Ski for one dollar a day - but there's a catch

Skiing for a dollar a day?

There is a catch. You have to be at least 65 years old.

But who could begrudge mate's rates like that to septuagenarians like Graham Godber who are still getting up and down Mt Buller with the best of them?

"Some people my age have one foot in the grave; that's not for me," said the quietly determined 70-something, who has been a regular at Victoria's most popular ski resort for over half a century.

Mr Godber, a Melbourne carpenter who like many other city slickers has retired into the lush farmlands around Mansfield, gets a season pass for $50, and reckons he skis about 40 or 50 days a year.

There are quite a few like him, and they deserve every concession they get.

Whether they know it or not they are the mainstays of Australian skiing.

Their most energetic days may be behind them, but they are the ones who typically encourage the next generations of skiers.

Mr Godber, for example, put his son on skis at the age of 18 months.

His son is 27 now and already one of the mountain's next generation of regulars.

"It costs him about $100 a day, compared to my $1," laughs Mr Godber, "and I don't mind rubbing salt in that wound a little bit."

Buller, like all resorts intent on maintaining a rosy future, is doing all it can to make this most logistically difficult of sports easier at both ends of the age scale.

Under fives ski free, and you would be surprised how many mighty mites that includes.

Buller prides itself on being the only Australian resort to offer child rates to all secondary students, right up to Year 12.

Tertiary students also enjoy reduced rates, and there are youth development programs, school camps and a leg-up for first-timers in the form of "discovery" lessons.

They teach newcomers basically just how to stop and go, which hopefully encourages them to keep going; the lessons take two hours and they're free.

Shuttle buses around the pretty mountaintop village are free, too.

The writer was a guest of Mt Buller.