Photo reveals bleak reality of ski season

Mt Buller slopes on Thursday. Picture: Mt Buller Resort
Many ski lifts across NSW and Victoria will be closed for the long weekend. Picture: Mt Buller Resort

Only a single ski lift out of 75 scattered across the NSW snowfields is expected be operating over the long weekend – the traditional start to the ski season.

The dire warning comes after warmer temperatures left slopes bare for the second consecutive year in NSW’s Snowy Mountains region.

Selwyn Snow Fields announced on Wednesday it had suspended its lift and tobogganing for the weekend “due to lack of snow”.

Perisher, which operates 47 lifts, said it would only be operating its beginner conveyor belt for the three-day weekend.

Mt Buller slopes on Thursday. Picture: Mt Buller Resort
Mt Buller slopes on Thursday. Picture: Mt Buller Resort

“We’re open from this Saturday, June 8 with limited lift operations and terrain best suited to first-time skiers and boarders,” it said on Wednesday.

“Although it may be a slower start to the season than we had hoped, we’re keeping an eye on the forecast as there’s some fresh snow and cold temps on the horizon.”

Thredbo, for its part, forecast “not a lot of skiing or snowboarding” for the weekend, with only the scenic chair expected to open for the weekend.

Warmer temperatures and rain forecast to smatter much of the state over coming days has raised fears about the 2024 season.

Thredbo Top Station received 5.2mm of rain since 9am on Thursday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The chance of snow at 1800m sat between 20-40 per cent over the weekend; at 1000m it was zero.

The Perisher Valley was forecast to receive a drenching of up to 10mm on Friday, before possible late snow on Sunday.

Across the border, the situation was much the same for Victoria’s resorts and its 56 ski lifts.

Mt Hotham Resort said it would not be operating its lifts over the King’s Birthday Weekend.

Senior Mountain Operations Manager Luke Rickard said the forecast was set to improve.

“Looking a little further ahead, it looks really promising with some cold fronts stacking up back-to-back from Tuesday onwards,” he said.

“The team are working really hard to prepare for some snow on the ground. Hopefully, we will have some lifts spinning soon”,

It was not immediately clear whether Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort, or Dinner Plain Alpine Village would be operating their lifts.