July 2013 was quickly becoming one of the most snow free Julys in the history of Australian skiing. The thin cover had been diminishing like the Australian Labor Party’s support in the election, and as we rolled into Thredbo on Thursday night, a good old-fashioned torrential downpour finished the job in a way Tony Abbott dreams of. With snow just visible about 3/4s of the way up the mountain, Friday was more a hiking and biking (in the rain) day. This was bad even by Aussie standards.
The promised cold front arrived sometime late Friday night. As the freezing level dropped, the buckets of rain gradually turned to buckets of snow. By 10am Saturday, the snow hit the village, and life was looking up. We ventured up to the Merritts area by early afternoon, and lapped the Cruiser chair for 3 hours. With a 5-10 minute lift line, it wasn’t crazy skiing, but the snow kept dumping and conditions got better and better.
About 3.40pm, a sign at Cruiser announced High Noon, the main run to the village on this side of the mountain, was open. We went straight there, and the next hour was a little crazy. With boot deep ungroomed cover top to bottom, this was a wild ride. We sneaked in 5 laps due to some high-speed runs, and left for the bus back to the lodge with big smiles on our faces.
Sunday was a day that seemed like a bizarre fantasy on Friday. The storm had delivered 50cm+ by Sunday morning, and despite some wind-packed heavy snow up high, the first few runs were a powdery delight. As the day went on, the crowds disappeared, the wind did its magic, delivering fresh cover every run, and the skiing got better and better. Good cover top-to-bottom gave us plenty of ripping options despite only about 1/3rd of the total ski hill being open. Sunday was a very fine ski day.
It wasn’t the perfect way to end an Aussie vacation. But it could’ve been a lot worse, Thredbo is darn fun ski hill with decent snow. Sunday only served to remind us of what we were missing. And that really is the end of the 2012-13 ski season for us.
Saturday 4500m, Sunday 8900m vert
Season Totals: 69 days, 24 powder days, 630,400m vert