Winter has officially arrived and with it comes the announcement Perisher Resort will open to skiers and snowboarders 10 days early.
The current storm has already seen more than 30 cm of snow fall on the mountains, with more in the forecast.
“With more than 50 cm of snow still to come over the next week, we’re looking forward to welcoming guests back to Perisher and kicking off the season,” a Perisher spokesperson said.
The resort saw another 30 cm of snowfall overnight with temperatures dropping to minus 8 degrees.
Terrain will be limited to the Front Valley with chairlifts firing up at 8:30 am on 4 June. However, the skitube won’t be running and lessons don’t begin until 11 June.
“Early season conditions currently exist, and we require skiers and riders to observe all posted signs and warnings for their safety,” a Perisher spokesperson said.
“Closed trails may contain hazards due to limited natural snow coverage and snowmaking operations.”
Those travelling to the mountains have also been reminded to check the road requirements and conditions before setting off.
Backcountry explorers have also been urged to keep an eye on the forecast to make sure they are fully prepared.
On Tuesday (31 May) Monaro PD officers were told two hikers were sheltering at Seamans Hut in Kosciuszko National Park and were unable to return safely due to the weather conditions.
A police spokesperson said the pair managed to call Triple Zero for help.
“In this instance it was fortunate that phone reception was available, however in most incidences, phone reception is very limited and sometimes non-existent in the park,” they said.
The Monaro PD Alpine Operations Unit used an over-snow vehicle to retrieve the hikers, with minimal visibility slowing the rescue operation.
Police said people needed to be particularly careful in alpine areas.
“This is a timely reminder to be careful, knowledgeable and take safety precautions when visiting an area such as Kosciuszko National Park,” they said.
“Conditions can be extreme and may change rapidly. It is important to be prepared and find out how to stay safe in alpine areas. Safety is your responsibility.”
A severe weather warning is still in place across large areas of southeast NSW and the ACT.
The BOM says damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts to 100 km/h are possible on and east of the ranges.
Blizzards are likely in areas above 1,800 metres and possible above 1,200 metres. The National Parks Service of NSW recommends people consider postponing backcountry travel until conditions improve.
Conditions are expected to ease by this evening, but saturated soils bring an increased risk of gusty winds toppling trees and powerlines, particularly along elevated terrain.
The State Emergency Service advises people should:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony
- Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences
- Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall
- Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill
- Stay vigilant and monitor conditions, noting the landscape may have changed following bushfires
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500