Al’s Thredbo Report : Sunday 11th of September – Monday 12th of September

Due to yet another forecast of big rain followed by a bit of snow, I decided to ride Sunday-Monday, & work on Saturday to make up for it. Luckily my good pal Lloyd has a flexible work pattern too, so at 8pm, while most of Sydney were on their 3rd vodka, we hit the M5 for the long haul to the high country…

Saturday night:
Arrive at lodge approx 1am… it’s warm & raining… we say a little prayer to Huey & hit the sack.

Still quite warm, & no snow. This was expected, but still dissapointing. A quick drive up the hill to a suspiciously quiet Thredbo carpark… as Lloyd buys his ticket (& I score my free day, thanks to my Thredbo Club points – sweet) it starts snowing – Hooray! Alas, it was just a tease – it stops after 1 minute :(

As we ride up Kosciosko express, it’s obvious that the lower mountain is totally stuffed – huge areas of absolutely zero snow! The rain has stripped our fine ski area to the bone! Trying to look on the bright side, we do a couple of laps on the Supertrail, ollying grass/mud/rocks/gravel along the way, & seeking bumps to spin off. Around 11am it starts snowing a bit harder, switching between graupel & fat flakes as the wind comes & goes. Within an hour, we can see the primary surface being filled in by clean, white powder :)

From about 1pm to 4.30pm, we are riding shallow freshies, so we hit the Bluff & Black Sallys for some big powder turns – Huey has come through with the goods! There were no lift lines all day, so we are seriously exhausted – back to the lodge, spa, sauna, beer, dinner & we crash out in the lounge… then crawl into bed by 8pm – Zzzzzz.

15cm overnight! thats the claim… bit of a stretch really – more like 10cm, but who’s complaining?! Feeling well rested after our sizeable snooze, we race up the hill & find ourselves close to pole position – no. 15 in the freshies queue, & I didnt even have to do the Sgt. Major routine! Must remember to send the troops to bed early before future powder days…

10 laps of the Kosi chair later, & it’s finally tracked out – I’ve never had so much mileage from 1 lift at Thredbo! There are no lift lines at all. Riding the lower areas (with no base) is something between heaven & hell – if you turn gently & stay quite flat, you’re on powder, but if you need to lay down a hard turn, it’s straight through to whatever lies below… We venture to skiiers left of cannonball, for 2 laps of some sweet untracked pow in the trees. Our quads are turning to jelly, & its only 11am!

An early lunch & we’re back into it – some wicked windblown pow in the trees off the Antons T-bar, then we explore the remains of the boarder-cross track at Sponars. It’s quite freaky up there – total white-out, & the berms have become ice-bergs, looming ominously from the fog, & revealing pockets of windblown powder – nice! Back to the Bluff for some fresh sloppy-seconds, & we’re spent by 3pm. After dropping through the thin cover & hitting grass/rocks/logs/gravel, my poor punished plank looks like it’s been ravaged by a rabid wombat, but nothing some lovingly applied p-tex wont fix ;)

Al Ferg