As winter gets into full swing and forecasts tell us there will be good falls in coming days its time to get out there.

I normally do a quick pre season assessment of developments around the resorts when it comes to environmental initatives, but given the lack of new initatives, it hardly seemed worthwhile this year.

One pleasing note is that a growing number of resorts are upgrading their snow making equipment to more energy efficient machines.

In autumn, Falls Creek got a bit of media coverage about the new fleet of snow guns they had brought in from Italy.

Falls Creek Maintenance Manager Geoff Sorensen said: “our ongoing quest to make snow using less energy is coming to fruition. This winter we’ll replace energy-hungry guns with more efficient, low-energy snow guns and we will be trialling Techno Alpin’s TF 10 from Europe”.

“This is the first time it will be used in the southern hemisphere by a company renowned for its snowmaking expertise. Our weather can be more marginal (for snowmaking) down under and harsher than what is experienced in the northern hemisphere alpine resorts.

The TF10 snow gun is a fully automatic, low-pressure type fan gun.

There are also more than 130 TechnoAlpin snow guns at Perisher and 70 at Hotham.

Given that climate science tells us we will have more erratic winters, and it is reasonable to assume we will rely more on human-made snow in coming years, moving to lower impact snow guns is a good move.