Report from Sunday, June 26, 2023
Initially I was going to go skiing on Saturday, but in the morning the wind was bad and the visibility non-existent, and many lifts were on hold, so I decided to postpone my first day of skiing for the Australian season and get some work done instead.
Sunday was forecast to be very windy again, so I did not expect many lifts to be open at Perisher Ski Resort, Australia, yet again, but at least I was greeted with a stunning view from the Blue Cow Cafe in the morning.
Isn’t that just the best start to the day?
Since I was up at Blue Cow, I decided to stay here, even though I knew only Brumby t-bar would be running. I was hoping to be able to make my way to Guthega, as Blue Cow and Blue Calf t-bar were running, but the link to Guthega is apparently not open yet, as the snow cover is too thin near the creek. In fact, all four resorts in Perisher are open but are currently non of them are interconnected.
The first few runs at Blue Cow were just so much better than I had anticipated for June. There was fresh untracked powder and the queue was short, as many had departed on the Skitube, when they heard only Brumby would be open. We decided to hike up a little to find some more freshies and found some gorgeous parcels of untracked powder just past the water cooler.
We did six runs of Brumby until the crowds finally found us and the queue got too long for our liking. We tossed up whether we should attempt to make it to Guthega but we did not see any option without ducking the rope and decided to try Smiggin Holes instead. We thought the fact you had to take the bus there from Perisher would deter a lot of riders.
Unfortunately Smiggins was very wind-swept and the snow was not near as good as in Blue Cow. Smiggins had the Kaaten Triple Chair, the Burke T-bar and two J-bars running, so we decided to try all four before venturing back to Blue Cow, just to make the most of our excursion by bus.
We ducked into The Man from Snowy River for a lovely lunch (I highly recommend the Prawn Laksa), before taking the Skitube back to Blue Cow.
By the time we returned to Blue Cow, Summit Chair and Terminal Chair had opened and we finished the day with some runs on Zali’s. The snow cover on Zali was surprisingly good and we tried some side bits down from the bottom of Kamikaze as well.
All in all, it was an incredibly good first day of skiing for June. I have skied in Perisher in June every year for the last decade and it can often be disappointing. To have all four resorts open for the start of the school holidays is amazing and the cover is good.
The resort currently has 57.7cm (22.7 inches) of natural snow, which is more than double what it had in 2006, the worst El Nino year in recent history. This natural snow depth is of course supplemented by snow making across the resort areas except for Guthega, which has no snow making infrastructure.
Yes, it would be nice if the resorts were interconnected, but to be honest that is very rarely the case this early in the ski season. We all got spoiled by the incredibly good start to the season last year, but, realistically, good June snow cover is rare. We are currently above the historical June average to put things into perspective.
I cannot attest to snow conditions in Guthega or Perisher as I did not venture out to those two areas yesterday. The former for lack of accessibility and the latter to avoid the crowds. I have heard people had to queue for half an hour in Front Valley and that just did not sound appealing. Early in the season you simply have to pick your areas and times to avoid crowds and find good snow. It is what it is.