Imagine for a moment Australia's perfect ski resort. The terrain of Thredbo and Hotham, the ski-in ski-out village of Falls Creek, the scale of Perisher and the urban proximity of Mt Buller.
Those devoted to their 'own' resort would find this sacrilege. There is no-one more passionate than a skier or boarder addicted to their resort of choice. When discussing the competition, stereotypes abound.
Buller has attitude and too many clubbies, Thredbo is old-school skier territory stuck in the past, Perisher is like Pitt Street in peak hour, Falls is flat (the ultimate insult) and Hotham too disjointed. I've heard them all this week while on snow tour in New South Wales and Victoria.
One thing overly-passionate skiers like to do is criticise other skiers, or at least the areas in which they choose to make their turns, in an effort to justify their own choice of field. Who really cares? Are you having fun? Then you are winning, regardless of where you lay your snowboard.
Haters will always hate. So who really does have the most going on (in a good way)? Does Victoria or New South Wales come first across that best package line?
For apres ski, Victoria lords it over New South Wales. Thredbo and Perisher don't even come close to the on-mountain dining and drinking options, and standard of Buller and Falls Creek. My liver can attest to that.
For terrain Perisher wins in scale, Thredbo in vertical and variety. That's a no-brainer, though Hothamites will rightly argue otherwise and Buller this year has been better than any other, or so everyone keeps telling me.
My personal favourite sidecountry run is Dead Horse Gap, so easily accessed from the top of Thredbo. Steve Lee at Falls Creek will say his terrain is better, but you have to pay for the service of being guided and transported by skidoo, so they can't really be genuinely compared.
The best run on a powder day? Has to be The Bluff at Thredbo, if you can get to the front of the stampede. Though isn't any run a good run on a powder day?
Charlotte Pass and Guthega at Perisher in New South Wales both win for charm, Falls Creek for happy lifties and lift queues (the chairlift capacity far outweighs the bed capacity in the village, so queues are rarely seen). Victorian resorts have swanky day spas, New South Wales resorts don't.
For honest snow reports, Falls Creek wins this week with their 'worst house on the best street' email to their database. There's nothing skiers and boarders like more than the truth and nothing they will chastise you more for than lies.
"It might work in real estate, ladies and gentlemen, but the worst day in the best season is still just a miserable day," reads the Falls Creek snow report. "You don’t want to buy this one folks. Leave your hands in your pockets. Stay in your own home. Don’t come up here this morning. Falls Creek has had a big night and isn’t fit to be seen. Rain. Probable windhold. Bleary eyes. Smelly breath. Yuck.
This weekend will be an entirely different story. It has been dumping down this week and should clear on Saturday into a string of beautiful days. Possibly the very best days of the best season in decades are coming right up, the day after the day after tomorrow. Don’t miss out."
The Falls Creek daily report almost rivalled Mt Buller's classic Braveheart video report during a less than stellar season that called for skiers and boarders to embrace the potholes and snow deprivation. So Victoria wins that one.
Perisher wins for value with the Freedom Pass, a season pass at $699, the same season pass price for the last three years with no cost increases. Thredbo launched the Mountain Collective initiative for season pass holders, giving them 50 per cent discounts at global resorts including Aspen, Jackson Hole and Whistler. That's another tick for New South Wales.
Falls Creek and Perisher tie on the social media front, Thredbo wins for best promotion with the current win a week heli ski experience with Last Frontier Heli Skiing in Canada. How? Just register over two thousand metres of vertical to enter.
I could go on, a lot. I could speak of snow depths and lift-line nazis, of kids day care (Hotham wins), flare runs and fireworks, music festivals and celebrity chefs, but I really just want to go skiing.
Of course this is all just opinion, my opinion, a New South Wales resident writing this piece while sitting in a Victorian snow resort.
Who do you think wins the snow war - New South Wales or Victoria? What do you love about your choice of ski area and what do you dislike about the others?
We are so excited about our #misssnowitall Instagram competition this year and with a trip to Japan up for grabs who wouldn't be? Did your instagram make our gallery this week?
Thanks to the Japan experts at Liquid Snow Tours and Hakuba Hotel Group we have a trip for two to Hakuba in Japan flying direct with Jetstar from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne with seven nights at the conveniently located Hakuba Springs Hotel, daily breakfast, five of nine day multi-resort lift passes for the Hakuba Valley, welcome drinks, transfers, in resort assistance and concierge service. Now that's how you do Hakuba in style.
To enter just tag your winter inspired Instagrams with #misssnowitall.
We will choose five finalists each week for our gallery above, and come September, our guest judge will choose our finalists from the gallery and you get to judge the ultimate winner of this fantastic week in Japan. Click here for full terms and conditions.
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