Winter wonderland: Thousands flock to Falls Creek for ski season opening weekend

Victoria's ski season is off to a flying start with thousands hitting the slopes over the weekend.

The state's alpine region has already been transformed into a winter wonderland of snow-covered mountains with resorts blanketed in the white stuff.

Thousands of people have flocked to Falls Creek since the opening day on Saturday.

It is less than two weeks into winter but ideal weather conditions in recent months have seen  25 centimetres of snow fall at Falls Creek.  

Mt Buller has a decent dusting with almost 40 centimetres of snow.

Falls Creek Alpine Resort spokesman Nathan Fenton said four lifts have been opened including the newly named Halley's Comet (formerly known as the Fall's express).

"We've got beginner and intermediate lifts open for the start of the season," he said.

"We have Australia's longest beginner run open... the Wombats Ramble which is loved by all as well as the Mouse Trap for beginners and the Highway 83 for those a bit more experienced."

About 1000 snow enthusiasts welcomed in the new ski season with a spectacular fireworks display at Falls Creek on Saturday night made complete with roasting fire pits and toasted marshmallows.


"We've already got a good base of snow on which to build on," Mr Fenton said.

"The cold temperatures the last couple of weeks have ensured we had strong natural snowfall on the opening day and we're looking at seeing some more snowfall in the coming weeks but it's also perfect conditions for snow making on the mountains so it's only going to get better."   

Owner of Halleys SKI Hire and Shop Lachlan Bowes said the opening weekend of the ski season had been "booming." 

"We've definitely been a lot more busy this weekend than previous years," he said.

"The weather has been great, we've had sunny, blue skies there's a lot of snow on the ground so people are coming here (to Falls Creek) to spend the weekend.

"But probably the most popular hire item of the season so far is the toboggan... they've been walking out the door as the conditions for them are perfect," he said.

Senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology Keris Arndt said cold nights have allowed for stable snow making.

"If we continue to get enough rainfall the snow will continue to build but at this stage it could go either way," he said.

Mr Arndt said for snow to flourish you need the perfect combination of sub-zero temperatures and rainfall.

"Ideally, it needs to be freezing temperatures around zero or below but on top of that you need a decent amount of rain to allow the snow to form," he said.

He said in the past week about 17 millimetres of rain had fallen on Mt Buller, 11 millimetres at Mt Hotham and 10 millimetres at both Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek. 


This article Winter wonderland: Thousands flock to Falls Creek for ski season opening weekend was originally published in The Age.