Story and Photos by Steve Cuff
The 2017 winter snow season is officially open with Perisher opening a week early this past weekend to start proceedings in the Snowy Mountains. With 22cm of snow falling the previous week plus snowmaking that Perisher had already commenced in early May has allowed them to open a week ahead of schedule.
In a battle of bragging rights, Perisher opened their lifts at 2pm on Friday June 2 ahead of a schedule opening at Victorian resort Mt Buller that same evening.
Friday afternoon opening.
Local residents taking full advantage of the early opening at Perisher.
Perisher’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Brulisauer was delighted with the outcome of being able to open early, even hitting the slopes himself on Friday afternoon. Snowy Mountains Magazine had a few runs with Mr Brulisauer off the Village Eight chair where he said the whole team at Perisher had done a tremendous job to get the resort open at this early stage of winter.
“Following a great snowfall on Monday and a favourable weather forecast, we were excited to announce we would open for skiing and snowboarding for the season on Saturday 3 June, one week before the traditional opening weekend. But, we’ve had so many of Perisher’s most passionate local skiers contact us urging us to open for a quick ski today, so we have decided to open the Village Eight Express for them to enjoy first turns this afternoon.” said Mr Brulisauer said on Friday.
The Front Valley slope is in excellent shape and there were nothing but smiles on people’s faces, whether they be skiers, snowboarders or just for snow play. With the V8 chair and a magic carpet running, it was ideal to cater to all standards from beginners to advanced.
A host of local residents were on the slopes during the weekend and Perisher’s Dashboard leader “Normo” already has a few extra vertical metres ahead of most, as he was on hand for the first official chair for the season on Friday afternoon.
On Saturday Perisher opened their terrain park just before lunch where jibbers could ride from the top of the Front Valley slope through various rails, boxes and jumps to the bottom. Kids on toboggans had a dedicated area fenced off where families enjoyed sliding and some children seeing snow for the first time.
Overall the resort was thriving with the rental department, snowsports school for lessons and the Perisher Centre food and beverage outlets showing good trade.
This all bodes well for the official opening long weekend and the Peak Festival next week where it is expected that a bumper crowd will descend on Perisher, Thredbo and Jindabyne.
The Perisher Peak Festival is a drawcard in itself with 120 different performances over the weekend attracting the music crowd. You can find all the information for tickets here at the Peak Festival.
The Marritz Hotel is also hosting the Perisher Historical Society luncheon for anyone interested in having a sit down lunch and listening to guest speakers Peter McGuinn and Carel Laing talk about their days in Perisher Valley when their father Stan McGuinn was general manager of Perisher.
Kids were all smiles sliding on their toboggans.
The cover is excellent in Front Valley.
Perisher Snowsports instructors and supervisors all smiles on Saturday.
The jibbers were loving the rails.
The Butler family kids see snow for the first time.
The snowmakers even made it look like winter with snow in the trees.
Michal Bierczynski rips a few turns.
Adam Begg lays a crave on the groomed.
The long weekend will also see the official opening of Thredbo where they are expecting to have the Cruiser Chair, High Noon run and Friday Flat area open. There is also extensive entertainment including free village concerts on Saturday evening and the Long Lunch on Sunday where guests are seated in one long table in the Village Square.
With cold night time temperatures it will assist in snowmaking at all resorts and there is a chance of snow flurries from Tuesday through until the weekend.
Anyone who is intending to visit the long weekend at any of the resorts or Jindabyne, should source their accommodation as early as possible. Snowy Mountains Magazine have talked to many accommodation houses who have all indicated they are virtually full a week out from the long weekend.
You can find accommodation listings in our printed magazine, or see them online here