Is there ever such as thing as too much pow?

The series of weather systems that’s been bombarding Hotham for the past two weeks has delivered … and delivered … and delivered. And for the moment, it looks like it’s going to keep on delivering! With 47cm overnight, plus another 20 or so throughout the day, and once again continuing overnight, we’re looking at over 1m in 2 days! It’s phenomenal! This coming weekend is going to be extraordinary, and you have to wonder if we’ll see skiable snow into October.

For Australian skiers who haven’t much powder skiing experience this is proving to be a baptism of fire. In sections it’s been light and deep, in others heavy and deep … everywhere deep! And a whole new way of skiing, that really challenges your fitness. Bouncing around in the snow until something comes undone – either from not enough or too much speed – then the task of locating that missing ski. Poles and powder straps have been coming in really handy!

Louis Muhlen in powder, MHRS – Photo by Brett Smalley

The runs that have proven most enjoyable over the past couple of days would have to be the extreme (double black) area around Mary’s Slide, the usual Heavenly set, and Initiation. The Wall of Death has been a catchment of great powder (and a never-ending provider of amusement for the audience on the Village chair). With limited visibility – heavy cloud and snowfall – there’s been a fair amount of ski by feel, and the best locations have been in the gullies and treed areas where there is some protection. The constant snowfall has meant that doing loops of a run such as Mary’s, you get fresh tracks each run, which has been fantastic. Areas around Blue Ribbon have proven to be fairly heavy going with very chopped up and heavy powder, though for tree-skiers this area had been collecting terrific snow.

Heavy snowfall, and winds which have brought trees down on the Harrietville approach to Hotham, have caused an all day road closure of the the Great Alpine Road. Check access information before driving the Hume Hwy–Bright–Harrietville approach, you may need to consider the Princes Hwy–Bairnsdale–Omeo approach!

Just to sum things up, when you hear your Canadian coach say “This is my best ever day in Australia, and amongst my best 5 days on snow ever” you know it’s awesome!

Here are some pics of one of the young race squad athletes, Louis Muhlen, having a blast. Photos by Brett Smalley, MHRS.

Louis Muhlen on the Wall of Death, MHRS – Photo by Brett Smalley