It was probably a year ago that I saw this photo in Powder magazine. It broke my heart to think that an image of a skier making lines through burnt forest is now just a regular thing in the times that we live in.
The other day I was out pottering around, aiming to ski to Mt Tabletop near Mt Hotham, taking advantage of the excellent snow base at present. I skied out along JB Plain and cut into the trees to the edge of the 2020 fire, then decided to follow the open terrain down on the south side of the escarpment, onto a steepening slope that ended where the Alpine Ash started to dominate. Its early August but it felt like spring: forgiving granular corn, south facing slopes, mellow turns. Doing wide loops through the dead trees, looking out to the Dargo High Plains, I felt at home in these mountains that I love. This used to be thick regrowth forest and you never would have thought of skiing here. But now its open, and with a good cover, its enjoyable moderate terrain. The Ash are dead, as are a lot of the Snow Gums.