The first snow has hit the ground in the Snowy Mountains, and after a disrupted two years, the resorts have a bumper season of activities planned, but will there be snow?
Snow forecaster and owner of Snowatch, Pete “the Frog” Taylor, is hopeful but says at this stage, the early season forecast is looking a little wet.
“As most are aware the east of Australia has been in a strong La Niña pattern with heavy continued rainfall stretching from Queensland to the South Coast of NSW causing severe flooding at times from February through to April,” Pete said.
“Currently La Niña is weakening but still influencing our weather patterns. Indications are that during our snow season, we will see this pattern continue to weaken and move towards a more neutral level, which in my experience is a lot more conducive to good snowfalls.
“I see a slow start to the season with limited snowmaking opportunities and unfortunately not a lot of natural snow. I think this pattern will remain until La Niña weakens more, which probably won’t happen until July sometime. As this happens, so will the likelihood of good consistent snowfalls, and I think the back end of the season from mid-July to September will be quite decent.”
Maximum and minimum temperatures look like being slightly above average in the southeast of the country from May to June, which will more than likely affect the resorts’ chances of making snow.
“We need cool clear nights to make snow, and if temps hover above zero, this could be an issue. But all it takes for the season to get into full swing is a couple of decent falls so there is nothing to say an early dump can’t change things before July.”
Thredbo’s unique on-mountain experiences are making their return this winter, including the once-in-a-lifetime Sunrise Sessions, Merritts Mountain Haus Feasts and the introduction of the Kareela Supper Club. On Saturday evenings, guests will travel up the Merritts Gondola and be transported to Thredbo’s iconic Kareela Hutte by a passenger snowcat before watching the Saturday night Flare Run and Fireworks Spectacular with champagne and canapes.
Over the summer, Thredbo has upgraded parts of the resort by increasing the amount of snow coverage at the dedicated beginners’ area and across the mountain. Friday Flat will have six new fixed snowmaking guns and four mobile snowmaking guns added to the already significant snowmaking fleet. In addition, Thredbo has a new Easy Rider T-Bar in the Cruiser Area that will increase rider capacity by over 35 per cent this winter.
Perisher Valley is finalising their 2022 events calendar and will be continuing to add information to their website.
If you are planning a trip to Perisher Valley, consider a day trip to Charlotte Pass Snow Resort. The resort offers an inclusive experience from just $129 for adults, including lift pass, return over snow transport and lunch.
Guthries Poma is one of the most popular places to ski and board at Charlotte Pass, and this may be the last winter season you’ll get to load as it’s being replaced by the new Guthries Double chair lift, subject to final regulatory approval. The new lift will increase capacity in the resort by 100% and ensure riders can enjoy easier terrain access for many years to come.
In other exciting news, Selwyn Snow Resort is finally due to reopen for the 2022 season on 2 July. The resort was extensively damaged in the Black Summer bushfires, which resulted in it being unable to operate for the 2020 and 2021 snow seasons.
The resort has now been transformed with the completion of a new and significantly expanded Selwyn Centre that will house all guest facilities and services in the one building, including an enlarged ski and snowboard hire facility, enhanced food and drink offerings and improved toilet amenities.
Resort owners, The Blyton Group, have announced that Doppelmayr Australia has completed work on rebuilding the New Chum Chairlift. The work included replacement chairs, upgraded towers, as well as the expansion and upgrade of the unload platform. Work is continuing at the resort, with repairs currently underway on all other lifts and the installation of three brand new snow carpet lifts.