First Timer Thredbo Trip 4 kids!

Discussion in 'Thredbo' started by dammit, May 29, 2018.

  1. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    TL/DR (sorry long post!) I am in need of all the help I can get re planning a smooth and fun first time trip to introduce the 4 kids to the snow & fill in time for partner, me and 2 year old who can't go to the ski lessons!

    We are staying at Thredbo Alpine Apartments and self-driving from Sydney for the June long w/e. We have bought a raft of Aldi snow gear (jackets, pants, snow shoes, beanies etc).

    We will drive from Sydney Friday night of the long wkend (traffic probably will be shocking) and can't leave till 4pm. So I expect we will arrive some time before midnight hopefully. Will hire snow chains along the way (as have a 2wd people mover).

    Kids are 2, 3, 4 & 6. The 3, 4 and 6 year olds are booked in to Thredboland for the Sat & Sun so will be mostly self sufficient there.

    Can anyone suggest what my partner and I can both do, with the 2 year old while the other's are at ski school? We didn't want to put her into the daycare as it will mean she misses out on a lot.

    So far my brain storming suggests - (please comment if these sound unrealistic)

    1. Buying scenic lift pass ($39ea, free for 2yo) & climbing Mt Kosciuszko (is this likely to be out due to weather/snow and be hard?) - the 2 year old goes in baby carrier quite happily.

      Also having lunch at the Merritts restaurant.

    2. Drive to Dead Horse Gap and go tabogganing from the side of the road. (is perisher still allowing tabogganing/ski tube and would this be a better option day trip)?

    3. I had a crazy idea of hiring skis for my partner and I, plus our 2 year old - and us all trying to ski around together for the day (but if going this option, suspect I may as well get 2 days worth and hire lift passes and go all in)? OR, putting her in a baby carrier and partner & I skiing with her attached - (suspect this is too dangerous given I have never skiied before and even if going slow/careful may fall over and hurt her??).

    4. Any other bush-walks/lookouts etc? I heard of some boardwalk in Charlottes pass but don't know if it will be out due to the snow?

    5. Horse riding?

    6. Any other day trips/ideas - but have to be at Thredbo 9am and 4pm-ish to pick the other kids up from the thredboland.
    At first we were just planning to do snow play until we found out it had closed down at Thredbo, building snowmans and the like. We will be there from Fri night through to Mon morn so really only have 2 full days of Sat/Sun & then will leave on Mon morn.

    Any tips, info people have is greatly appreciated. Even simple things like having the right socks or boots, snow shoes to walk in, mittens rather than gloves for kids to keep their fingers warm - I am trying to learn it all ! :) TIA
     
  2. Ralf_Plow

    Ralf_Plow One of Us

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    Grease up your credit card (but you know this already by the looks).

    We have done 2, 5, 6, 6 yo once in oz and once in Canada, and 2 or 3 kids a few times in Canada. We have found OS to be less trouble and price comparitive to Oz believe it or not. Sorry, that doesn't help much, or at all.

    Don't expect too much out of littlies, see if you can get a baby sitter at some point to have a ski with the missus (if it's open, Jun LWE after all), drink schnapps.
     
  3. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Everything depends on the weather.

    Personally, I would not be taking little kids to Kossie, or anywhere very far at all at the top of the chair, at that time of year, even in a backpack. The weather can change faster than you can get back to shelter.

    There are walks on the valley floor - the River Walk and Thredbo Valley Trail.

    If there is no snow on the road you will be able to drive up to Charlottes for the boardwalk. It has great views. There may be snow at Dead Horse Gap, or there may not.

    Chains are not compulsory to Thredbo, but you will need to carry them into the Park on the road to Charlottes.

    Have a look at this thread https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/thredbo-this-weekend-suggestions.81156/
     
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  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    You will not be able to carry your baby on skis, and she will not be able to go into ski school. I'm not sure if they will sell you a lift ticket - I suspect not - but if you are all beginners I think it will be a disaster if you try to do anything on skis.
     
  5. Ramshead

    Ramshead One of Us

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    My guess looking at the (unreliable but for now, very bleak) 14 day charts is there will be almost no natural snow. I'd go up to Dead Horse gap, park, turn left up the Cascade Trail (all well signposted) and do a brumby hunt. They're often right there on the trail. It's a very pretty walk in that direction.

    Reckon the alpine bobsled might be getting a workout that weekend too.
     
  6. iagreewithhim

    iagreewithhim One of Us
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    Hi Dammit, a few thoughts:

    1. Rug them up, especially the little ones. You can't put too many layers on. Gloves AND mittens might be a good idea, especially for the 2 & 3 yo's.
    2. Use plenty of blockout on all exposed skin, including places you wouldn't normally worry too much about, like under your chin, under your ears etc. - remember, you are standing on a giant mirror!
    2. Don't even think about trying to ski with the little one in a backpack, especially if you're anything less than an expert yourself. If you want to ski, think about taking it in turns to buy an afternoon pass while the other minds the baby. I don't think you'll get skis or boots for a 2 yo.
    3. Don't try to do too much. Be prepared to change/abandon plans at a moment's notice.
    4. Don't be surprised if the 3 & 4 yo's refuse to go into Thredboland. All kids are different, but mine wouldn't have a bar of it.
    5. Don't bother with hiring chains - they're not required for Thredbo unless there's actual snow/ice on the road, which is highly unlikely on opening weekend. If you do need chains to get out on the last day, you used to be able to hire them at the servo in Thredbo and return them in Jindabyne (don't know whether this is still the case).
    6. Take it very easy on the alpine roads. Especially late at night, there could be ice about. And there will definitely be wombats, kangaroos and possibly deer. Drive at half the speed you think is reasonable.
     
  7. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Without being rude ....Long weekend at Thredbo usually has a patch of snow the size of a house.
    So the actual skiing part of the weekend may be quite limited . I'd be surpised if there was a lift running
    I'm not sure i'd put my kids in Thredboland if there was no snow?
    Thredbo is still a gorgeous place to visit...
     
  8. chicski

    chicski One of Us
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    They don’t close the road to Charlotte Pass on the LWE regardless of snow?
     
  9. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Yeah usually.
     
  10. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    No. But if you get stuck up there after a fall it is your very expensive problem.
     
  11. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Great choice in accommodation, but I might be a little bias on that front.

    Thredbo alpine apartments is really well located and you will find getting about the village pretty easy.

    I think others have covered off the travel tips, but if you leave Sydney by 4pm you should go close to Canberra for tea.

    The booking centre will be closed by the time you arrive, but you just need to head to the Thredbo Alpine hotel to get the keys. This is about 300m past the actual apartments on the left, just follow the road around. As you come to the village green their is a road on your left and a small car park, this is the entrance to the hotel. The entrance to the apartments is back at the info centre.

    Like most suggest I would hold off on booking skis etc until you can see they are open for the long weekend, at best they will open Friday flat but as your kids haven’t skied before this is likely to be where they would have skied anyway.

    Generally the village is buzzing on the long weekend and Thredbo will put on heaps for the kids, from what I can see their are slides, jumping castles etc plus majicians. I think their is also some craft stuff down at Friday flat and the obligatory fireworks.

    On top of this their is the usual Thredbo stuff, Frisby golf will move to the actual golf course and the trampolines will also be in action plus tennis etc.

    As others have said you can do some walks around the village, their is a great little loop that starts behind the bridge in the centre of town and follows the river to the lake then back into town past Friday flat.

    Personally I would get a chair to eagles nest (rug up) and enjoy the view from the top, plus have a coffee, this will give the little one a chair ride. I’m guessing with four kids you guys don’t get much time to yourself, you could book into say crackenback cottage for a really nice lunch and have a pit stop at the schnapps factory before going back to Thredbo.

    I’m guessing their will be enough snow for the kids to have a laugh and probably at least make a snow man. I don’t think dead horse will have enough snow. As a few of us have said on another thread, the Thredbo staff won’t harass you as long as your being sensible. Don’t toboggan on the ski runs but you will be able to make snow men, have a snowball fight etc.

    In terms of keeping kids warm, layers are your best option, base layer of thermals, a mid layer depending on the temp and the jacket. It’s hard to say as kids can’t regulate heat as well but also some kids deal with the cold better. Mittens are great especially if they are linked by cord as you run that up the arms and through the jacket.

    If you looking for one night out I’d suggest black bear and see if you can get a booth. Great German based food (good schnitzel) and they have a good kids menu.

    If you have specific questions let me know, I should be able to answer
     
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  12. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons One of Us
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    Sorry...but I just have to say it. Wasn't this meant to be posted in the Troll thread? :out:
     
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  13. AWJ

    AWJ One of Us
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    The above is flat out incorrect. I've skied High Noon, Merritts and Friday flat almost all long weekends for the last 5-7 years.

    Thredbo's snowmaking is pretty awesome - a couple of cold nights and they open a few runs. Certainly far more interesting terrain than Perisher ever bother to get open that early in the season
     
  14. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons One of Us
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    Joined in 2005 with 4 posts! LOL
     
  15. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Not everyone is a post whore! ;)
     
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  16. ThisAlpineLife

    ThisAlpineLife First Runs

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    As a mum and a ski instructor I can offer the following advice for skiing with young children:
    A 2 year old child will not be able to learn to ski in a week, any trial skiing will be limited to 15 mins (max 30.min) at a time /maybe even per day. Be very aware of how tiring skiing can be, and such a young child will get bored of it.
    If you have never been on ski before yourselves it is impossible to look after a child on skis!

    I recommend using holiday childcare for the 2 year old or parents taking turns if you are hoping to learn to ski yourself. But great idea to go tobogganing and hiking, sorry I am not familiar with the particular activities in Thredbo.

    Someone else mentioned issues with leaving their kids in ski school all day - as a general point of view from an instructor I find that children at the age of 3 & 4 might need the parent nearby / withing "on call" range.

    At times they do have meltdowns, miss the parents, or just get enough of doing the snowplow => hate the ski school for the minute, it does not mean it will be like that all days! Of course many other kids just love it! Especially the older ones from about 6 and up, who learns faster and are more independent.
     
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  17. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Interesting point on kids and ski schools.

    Our kids are both independent and we have zero issues with childcare etc, in fact our issue is the opposite they can’t get rid of us fast enough, I.e neither are clingy.

    I think the ski school has as much to do with kids general level of dependence and less to do with “ski school”. But this is a topic for another thread. For the o/p only you know your kids and how the handle day care, pre school etc.

    If this is a concern there are a few things you can do to build excitement and have them used to the idea.

    I did see one royal tanty at big white where a child slammed their helmet into mums face at close range. We saw the blood and ran!
     
  18. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    2017. Slush. Was terrible.
    2016 . No skiing on open weekend .
    2015. Walkabout. HN and FF open
    2014. No skiing on open weekend.
    2013. FF open. Very warm.

    Perishers snowmaking system is now streets ahead of Thredbo. Way way more investment. The new TA fans are amazing.
     
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  19. cin

    cin Old n' Crusty
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    Hehe, lucky bender stopped a couple of years ago before it sent you broke :D
     
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  20. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    :(
     
  21. Ramshead

    Ramshead One of Us

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    Uh oh am I going to hell for liking brumbies? Can I like platypuses and emus and brumbies or do I have to like native fauna only. Help!

    Seriously, I’m interested in your thoughts T-Phat. I’m aware there’s this whole stream of people who are almost alt-right in their pro brumby patriotism. I don’t relate to them at all and livro ir natural environment. But can I not just like them a bit?
     
  22. Ramshead

    Ramshead One of Us

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    Well the Portuguese language settings on my phone (I’m learning the language) certainly got the better of my attempt to say “love our” in the above post!
     
  23. Kelpieboy

    Kelpieboy One of Us

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    So its on again , the annual P v T bunfight , it gets old because nothing new is said. I live closer to Thredbo but very rarely ski there , enough said.
     
  24. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    Thanks everyone for the replies! So much help :D

    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/questions/snow-chains-kosciuszko-national-park

    Looking at this site, I assume I can't self-drive from Thredbo to Perisher or Charlotte Pass, given it says snow chains compulsory at Kosciuszko Road Thredbo River? And also can't go further on apart from Thredbo without the chains. Does this rule out a lot of options and also create much of a risk in terms of potentially getting strandard/etc? Looks like I can't drive to Dead Horse Gap without the chains. (Chains compulsory Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin).

    I know its a personal choice, but would you all be getting snow chains just in case - or reviewing the weather and making the call closer to the date?
     
  25. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    You can like them, personally I think it's the only valid argument for them to be in the park and ultimately whether they should be in the park or not is a value statement. Their presence is entirely at odds with the parks conservation and production values though.

    Basically they trash the joint and I think they should be managed as all of the other details in the park are managed, with lead or bait. Horses belong in paddocks, just like cats belong inside and dogs belong in yards.
     
    #25 Telemark Phat, May 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  26. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter
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    Up to you, the cops do searches and ping people every once in a while.
     
  27. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    All together now… Compulsory to CARRY them, not to FIT them.
     
  28. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    I was worried about there not being any snow too - and whether I lost any of the $ cost of booking if they cancelled the lessons - but the staff said they have never seen this happen and I was worrying about nothing ?? :S
     
  29. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    Yeah - I mean, will I have enough to do being limited to the areas that don't require chains - or should I def get them to keep options open. Don't want to cut corners or break any rules, esp with kids in the car.! Last thing I would want is to get stranded (or a fine).
     
  30. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    What is your views on the 3, 4 and 6 year olds - they are booked in for Thredboland for 2 days straight, I know it probably depends on the child but are they likely to get some success with skiing in this time frame - and be out practicing most of the day? Reading your comments about the little ones doing very short amount of time makes me wonder if booking the Thredboland was the right choice re first introduction to skiing?
     
  31. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    If doing walks like Thredbo River Walk, etc - would we be needing special snow ski boot things...or just normal waterproof shoes?

    Is Charlotte Pass around 1 hour drive from Thredbo?

    The bobsled sounds like a great option for the 2 year old to go on, assuming it is open.

    Is there any alternatives to Dead Horse Gap (with more likelihood of snow) where we could go for a toboggan with the 2 y/o during the day?
     
  32. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room
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    Carrying your two year old in a backpack (for hiking, not skiing) is a great idea.

    However, just be aware that you are minimum 1300m above sea level, and over 2000m if you go up the main chair, and so there is a reasonable chance you will find it harder work than you anticipated
     
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  33. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons One of Us
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  34. Wardy

    Wardy One of Us

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    There's going to be bugger all snow. You need to think of this as a sight seeing trip. I'd cancel Thredboland. You can organise something on site at the time if you really need to put them in. EDIT. You'll still have a great time because Thredbo is beautiful and there's lots to do.
     
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  35. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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    Re chains, the cops and NPWS have better things to do than check every car that drives into Thredbo. Watch the weather thread on this forum and BOM and if snow is predicted then pick up chains on the way otherwise don’t worry.

    Personally I wouldn’t be planning on travelling to Charlottes or Perisher, your not down long enough to justify driving another 2 hours for the chance of a different activity. As I said above and someone linked, Thredbo will put a lot on for the kids, something I don’t believe the other resorts do.

    It is really early to give advice as we don’t know the weather, there are two other threads “spring things in the bo” and another where someone was going On a weekend predicting rain (Thredbo this weekend).

    If it’s sunny you could easily head to the top of Thredbo and find a drift of snow to play on, we do this all the time with our kids in summer. You would get more out of this than driving to Charlottes.

    You will not be bored.

    Kids will progress quickly on skis, the eldest will probably be on the Friday flat chair and the little two will be on the bottom of the hill on day one where there is a set up for beginner kids. Thredbo do a great job with kids.

    Kelpie this isnt a Thredbo v Perisher thread this is one one asking for advice on a holiday they have booked. Nobody has tried to turn it into a T v P debate except the odd P skier, for what it’s worth I can ski both resorts and will ski 20+ at one and 4 at the other. It would be cheaper for me to get a Perisher pass but I choose Thredbo. How useful is that to the O/p not at all.
     
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  36. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    Just wondering what the latest consensus looks Re whether there is going to be sufficient snow on Friday flat to be enough for skis skiing in thredboland opening weekend? Looking at the cam today it looks pretty bleak !
     
  37. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
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  38. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
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    On chains - try autobarn or similar shop. A cheap set used to cost about $100 to buy. May be cheaper than hiring - certainly less hassle if you can buy them before leaving.

    On snow cover - doesn't look like a great week for snowmaking or decent natural snow so i'd take a guess that there will be nothing open. Probably enough nuisance snow cover (not complete to be fun but enough to make walking a wet affair.

    Roads - pretty confident Kosciuszko Road is shut at Perisher on long weekend. That rules out driving to Charlotte Pass. Happy to be corrected.

    Weather not looking very good for the long weekend at this stage. Rain or marginal snow (which would be rain at village level). May make any outdoor activity unpleasant with young kids. If you still head down a chair ride would be good. And/or ride up skitube if its open to Bluecow.

    I put my 2yr old in a lesson. We got about 40 minutes before it was too much. Enough time to learn a snow plough though. We were lucky to get an hour out of her at that age. Lots of time sitting around for that 1 hour a day. Pays off in the long run though. About 2hrs at 3, 3hrs at 4, and by the end of last season we were doing full open to close days just before 6th birthday.
     
  39. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
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    I pretty much go for opening, and closing, every year. Sometimes its surprising (like runs down HN), and sometimes not so much. But its always good fun. People always seem to bag opening and closing weekends, but often its just that they don't want you to expect August conditions at those times. Opening and closing are not about the skiing. Though sometimes.....

    @Kelpieboy

    Thredbo is better.
     
  40. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Not looking too pleasant weather wise, LWE. Especially at Friday Flats elevation.

    When you say you bought a Raft of Aldi Snow Gear. I'd bring the Raft and leave the Snow Gear. :D
     
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  41. Kelpieboy

    Kelpieboy One of Us

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    Not getting into the whole bunfight to be honest. Growing up at Tooma ( between Tumbarumba and Corryong ) and still living in the same area I have the choice of Thredbo , Perisher , Falls and Hotham all within easy reach and have visited all 4 pretty regularly over the years. However over the last 10 or so years I have just found Thredbo less and less enticing for various reasons. Do I think Thredbo is better than Perisher ? Well it depends on what you measure and how. In best conditions Thredbo probably is better but best conditions are getting rarer by the year and in less than optimum conditions then Perisher is better in general. If I had my choice of these 4 snowfields at optimum , absolutely perfect conditions then I would take Hotham every time but its just my opinion. As long as you enjoy skiing, boarding or whatever where ever you go that is all that counts. Hell I even enjoyed the few days I spent at Selwyn while teaching my kids to ski a few years ago.
     
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  42. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
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    Corin Forest is better!
     
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  43. Kelpieboy

    Kelpieboy One of Us

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    Now that is an argument I am really not getting into , no sir not at all. Too many people will get their temper up over that one , there are two sets of people very passionate about those two venues and I wont be party to starting that ruckus , no way. ;)
     
    sastrugi, telecrag and LaNeige like this.
  44. sastrugi

    sastrugi Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    I love Hotham and want to get to know it better ( and will do now that we live closer to it and are meeting more Hotham locals) HOWEVER I find it very frustrating that the lifts are so damn slow (mainly non-detachables) and the lifted runs are short which is where Thredbo wins over every single time. I've finally met someone that can take us backcountry around Hotham so hopefully those 'complaints' won't be around much longer! And I'm looking forward to reciprocating the back country knowledge with him out of Thredbo some day.

    It's also a matter of whether you prefer skiing a mountain your know intimately or do you prefer exploring all the time on new terrain? I know Thredbo and surrounds very intimately and there's nothing better than being able to find some good turns on almost any day of the season no matter what the conditions which I can't do at Hotham and Buller which I now live closer to. But hey, at the end of the day, it's all skiing :D
     
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  45. Kelpieboy

    Kelpieboy One of Us

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    I did mention there were various reasons why I now find Thredbo less and less enticing which I wont go into great detail here. Suffice to say the "been there, done that" syndrome is a part of it , as is the "getting older" syndrome with creaking knees and suspect hips making repeated long runs on what becomes chopped up slop all too regularly not so appetizing either but if I am truthfully honest the prospect of sharing a lift with someone who insists on referring to the place as either "Thredders" or even worse "da 'Bo" while persistently calling you "dude" is just too awful to contemplate and occurs with far too much regularity for me at Thredbo. I usually just pull out my phone and pretend a call is happening with a person who only speaks my native tongue and as yet only once in just over 50 years has the person on the lift actually understood that language , shocked the heck out of me let me tell you.
    Besides a Hero Pass for Hotham/Falls is decent and offers enough for an old timer like me , plenty of side and back country to just enjoy without the nauseating chatter.
     
  46. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    Just thought I would reignite the thread given we are only 3 days away now.

    I must admit I feel I made a foolish error booking 2x days for 3 kids in Thredboland - at an eyewatering cost of $1200. I asked the staff at the time and they said if I didn't book online it would likely book out and I would miss out :( Not sure whether that statement was true or not because I heard of people turning up on the morning and signing their kids up on the spot?

    I also questioned them about whether there would definitely be snow etc for the ski lessons and the response was that they can't remember a year where the lessons were cancelled/there wasn't enough snow and of course there would be etc.

    Now - I am worried I have dropped $1.2k... and potentially there being no snow etc. I checked the terms and it says
    "This product will not be refunded if any facilities are not operating for any reason"
    Surprised I didn't notice this when booking but seems a very broad statement that they basically give no refunds at all. Tried emailing Thredbo about it but they are quite vague about it saying it is 'weather dependent' and I can change the dates for a $20/fee (which doesn't work given we are paying $$ accom and travelling from Sydney etc). Any advice?
     
  47. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    I assume given the rain (and lack of snow) I am not going to need Snow Chains if only travelling as far as Thredbo ? Or should I still be getting them at Jindy as a precaution?
     
  48. dammit

    dammit Hard Yards

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    Also just wanted to get some more info on what alternate activities we can look at it given the latest weather forecasts - the indoor aquatic centre might be a good option. Any other recommendations?
     
  49. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    The pool is great fun for kids (and quite nice for bigger 'kids'). Make sure they pack their cozzies and a nice towel.
    There is a cinema in Jindy - search on FB
    Even in poor weather a drive to dead horse gap is nice
    The Trout Hatchery near Jindy has a tour and stuff as well.
    Visit wild Brumby cafe and distillery on the Alpine Way. Paper-Scissors-Rock with your partner for driving home :)
    Kids being first timers need the absolute bare minimum of snow.
    I don't think you'll need chains, but even if you do, they are cheap relative to the safety they bring
     
  50. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Ok so I's be surprised if Thredbo didn't offer something if they aren't running a lift so I am guessing you will get something back. I've had issues like paying for ski lift tickets for the wrong day and they shifted no issues.

    I also doubt they will have an issue if you head to one of the drifts of snow on Friday flat I know it isn't much but kids don't need a lot to have a laugh, they will make snowmen have a snow ball fight etc.

    Climberman's options are pretty good and Kt will put on somethings in the village which the kids will love.