Thursday, July 08, 2010

First ski Australian slopes

Originally posted on Life in the South

Pretty disappointing first ski in Australia. Love the backcountry atmosphere, hate the massive fees and over done resorts.

Got up early, easy driving to Cooma for breakfast and take away lunch (will stop at Berridale next time), lovely sunrise coming into Jindabyne. Stopped at Paddy Palin's for a map, then onto the Park gates for the nasty surprise of a $27 fee for a 1 day pass! Then a few ks up the road, a random chains check!!!? No warning signs back at Jindabyne, no snow anywhere near the road, no forecast of snow for days, if not weeks. They wouldn't hear it, and turned me back to Jindabyne to get chains! Another $25 hire, so I bought a set for $160. There went my early start, budget well blown.

Finally arrived at Perisher to find the road to Charlottes Pass closed with no snow on it! $48 for a 15min bus ride.. forget it! Perisher was crowded out with only man made snow runs open, yet they were charging full fee lift passes at $110 for a day! I just wanted to get out back, but their $28 single lift pass is not available for people with skis!

So skinned up Back Perisher Mountain for good views out to Main Range. Looked like good cover out over Carruthers Peak and Blue Lake, probably a strong crust on it though, and having not gone through to Charlottes, the walk was huge! Very patchy cover on the ridges Mnt Perisher to Blue Cow - fun for cross country. I dropped down to Blue Calf, and up Blue Cow for one run down a crowded Kamikaze.

Tired and broke, I walked back to the car and drove home. Studying the map for less expensive access alternatives. Fuel from Canberra return is about $60, park entry is $24 per day. This cost would be less if the Snowpool website works out, leaving a little for a lift pass, or a bus to Charlottes to access the backcountry for a day trip.. otherwise it's a long walk and a sleep out.. but then the park fees build up!

I hear Victorian parks are all free entry...

Some photos of this trip.. forecast says a dump to come late next week!


rlubensky said...

All Victorian resorts charge a vehicle entry and parking fee in the winter. At Hotham it's $35 per night. It apparently pays for snow clearing and the shuttle bus service. There is also an entry fee added to inbound bus passenger tickets. I bought an annual ticket for my car for about $300. For a multi-resort pass it's over $400. Way, way too much.

Leigh Blackall said...

Ah shit Ron.. and I was going to drive the extra 4 hours! (Still will). This all really hurts this back country skier. Enough to make me want to save all my $ and spend it all on a week in NZ instead! I just want to park, walk, ski... happy to park below the line and walk too, but the park fee applies way below that!