It’s rare that the drive to Buller warrants a Trip Report on it’s own, but today was an exception.
Watching the weather over the last couple of days, it became truly apparent that it was time to drop everything and head up to Buller. This season has failed to excite in any way but we all know things can change, and change quickly. Late starting seasons like 1992, 2003 and 2010 all turned around in late July or early August and this could do the same.
So plans were made and I decided to ‘Chuck a Snowie’ and head up this arvo. I heard rumours of snow to Mirimbah and slippery conditions in the village so I planned to leave early so I would arrive in daylight, which I am very glad about. From Chirnside Park to almost Yea it was the most torrential rain and hail I have ever encountered in my many dozens of drives to Buller:
From outisde Yea to Bonnie Doon the drive was pleasant enough, but all I could see was a wall of black cloud around The Paps, and due to the sun setting in the west behind me, a stunning rainbow:
After Merrijig you could see snow on the hills to low levels, including this one on Timbertop:
Snow was thick on the road at White Bridge:
Hard to say how much snow in total due to the wind but I would guess 10-20cm:
With more coming:
New lifts expected to open are Bull Run (which actually opened today), Grimus and Federation. Federation will only be to service Whiskey Creek Trail which will bring much needed respite to the Wombat Chair, Grimus for Summit Slide, and Bull Run for Standard. I will find out tomorrow if the storm delivers enough to open the interesting terrain serviced by those lifts.
While I am excited about what the morning may bring, I am cautioning myself slightly for two reasons. First is the wind – it is currently howling and this may play havoc with the lifts, however if this is the case I will bust out the skins and earn my turns which I am 100% OK with.
The second reason is, well, Buller. As we know this year things have been rather askew. There’s a lot of bad feeling and pessimism up here at the moment, some caused by Mother Nature disproportionately favouring the rest of the resorts, and also some other reasons more under human control. Every storm that has lined up this year has let me down, so until I actually get out there tomorrow in the fresh stuff I am going to temper my enthusiasm. I’m waiting for that day when I can proudly proclaim ‘Buller’s Better’ however this year it has quite frankly been a long way behind the pack.
There are a lot of people who have been holding off from skiing this season, but this could well be the storm that is the catalyst to get them up here & have some fun on some more of the terrain that we enjoy.
Well, for a start it’s bloody cold, -5C as I type this. Keep an eye on the AWS Temperatures & also wind strengths. Second, the Radar Image is showing southerly moisture heading straight in the direction of the Alps, and the Satellite Animation shows plenty of speckled cloud headed our way. The various snow forecasts such as Jane’s Weather, The Frog & Weatherzone are calling for snow to moderate through tomorrow, become clear on Saturday and the chance of some sun on Sunday.
Keep an eye on the aussieskier.com Facebook Page tomorrow as I will update that during the course of the day and write a more comprehensive report on the blog tomorrow night. Be sure to ‘Like’ the page to get all the user-submitted Instagrams hashtagged with #aussieskier that have been so popular this season – if the snow is great tomorrow I would expect the total to crack the 800 mark which is truly incredible.
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