The southern winter edition of SnowAction (‘Australia’s #1 magazine for snow sports and mountain culture’) has some great stories from Tasmania.
There are excellent stories from a big roadtrip to NZ/Aotearoa, great powder images from Hotham, a piece on the more serious side country terrain at Mt Buller, and skiing in Chile, plus profiles on Chumpy Pallin and film maker Warren Miller. There is also substantial coverage of Tassie’s two resorts.
Due to it’s lower elevation mountains, Tasmania’s snow pack is notoriously fickle. But, as noted in this edition, when it goes off, it Goes Off. There is ‘all you need to know’ coverage of the club field at Mt Mawson in the south of the state and the Ben Lomond resort in the north east. As SnowAction notes, mainlanders should put Tassie on their bucket list. Winter is a cheap time to put the car on the Spirit of Tasmania and combine a ski or riding trip with other adventures.
While you’re there, it’s worth getting into the backcountry. The stories and images from Mt Field (probably the easiest higher backcountry terrain to get to) are superb, especially some spectacular ones of the Aurora Australia over the rocky peak of Mt Field West. The secret is to be flexible enough to go when it snows. Because of its generally rocky nature, Tasmania’s mountains are best with a deep snowpack, so opportunities for serious tours can be limited.
Apart from obvious touring opportunities on the Ben Lomond plateau (accessed via the resort) and Mt Field (which is covered in the magazine), other good spots include:
- The central plateau, accessed from Lake Mackenzie – this area has incredible touring in deep conditions
- Mt Rufus in the south of the Cradle Mountain national park (a couple of hours walk from the Lake St Clair end of the Overland Track)
- The high terrain above the Labyrinth (the Ducane Range) which is accessed via Lake St Clair and Pine Valley
- And my favourite, the Ducane Traverse. I’ve included it in my ‘best three’ backcountry tours in Australia, although to be honest it is better suited to a crossing on snow shoes than skis or board because of the serious bit of boulder-hopping required on the climb between Castle Crag and Mt Massif
You can check the ski wiki for Tasmania here for other ideas.
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