mountain or hill type area that gets snow is enclosed in a 'resort'? No one can do basic snow stuff like sledging, making snowmen, throwing snowballs in open areas? That's barking.
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Old Jun 13th 2014, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Going for snow ????

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
I don't do snow but do you mean that every mountain or hill type area that gets snow is enclosed in a 'resort'? No one can do basic snow stuff like sledging, making snowmen, throwing snowballs in open areas? That's barking.
Think of this way: to get to a snow line you have to go high: approach up an accessible mountain road where a hut marking the entrance to a park is....it's about accessibility....you can climb Mt Bogong and Mt Feathertop free and play and ski for free there but you are off piste.

In Vic, you can drive up to Mt Donna Bunang barely an hour from Melbourne. ..you get to the very top after driving on tarmac and suddenly you hit the snow line. ..it's free.
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