Ski Tests Test Team

The profiles give you an insight into the skiers for two reasons. One is entertainment, but the more important one is for you to get a better angle on the ski tests – pick the skiers that ski most like you and put more weight on their responses.

Rod Baillie  Rod Baillie
34, 183cm/85kg
Background: Works as an instructor at Perisher in winter and works in the building game around Jindabyne during summer. Thredbo favourites are the Bluff on a fresh or wind-blown powder day and World Cup for early morning groomers.
Preferred style: All mountain off-piste; Australian backcountry.
Top tip: Wag work, go skiing.

Andrew McDonald  Andrew McDonald
25, 176cm/90kg
Background: Andy was the 2001 Australian junior slalom champion and skied for the nation in 2002 and 2003. He works as a ski-tech and at Thredbo likes the steeps and the deeps (eg the Bluff).
Preferred style: Flat stick/full throttle in steep, deep powder.
Top tip: Slow down at slow signs (ski patrol told me to say that).

Scott Kneller  Scott Kneller
19, 181cm/95kg
Background: Powerful alpine competitor (national junior champ in slalom and GS) who won the Thredbo top to bottom and now has his sights set on skier cross. Thredbo favourite is the Bluff – it has a bit of everything and lends itself to good, fast, wind-blown skiing.
Preferred style: All terrain, new school style with plenty of speed.
Top tip: If you aren’t first, you’re last.

Marc Ellis  Marc Ellis
35, 178cm, 78kg
Background: Marky Marc was a junior racer and still skis as many days a season as he can. He likes anything you put in front of him at Thredbo; powder or groomed.
Preferred style: Fast groomers and powder.
Top tip: Look at where you want to go, not what you’re going to hit.

Manuela Berchtold  Manuela Berchtold
31, 163cm/60kg
Background: Manuela was a multi-winter Olympian for Australia in the moguls who now works in the fitness and training field around Jindabyne (check out Thredbo favourite is the Bluff into True Blue and a fast one down the Supertrail.
Preferred style: Fast groomers and powder in the trees.
Top tip: Always feel your shins in the front of your boots.

Ant Foubister  Ant Foubister
37, 189cm, 87kg
Background: Long-term Hotham skier, fitness from building and playing footy for Bright; sometimes gets away for some turns. Thredbo favourites are top to bottom through the Basin and over The Bluff, prefers to ski it flat-out.
Preferred style: Skiing the backcountry with an undulating pitch.
Top tip: Just roll your knees.

Vanessa Knee  Vanessa Knee
38, 157cm/48kg
Background: Vee has worked in ski schools and shops and tried some freeride and big mountain events. Thredbo favourites are Bluff, Cannonball and Stutterings – always fast.
Preferred style: Light and fast in the freshies.
Top tip: Just enjoy it.

Andy Hearne  Andy Hearne
38, 174cm/80kg
Background: Hitman Hearne was an early 1990s Snowy Mountains rat packer, then ski bum, then ski-tech and is now driving a hammer. Likes the Bluff and the Golf Course at Thredbo.
Preferred style: Varied terrain for fast, smooth riding.
Top tip: Keep breathing and smile.

Lou Pullar  Lou Pullar
37, 178cm/63kg
Background: theSKImag’s co-publisher, Lou has worked in resort marketing and skiing magazines for most of this century. At Thredbo, she likes anything off the T-bars in the trees along with Michael’s Mistake in powder.
Preferred style: Fresh, free and fast.
Top tip: Bend zee knees.

Mark Ashkanasy  Mark Ashkanasy
48, 165cm/74kg
Hotham favourites: One Tree Hill (through the trees).
Preferred style: Untracked powder, cruisy, steep.
Top tip: Let it all go.

Buff Farnell  Buff Farnell
42, 180cm/82kg
Hotham favourites: The Drift Cliffs; fast but cautious.
Preferred style: Steeps, walls, GS, quick.
Top tip: Fornicate, don’t defecate (thrust don’t bust) – Team Red’s Andy Stafford told me that.

Bill Barker  Bill Barker
42, 175cm/75kg
Hotham favourites: The Avenue during a big snow storm (not telling you where that is).
Preferred style: Trees, backcountry bowls, powder, steeps.
Top tip: Look at the gaps, not the trees/rocks.

Chris Gadsden  Chris Gadsden
42, 178cm/82kg
Hotham favourites: The Two Micks, but really, there is so much to choose from...
Preferred style: Off piste and steep in spring snow or powder.
Top tip: Read the snow – the skiing will look after itself.

Kent Carpenter  Kent Carpenter
39, 183cm/78kg
Hotham favourites: Gotcha into Lindsays when it’s fresh; non-stop and get some air along the way.
Preferred style: Whatever, wherever and as fast as ski patrol will allow.
Top tip: Never confuse ambition and ability.

Pete Ilinsky  Pete Ilinsky
40, 180cm/80kg
Hotham favourites: First time and boy was it a good time. Gotcha Ridge got me.
Preferred style: Varied terrain in good winter snow.
Top tip: Get centred, look ahead and have fun.

Doug Chatten  Doug Chatten
43, 178cm/70kg
Hotham favourites: Gotcha Ridge – fast and fresh.
Preferred style: All terrain, all turn shapes, medium to fast.
Top tip: Imagine you are skiing in the dark and you have headlights on your knees.

Fabian Schele  Fabian Schele
29, 176cm/73kg
Hotham favourites: Mary’s Slide, with a smile.
Preferred style: Steep and deep in Europe.
Top tip: If you don’t fall, you don’t ski to the limit.

Jim Darby  Jim Darby
50, 178cm/78kg
Hotham favourites: The big circuit – out to Spargos, hit the trees and the groomed and make the return to Heavenly.
Preferred style: Powder, cruising, trees.
Top tip: If there’s snow on the ground and the lifts are running, everything else is a bonus.

Sue Dingas  Sue Dingas
40, 168cm/65kg
Hotham favourite: One Tree Hill.
Preferred style: Skiing steep terrain with fast medium radius turns.
Top tip: Jam in your pole and turn!

Patrick Darby  Patrick Darby
20, 192cm/ 80kg
Hotham favourites: Spargos, the Ridge and Initiation.
Preferred style: Quite fast, longish turns.
Top tip: Wear a helmet.

Jo Wettenhall  Jo Wettenhall
28, 169cm/68kg
Hotham favourite: Imagine.
Preferred style: All mountain, anything that’s fun.
Top tip: Look at the gaps, not the trees (they hurt if you hit them).


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.