After a truly revolting week of skiing, where Buller lost roughly one third of its natural snow cover – down to 26cm from 39cm – it was time to put the rain behind us and head up for the weekend with the promise of new snow in the forecast.
Saturday turned out to be a largely forgettable affair. The forecast snow was said to arrive ‘late’ Friday night at best – we woke up to a dusting of wet sludge so we went back to sleep and finally went out for some food and a few runs. The waterlogged snow from a week of rain was appalling and we did not last long:
When we pulled the pin we headed down to the Supermarket to get the papers and some snacks – big mistake. We usually manage to avoid lower Bourke St & the Village during daylight hours on the weekends but not in this case – Bourke St was absolutely overrun by hordes of tobogganners. It was a nightmare. I don’t know what the RMB does to discourage them from tobogganning on ski areas but it’s clearly not enough. It was also disappointing to see Ski Patrollers vainly attempting to discourage the tobogganners – they should be up on the mountain looking after paying skiers. To be honest I think Buller is a pretty ordinary place for snowplay, Lake Mountain is much better set up for day visitors & I think that should be encouraged as a venue.
As we headed home it started to snow, which continued through to around midnight:
Report said 8cm which is about right, I would have guessed 10cm.
Sunday dawned sunny and had us well and truly sucked in. We raced out the door at 8:15 with light clothing and dark lenses on, not realising that the blue skies would only last an hour. The temperature had also dropped over 2 degrees since the snow report and it was bloody cold. My hand almost froze taking pictures on the Holden Chair:
With the Buller Cup being held on Little Buller we knew that area was the one to avoid and headed towards the Summit, with a slight detour via Boomerang for first tracks:
But then we headed to the Summit and did about a dozen runs in the fresh snow on the skier’s right – the snow was far from light & fluffy, it was rather dense with a light crust on top, but at this stage of the season that’s perfect as it will nicely fill in the holes and cover the ground.
As each run went by the weather & visibility got worse – to be honest that partially suited us as I far prefer good skiing in poor weather as nobody follows your tracks – we found a great area and did many laps in the fresh snow without another soul following us. It was fantastic fun.
But we were underdressed and the cold finally got to us so we headed home for some lunch. Just as I was contemplating heading out again I got a text message telling me about the freezing rain – the dreaded Buller Westerly had stuck again, you can see this with the horizontal isobars on the synoptic chart, so that put paid to heading out for an afternoon session. Time to head home to Melbourne for another week.
Thanks to everyone who has uploaded pictures & videos of their weekend around the various resorts to aussieskier.com/social