Latest ever opening in the snow making era

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by tomtankman, Jun 2, 2013.


    tomtankman Active Member

    Hi all

    No snow on the ground and minimums over the coming week which will barely dip below freezing means the resorts might struggle to open on time.

    I have been skiing in Australia for 20 years but can't recall a year when there was not at least 1 or 2 lifts operating on a slim trail of man made snow over the Queens bday weekend. Does anyone remember a year when the resorts opened later?

    What is the latest they have ever opened?
    2015 Snow Travel Expo

    pooman Active Member

    2001, I was there opening weekend. There was about as much snow on the ground as there is today, ie a small wet patch under each snowmaker.

    steveeeee New Member

    what do people think are the chances thredbo will be in good shape on the weekend of june 28?

    telecrag Part of the Furniture

    It has become common for FV to have snow, and the last few seasons we have been spoiled at Thredbo, with HN opening. But I remember opening w/e as not usually having much if any skiing.

    As to the 28th, probably be ok but limited, unless its like 2 years ago, the best early season I can remember. The Qlanders didnt know what was going on.

    benchives Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    I remember the season opening of 63 when the snowmaking machines wouldn't work and there was only a small bit of snow next to the RFDC gate and a little at the top of the V8 as you unloaded. Everyone just walked down with their phats in hand and spent the rest of the day surfing the Internet on their smartphones.

    vet Dedicated Member

    Can't be '63 coz they didn't invent snow until 1964.
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    currawong Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Can't recall specific years, but certainly been plenty of openings at falls where there has been none, or just a little bit on the tiny beginners run.

    RayC Dedicated Member Season Pass Holder

    And smartphones were in their infancy. [​IMG]

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    Hacski Guest

    The rather mild autumn and above freezing minimums forecast is a bit of a worry in that the ground will be retaining more heat than if there had been decent autumn frosts, so any snow which does fall could be affected by the warmer than average ground.
    Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture

    Big fat high over the south east for at least the first half of the week means good snow making weather.
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    tr+h Dedicated Member

    I am pretty sure 2010 was pretty ordinary. I know that we arrived first weekend of school holidays in July and there was no snow on the ground on the Thursday when our snow guarantee kicked in. We could have cancelled, by it snowed 40-60cm over the weekend and was amazing by Sunday.

    Nozawaman Dedicated Member

    82 was bad

    vet Dedicated Member

    Ernest Forras' book is full of tales about poor opening weekends in the 50s to the 70s(?), and sacrificial offerings of Capt'n Morgan Rum helping the snow gods puke.

    I also recall a story from the 1930s. IT DUMPED on QBW. A bunch of guys in 'fast cars' including a Rolls headed up to Hotham, and whipped past the local coppers in a town. The coppers waited and waited for the group to return. However the snow melted and the group went home via Bairnsdale. [​IMG]

    Sounds like QBW has always been hit or miss.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2013

    CarveMan Moderator Commercial Member

    There was no meaningful snow until about the 10th of July in 2008. Then it went nuts and the skiing was great.

    MarkGC Dedicated Member

    Maybe May was the season peak [​IMG]
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    tomtankman Active Member

    Agreed but there is an upper ridge over SE Australia which is leading to temperature inversions. Note Thredbo Top at 6am is 2C
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    waylow Active Member

    Looks like perisher have pumped out a shitload of man made last night on fv and blue cow. Hopefully they can keep it up this week

    snowgum Dedicated Member

    Early 1991 was rubbish at Buller & smaller Vic hills - I recall dodging washouts on much of lower Bourke St one July weekend.

    By early August it started dumping and ended up one of the best if somewhat late seasons since I started skiing in 85.

    Case in point - there was even snow drifts below Spion Kopje (nr Falls) at Christmas. (;-)

    hair-raiser Active Member

    1938, no snow all winter, 1984 no snow at Falls until 4th August.

    currawong Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    not no snow in 84, just not much. I was there the week it snowed, and we were skiing a little bit at ruined castle before that. on thur you could just get down RC, but you had to ski on the poma track in parts. the next morning inter was open [​IMG]

    that was the last year that i only booked a week
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    PolarRabbit New Member

    Just going by the snow charts and some memory, I think there may have been about 5-10 years out of the last 60 that have had as little snow as now in the first half of June.
    In 2008 normal skiing began at the end of June, but there was still a small but not useful cover until then, also that year was colder up until then unlike this year and front valley was certainly operating.
    I do not recall front valley ever being in trouble since the very good snow making coverage this century. Even some of the bad years like 73 and 82 front valley was still operating even without much snowmaking.

    philthree Active Member

    1993 season was arse-about, next to no (decent) snowfalls all winter then on boxing day biggest snowfall of the year whilst parts of Sydney were under seige from bushfires. thats our lot.

    HappyGirl Dedicated Member

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    teckel Old And Crusty Commercial Member

    QB has always been a party weekend. Snow has always been a bonus and never something to be expected, just something to be hoped for.

    Marty_McSly Well-Known Member Season Pass Holder

    Damn that global warming! [​IMG]
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    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Citation needed
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    PolarRabbit New Member

    Not completely snowless, in fact more snow in 1938 at this time than now, but not one of the better years anyway.

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator

    To clarify, in 1984, prior to around 4th August, there was only 20-30cm on the ground at Falls Creek & Hotham. There was then about 3 days of snow (about 30cm), it cleared for a day, then it snowed continuously for two weeks. Hotham went from 28cm to 198cm in that 2.5 week period!!!!!!!!
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    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    1938 only got marginally more snow at Rockey Valley than Spencer's Creek did in 2006. I made a graph of the Rocky Valley Snow depths from the .csv on that page.

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    PolarRabbit New Member

    Spencers Creek gets more snow than Rocky valley at any time, so would have to add perhaps 30% to those readings to get Spencers Creek value. That means 2006 was clearly worse than 1938.

    Its not easy to find many years quite as bad as this one so far. But there are some of course. Could still turn out ok by end July but will not be a 91 though or other years where Antarctic Oscillation was low.

    ponyrider Active Member

    That comment is yet to be sufficiently peer-reviewed.
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    Yardsale Part of the Furniture Moderator

    If you want to have a look at when the ski season really starts anywhere, just check out when the first training day for the race club is.

    You need to screw gates into at least 30cm of snow.
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    You've never started making dirty snow with the drill?

    CarveMan Moderator Commercial Member

    One Interschools at Buller with no snow we were drilling fences into the mud with the petrol drill.

    Draizuh Well-Known Member

    We didnt open till july here in NZ a few years back. Hell, the june opening here is a big gamble. coronet can pull it off some years because there is nothing on the mountain but grass (bit like in aussie) but for most other resorts you need a serious amount of snow before you can ski.

    tomtankman Active Member

    Wow! 140cm predicted for Mt Hutt over the next 72 hours

    I am so glad I booked a NZ trip back in January and not an OZ trip this year! Current Spencers Creek snow depth isi the lowest in 17 years for 3rd week of June and it has no chacne of climbing over the coming week.
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    WolfWeb New Member

    ouch, makes me jealous! But how long you going for? Guess I'll just have to be happy with my season pass and free accomodation on the mountain in Aus for the duration of the snow season to make up for the slow start.. oh yeah and the new skis. oh well.
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    vet Dedicated Member

    but metservice owns his own hill [​IMG]
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    Tropposkier Active Member

    I get your humour benchives... I too know why the seasons are slow to start for a long time.. It's not climate change!!!
    I remember stashing a Ski Australia mag along with my stolen from my dad - MAN mags - the Ski Oz article was about good seasons could only be forthcoming with a sacrifice of a teenager I tried my best to contribute... Good luck today in that quest and we are doomed for late starts forever. Ah for the days of no political correctness

    DbSki Part of the Furniture

    Having parents who ski Aus in the 1940s pre lifts in Vic and NSW and from 1965 myself the response to "It hasn't snowed in June" is "yeah whats new"
    We never talked about snow and skiing in June, season started in July for us and the fact the resorts opened in June was only desperation on their behalf to get money coming in.
    There is nothing at the begining of each season in Aus that we have not seen before over the last 60 years here.
    My bday is in June and cant remember many skiing in June till more recent years.

    This season I decided to revert to the old method thats worked in the family for 60 years now, just ignore June and if I wake up one day in june and there is enough on the ground on my cams to get a day ticket value Ill go have a skid on it but no plans to in june otherwise.
    Not bothering with predictions of obs in June or getting hooked by the resort spin its one part frustrating and the other part silly and Ive only been doing since coming here and reading daily snow talk.
    I blame all the weather watchers here.

    June schmoon
    Who cares about bloody June.

    hair-raiser Active Member

    Re my comment about 1938: I was talking to old Tom Pyle of "Pyles Coaches" at Mount Beauty in the mid to late '80s. (Tom passed away quite a few years ago and his kids have sold the business. Its called "Falls Creek Coach Service" these days.)

    Anyway, I was looking up at Bogong about this time of the year and Tom said, "Don't worry, it will snow ..... except I remember in '38, around where Falls Creek is there was no snow at all that winter".

    A true story of mine; he sounded sincere.

    Re 1984, on August 4th I was in a meting with the Resort Manager, Bob Jones, and he told me that the next day the Resort was going to close. After the meeting I went back to the car and falling snow was already 30 cm deep. Saved!


    Bojangles New Member

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