Australia Victoria - Mt Buller


The Bourke Street beginners’ slope provides the spine of Mt Buller. The resort’s slopes can roughly be divided between north and south, with most accessed from the spine. Generally, ski the north in the morning and the south in the afternoon when it has had time to soften.

Who does it suit? Beginner 20% Intermediate 45% Advanced 35%

Who does it really suit? All comers; a very good terrain mix and with a full cover of snow, offers as good skiing options as any of the major Australian areas.

Soft spots: Best run for beginners is Bourke Street and Burnt Hut Spur. Both are gently sloping highways for novices. To get away from the crowds, try Family Run. 

Cruisers: Little Buller Spur is a popular choice for intermediates, but a corduroy run to get on early is Grimus. It is rarely icy because of its aspect, starts off steep and wide and then goes into a hollow with an island of snow gums before a short final pitch back to the Grimus chairlift.

Adventure: Cruise down Family Run and turn left where you see the signposted opening to Outer Edge. It’s a steep and isolated run through the trees with opportunities for air off bumps. Gets tight, but at other stages opens right up so you don’t get a feeling of being choked in there. When you hit the cat track turn left for Wombat’s chairlift.

Holy mackerel: The summit chutes are deadly. As you hike up past the summit hut to these three out-of-bounds descents, a sign declares “Falls can cause Death’’. Among the victims have been a ski patroller and a snowboarder who managed one turn in chute two. Dangers include the steepness, jagged rocks and ice. Unless you’re among the elite, just don’t do it. Moonlight Ridge, near the chutes, is a massive face that offers an imposing challenge too. It was named in the 70s by Rip Curl co-founder and co-owner Brian Singer when he and a group of ski patrollers skied it in the moonlight. The ridge was made famous by a photograph taken in 1990 by Mark Ashkanasy and subsequently used in a Rip Curl poster.

Powder pointer: It’s worth traversing to the deep snow that collects on the black diamond McLaughlin's Shoulder. To get there ride up Grimus chairlift, turn right and follow the ridge to the extremity of the resort. Then, go for it! Watch out, though, it can get severely wind effected.

Traps: Avoid the morning bottleneck on the Blue Bullet chairlift at the bottom of Bourke Street. If it’s too big, take the shuttle to the Alrberg and slip down to the Abom Express or ski off the spine. On the southern side, ski into Chamois and use the Canyon rope tows and take the Canyon Trail into Standard Run and then ride the Bull Run chair. On the northern side, ski into Shaky Knees and ride the Tirol T-bar or the Shakey Knees Chair.

Gear: Numerous outlets with basic and performance-level equipment. Altitude, Black Mountain Sports, George’s, Pension Grimus and the lift company-owned Buller Sports are all recommended.

JIM DARBY/ROBERT UPE

 

jim darby/the snow biz
There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

arnie wilson/from the alps
Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

go flip/flip byrnes
Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.


There's a lot to like about ski lifts, and the people who make them.

Life is full of ironies. The Alps got the snow and Russia got the Olympics.

Meet the fashion victims; a whole winter world of them.