Ski between the flags

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Al’s Thredbo Report : Saturday 27th- Sunday 28th of August
At first I wasnt sure if I’d packed the right board… Surf or snow? Perhaps a wakeboard? Do they allow speedboats in Lake Jindabyne? It was hot – really bloody hot. No need for thermals or a jacket – most people were skiing in t-shirts, working on their tan. It was like a day at Bondi beach – “please ski between the flags”.

But thanks to the clear sky & low overnight temps, the snow was in great condition! Some bare patches on trhe lower slopes, & a few more exposed rocks than you would expect for August, but it wasnt too bad at all. After about 9.30am the whole resort softened up nicely – the groomers were fast, smooth & uncrowded. By 11am Glen & I ventured into the Golf Course Bowl, which was really fun – huge areas of “ice-cream” freshies! Meanwhile Nigel went on a solo hike out towards Mt Kosciusko.

After a fairly arduous exit with a “hop to bottom” manouver at the base of Funnel Web, we scoffed some burgers at the bakery before spending the afternoon at Basin/Karels, seeking out the untracked ice-cream between the rocks. Pretty soon the lifts started closing down, but where was Nigel? Building an igloo for the night? Luckily some cross-country skiiers had suggested he head back, & just before 4.30 he arrived at the top of the Kosci chairlift breathless but happy, having jogged most of the way from Mt Kosciusko! Typical Kiwi – 1 part human, 9 parts mountain goat!

Sunday was a carbon copy of Saturday, but with a slight wind. Checked out the terrain parks – beginners park at Merrits was in a mess, with slushy runways & scooped out landings. Leave it for the kiddies. The advanced park at Antons looked like an invitation to the 6 months in the spinal ward, but the boardercross track was fast & fun as always. High Noon had 2 nicely shaped tabletops – the first was a breeze for a big grab, but the 2nd nearly cracked my heel on the landing – serves me right for not scoping it first huh!

We spent the afternoon cruising for natural hits, doing alley-oops & front side airs off the sides of the Village Trail – awesome! The place was virtually deserted by 4pm, so after a refreshing spa & shower, we pre-booked our pizza at Cooma & reaced home in good time. Certainly one of the most enjoyable slushy days ever, & a suntan to boot :)

Darth Skiier

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When he’s not crushing the rebellion, Darth Vader enjoys skiing in the back-country (or has he likes to call it, the “dark side” of the mountain) during an extremely rare sunny day on planet Hoth.

Snow in Jindy

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It’s all about timing… freshies on a monday, overnight snow down to Jindabyne… dont you wish you werent at the office today?

Hotham today

Jindabyne today

Thredbo: Ghost Town

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Bradley’s Thredbo Report : Fri 19th – 21st August 2005

Well the bad report, as predicted, sure did drive the punters away this weekend. Thredbo was a ghost village! Well, on the medium to high level runs anyway. Great for us hard core crazy nutters. It was a tough assignment, but I think we all passed with gold stars for soldiering on through this uninhabitable blizzard and getting home to write this report without a broken bone in my body. Today was H-A-R-D-! I saw more people getting carted off the slopes in ski-doo stretchers than I did coming on. Someone should have really warned people about how bad the slopes were today. After breaking my collar bone on this icy stuff, I know that feeling and it makes me shudder! Unfortunately, a bus-load full of poor unsuspecting souls arrived around 9:30 and the carnage began. I could see it was going to happen but was helpless to stop it.

I’m exagerating but there were lots going up the gunbarrel and getting hammered with high winds and hard surface and because the Cruiser and Kosiousko Express lifts were closed due to strong winds, people were funneled through the High Noon and Antons. Both were extremely icy until everyone, each slowly but steadily, scraped thin slithers of snow off this oversized icicle. This was just so at least we could ride what this untamed beast of a low pressure weather pattern created. From the big melt yesterday to the big freeze today, by about noon it was beginning to soften up again and get more interesting but by then, the weather had got considerably worse and so did my interest.

Apart from this seemingly terrible begining to this report I must say I had a fantastic time! The highlight of the weekend would have to be on Saturday. Although it rained most of the day, the sun came out in the afternoon, the wind went still and it was quiet but misty. The Crackenback and High Noon Supertrails were in excellent nick, all things considered. A good wax (with a scraping) was essential for a day like yesterday. Wet slushie snow and rain with sleety bits of single crystal snowflakes falling. I tell you it really looked like you could put a bit of rasberry cordial with it and sell it at a Quicki-mart! I thought it was great regardless. Sorta like a powder turn mixed with a surfing cut-back turn. We had heaps of fun taking it easy and tricking it out all the way down, making the most of every lift and learning new things off each other.

Wow… what a weekend! As Yoda would put it, “Adventure, Excitement. A Jedi knows not these things”. It’s a good thing I’m not a Jedi! Otherwise I, “Wouldn’t have had a good timmmmme mmmmmok?” :)

Ghost Town in the High Noon corral
Ghost Town in the High Noon corral

The Basin : It is Windy!
The Basin : It is Windy!

Crackenback midway
Crackenback Supertrail midway

Crackenback top
Crackenback Supertrail top

The Rainbow Connection
The Rainbow Connection

Red Bull Rails

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Jindabyne town is still buzzing from last nights Red Bull Rails final, one of the hugest events to be held in Jindabyne. The 2005 Red Bull Rails event saw some of the country’s most talented skiers and snowboarders take on one of Australia’s most technically difficult rail-sliding courses; Mt Red Bull behind the old shopping centre in Thredbo Terrace car park Jindy. DJ Rare kept the tunes kicking on throughout the evening.

A huge snow covered Mt was erected on scaffolding in the car park and thousands of excited and cheering fans amped the competitors who pulled off some amazing stunts.

Al’s Thredbo Report for 13-14/8/05

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Saturday – a lovely sunny day, fairly stiff wind up high. 8.30am, Ripped into 3 high-speed laps on perfect corduroy down the supertrail before the crowds arrived – awesome. Lovely freshies at the top of “Black Forest” in the morning, but missed the exit (again!) & took a while to get out at the bottom. The mountain in general was in very good nick. Tried a hike into Stanleys in the avo, but the sun had turned the snow to crust & crud. Was still very exiting dropping down the seriously steep chutes between the rocks – must try that again on a powder day!

Some quick baby-airs in the mini-terrain park nearly resulted in blown knees from clearing the wee bumps masquerading as tabletops, so we snuck off down the back of Merrits to the groomers access trail. No sooner had we dropped in, when along comes a patroller on a skidoo! we hit the deck, lying amongst the trees like we were 8 year-olds playing hide & seek… Luckily the patroller didnt hear us over his buzzing motor, so as soon as he finished fixing the “NO ENTRY” sign, we proceeded to totally ignore it (we are such anarchists) & enjoyed the ice-cream freshies between the trees, all the way down to Fridays Fat.

Wee Zilzie enjoyed her first ever day care experience at Thredbo Leisure Centre, with frequent visits from mum & dad.

Sunday – the wind had a bit more attitide today, but the payoff was lovely wind-blown powder on the Bluff & various bits of the upper supertrail. Did several laps of the supertrail including the racecourse – lots of fun prentending we were in the olympics :) By about 3pm, they close most of the lifts due to wind. Other crew members ripped up plenty of windblown stashes on the t-bars – even the 2 Christophs (from Austria) thought the snow was good.

Monday – fully sick, but in the worst possible way… Zilzie spewed all night, having caught gastro at daycare, so we packed up & hit the road. There was a howling wind at the lodge, with trees losing limbs in the ferocious gusts. I later heard that the lifts were all closed until midday, then it started snowing & they opened the place up… would’ve been nice, but sick babies are the one & only thing that takes priority over powder days!

(Click for larger image)


Snow to sea level!

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Pretty unusual weather event! Snow to sea level in Australia is really quite bizarre… a very serious Arctic blast!

Snow on the beach (!!) at Inverloch, Victoria

Where is Inverloch?

50m above sea level in Victoria

Suburban dump in Hobart

Fresh snow cover on the Brindabella Mountains behind Canberra and Parliament House.

Antarctic blast brings more snow

Here’s the story from

Students / Craig Borrow
Cold play … Students from Bena Primary School in Gippsland / Craig Borrow

A LIGHT dusting of snow fell on Hobart’s central business district this morning, the first snow to fall on the city in nine years. The cold snap continued from yesterday, when a blast of freezing air pushed up from Antarctica, producing snow that dusted Parliament House, teased Hobart and blanketed large tracts of Victoria in what might be the lowest-lying snowfalls recorded.

While the snowflakes failed to settle in Hobart’s city centre today, many suburban residents woke to blankets of snow on their front doorsteps.

Malcolm Downing, senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology, said substantial falls were recorded to 100 metres above sea level.

Some areas in the southeast and far south of Tasmania received up to 20 centimetres of snow, while towns closer to Hobart recorded up to six centimetres.

Mr Downing said snow was predicted again tonight and could settle briefly around the city’s more elevated suburbs.

Meanwhile, more heavy snowfalls were expected on NSW ski slopes today, and there were suggestions other parts of the state could also be in for a sprinkling sparked by the cold snap.

A NSW Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said a cold front with a south-westerly air stream, which caused the snow, had passed through NSW.

The result was another “unbelievable powder day” with “snow as good as it gets” on the NSW ski fields, he said.

Conditions would be perfect for skiers due to big snow falls in the past 24 hours, the spokesman said.

“At Charlotte’s Pass we’ve been told they’re enjoying 135 centimetres snow cover,” he said.

“This amount of snow cover is going to give skiers an unbelievable powder day, in fact it’s safe to say this would be as good as it gets.”

More than 15cm of snow had fallen on Thredbo ski fields in the past 24 hours, while Perisher Blue received 25cm.

The weather bureau has called the freak conditions a “cold outbreak” – an unusual event where a mass of air travels at speed behind a cold front, too quickly for the sun and warmer sea temperatures to heat it.

“There’s only one way this can happen and that’s one of these cold outbreaks from the deep south,” senior forecaster Stuart Williams said.

“I would have to say it is the most widespread snowfall I have seen in my 21 years at the bureau, and there’s a good possibility that it is the first time it has snowed in many of these (Victorian) localities.”

Yesterday, two people died near Beechworth, in northeastern Victoria, when their car skidded and flipped on to its roof. “There was a lot of snow and ice on the road,” an ambulance spokeswoman said.

Elsewhere in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula, Ballarat, Gippsland, the La Trobe Valley and suburban Melbourne received falls that forced the closure of several roads and schools.

In the ACT, the Brindabella Ranges received up to 30cm of snow, and the central and southern tablelands of NSW also received falls.

But snow forecast for Melbourne’s CBD failed to materialise, and the temperature climbed to 10.4C in the city. It had been predicted that yesterday would be the coldest day of winter. The temperature was well above Melbourne’s coldest recorded day, in 1872, when the thermometer dipped to 6.7C.

The last time it snowed in Melbourne’s suburbs was in June 1986, while the last major Melbourne snowfall was in 1951.

At Mirboo North primary school in West Gippsland, about 120 students who travelled to school by bus faced the prospect of spending the night at school as parents tried to make their way along snow-blanketed roads to collect their children.

But the school’s vice-principal Garry Adams said by late yesterday afternoon, all the children had either returned home or made arrangements to be picked up by friends or relatives.

It was the first time most of the Mirboo North schoolchildren had seen snow. “They were so excited when they first got to school,” Mr Adams said.

“All the faces were at the window, and looking at it with astonishment in their eyes.”

Canberra received snowshowers, but the snow failed to settle on the ground.

Temperatures are expected to be cold again today in Victoria, but a repeat of yesterday’s snowfalls is not forecast.

From AAP and The Australian

Awesome Thredbo video report

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Best looking Thredbo video report I’ve ever seen!
Movie – 1.8 Mb
Thredbo 10.08.2005
Thredbo 10.08.2005

Oscar goes dirt-boarding

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Young Oscar Ervik practices his dirt-boarding skills in Nozawa, Japan.

One for the farmers

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Hmm, so much for the MRF I posted last week…so do you want the good news or the bad news? Well, mother nature hit us with the bad news first – rain, & lots of it! The cold air didnt reach the mountains soon enough to turn all that precipitation to snow last night, but today it started snowing, with most resorts claiming 15cm, & more expected overnight.

So not the mega-dump we’d hoped for, but at least the forecast for the next few weeks is looking quite good, & for now the hills are white again & the farmers will be happy about the rain :)

Thredbo valley view camera looking much healthier after a few fluffy flakes fell.

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