First Tracks Award

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The first tracks award goes to Justin Miller & crew, who were at Falls Creek on the Anzac day long weekend – not skiing or boarding, but mountain biking!

See the whole photo album here.

Falls Creek Mountainbike Weekend

Heading up to Falls Creek to do the Falls to Mt Beauty 33k downhill, we were expecting mild, crisp mid-autumn conditions. The week leading up to D-Day had temps of 26 degrees in the valley & a pleasant 17 or so at the top. Then all hell broke loose on the Friday where a good 15cms was dumped on the village – the bus dude said he had NEVER seen snow in April as long as he could remember. Great, except we weren’t boarding!

The Saturday was a white-out & our planned 20k hut to hut ride was deemed impossible so we had to retreat to the lodge for a red wine fuelled poker game. But Sunday dawnwed with blue skies & the sound of tons of snow melting. We rode ro the top & then blasted down the fire trails & single track, initially on slushy, wet tracks that transitioned into drier trails by the time we passed Howman’s Gap.

Bloody cold, but a fantastic time. Everyone was saturated from head to toe. Riding through snowbanks is like hitting wet sand – not easy!

Bring on the winter – time for the bike to hibernate for a while!

Justin

Here’s some selected images from the album:

The Anzac dump

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Respect to the Anzacs, & cheers to Huey for paying his dues by providing the first falls of 2004!

From the Thredbo site:

Snowing!!!! Overnight snowfalls on the middle and upper slopes. Snowfalls overnight and intermittent flurries today. Around 5-10cm of snow fell from the cat-shed up, with a dusting early in the village. Break out the winter woollies if heading this way.

Falls Creek has unseasonal 20-30cm snowfall overnight

The alpine village has had 20-30cms of snow overnight and it looks just like the middle of winter – even though there’s still 50 days until the start of the 2004 season.

Attunga Lodge owner Charles Warren has never seen this amount of snow fall in his 15 years at Falls Creek Alpine Resort.

“It started to sleet last night and this morning we discovered it had settled over the entire resort said Warren .”It has never been this deep in April in my time here.”

Another long time resident of Falls Creek John Grant said:”It is very cold up here in the village today, it got down to about minus two overnight.

“It is a long time since I’ve seen this depth at this time and it is very encouraging. The indicators are now we’ll get a weather pattern which will bring cooler temperatures earlier than later.”

Bruce Meinzer from Leitner Poma America, who is coordinating the construction of the new quad chairlift at Falls Creek said:”The snow overnight doesn’t worry me at all. I’ve built chairlifts in North America in three feet of snow.

“We’ve erected the return station of the new chairlift and at this point I’ve booked the helicopter to fly the bottom six towers on May 3.”

Some photos to whet your appetite

Falls Creek – looks like mid-winter in the village!

Thredbo valley view showing the frosted peaks

Thredbo, Base of The Cruiser (Merrits)

Hotham looking nice & white

Hotham – almost looks like you could get a few turns in here!

Some more great Hotham pics I found on the ski forums

Smell the anticipation

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The 2004 season is just around the corner – in a few weeks time our nostrils will be filled with the sweet perfumes of our beloved sport – the smell of hot wax being ironed on, the cool crispness of fresh mountain air, the pungent odour of old ski boots, the musty pong of stale farts in the boys bunk-room…..ok, maybe forget about those last 2!

Thredo Club

Quick – buy your Thredbo Club Card before 30/04/04 & you get an extra 2 points towards your free day! well worth getting one if you are planning on doing more than 6 days at Thredbo this season.

Weather Forecast

The famous forecasting amphibian “The Frog” has updated his Snowatch site, & has forecasts for May online. Below is his current long-range forecast:

Long Range Forecast
(updated @ 11:50am Saturday 17th April)

Looks like mainly fine weather into early next week before a chain of weak cold fronts arrive. Temps should drop around the 28th with some light snow possible into the 30th.

Long Range Outlook:
Looks like there should be a cool change arriving around the 4th which could see some light snow fall around the 4-6th of May. After that I like the look of the 9th-11th. Further ahead the 16-18th is looking good for possible significant snowfalls from the first real cold snap of the year.

…..stay tuned to Snowatch for developments.

- The Frog

Snow Fashion 2004

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Looking hip & cool on the slopes is of the utmost importance in the trendy Aussie resorts… Here’s my hot fashion tips for the 2004 season.

Rune ‘Rullings’ Lundsør models the latest in Euro mountain fashion. Check out the nordic videos at his site Tacky.no

Euro-stylee

Big in Japan this season, the “Sherpa” look

japanese sherpa-skiier

& the stylee for skiiers from da hood – swap the backwards baseball cap for a backwards helmet! Yeah boyee!

backwards helmet

LPL Japan 2003/4

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Just as a date marker, here’s the temporary banner for the LPL 2003/4 Japan trip

LPL Japan 2003-4

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