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First trip to Mount Buller - planning/tips/etc

Discussion in 'Mt Buller' started by ShavedBadger, May 27, 2019.

  1. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Hi All,

    I bit the bullet and booked five nights for the family on snow at Mount Buller for the second week of the NSW School Holidays. (Gonazaga is the name of the property, on stayz.com.au). We've all skied before - the wife and I are decent blue/early black run skiers, 7yo son is learning but just about capable of an early blue run, and 4yo daughter is going into lessons for the first time this year having done pseudo lessons/daycare last year in NZ. In terms of skiing experience we've skied all over Perisher and Thredbo several times, as well as Coronet Peak and Cardrona over the ditch.

    So what should we expect for our first time at Mt Buller? What's the drive up like? Are we nuts thinking we'll be able to drive up in a 2wd car in mid July? There seem to be a lot of black runs on the trail map, how many are seriously black and how many are just steepish/narrowish etc? And what are the better lunch spots on the hill (something like a Black Salees type haunt is what we'd be after).

    Any and all tips/info gratefully accepted!
     
  2. Shredderman

    Shredderman Addicted

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    Vic school holidays will have ended I think so mountain will be quiet mid week and your kids will get good small classes in ski school.

    All your other questions are very snow dependent -

    Re driving, the road isn't particularly tricky, as long as you know how to fit chains and drive on snow you will be fine in a 2wd. More often than not the road will be clear up to the car park (more chance of snow on the road from car park to village which you will be taken to via a 4wd taxi).

    The availability of black runs is very snow dependent, there is plenty of good blue terrain and with good snowmaking you would hope most of this is open. The black runs are more dependent on natural snow, some is easily accessed some require local knowledge and shouldn't be accessed without an instructor if its your first time (Ie runs like Fannys finish, chutes etc). You should be able to spot plenty of good runs off the Grimus chair and if the Bull Run bowl is open with lots of snow it has some of the best skiing in Oz IMO, and is easily accessible as a black run, with heaps of different lines in a wide open bowl.

    Lunch spots - Kofflers is on the mountain near the summit area, good for your quick pasta, hot dog, hot chocolate, coffee, great with kids.

    Tirol cafe, on mountain near the shaky knees chair, a bit higher standard food nice atmosphere but quite slow in getting your food. But great if you want a rest a beer/wine and good food.

    Snow pony - Near Bourke St lift, more Gourmet and expensive, the social set hang here.

    Pension Grimus - More suited to dinner, great experience with great Austrian fare, worth the effort to eat here once I would suggest.

    Hopefully the mountain has received plenty of snow and you have a great time!!
     
    ShavedBadger likes this.
  3. blueandwhite

    blueandwhite One of Us

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    My opinion for what it's worth. You'll be fine in a 2WD in mid-July as long as you have appropriate wheel chains and drive sensibly if there is heavy snow. It's a sealed road and they do try to clear it regularly if there's heavy snow. Just be sensible and take it slowly if there's snow on the road and you should have no problem. One thing to look out for is the gutters at the edge of the road - if these fill up with snow then they become invisible so don't get too close to the edge of the road if there's a lot of snow or you'll get stuck in the gutter.

    There are plenty of good runs for the kids. We have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and have found plenty for them to do. Bourke Street is very busy most of the time so a good idea is to head over to Burnt Hut area if you're looking for a quieter green with shorter queues. There's also a magic carpet at the top of Burnt Hut if they're at that level. Shakey Knees and Tirol are fun blues on the way over and if they start getting more adventurous you can duck through a few of the trees under The Fox which the kids always love. Alternatively head over towards Wombat/Family Run area and there's plenty of blues there. Skyline is also fun for the kids if they can use the t-bar (it's the easiest of the T-bars on the mountain).

    There's a big variety of black runs - some are more like steep blues right through to much more challenging and off piste. You can find out about those for yourself though!

    Lunch at Tirol at the top of The Fox lift is always great but it gets very busy in July so you'll want to get in early. Plenty of other options too if you prefer something down in the main village.

    Have a great time and enjoy the mountain.
     
    ShavedBadger likes this.
  4. MickM

    MickM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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    As Shredderman said, 2wd no problems, I have been skiing there for 35 years and never driven anything but 2wd. One thing to watch if driving at night is kangaroos. Esp between Mansfield & Buller.

    Also, stick to speed limits. If you speed you WILL be caught.

    Enjoy!!
     
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  5. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

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    If you haven't booked your lift passes already, when you go to the Buller site, check out the price for single day passes.

    At the moment, in the week of 15-19 July these are sitting at $79/day. This works out to $395 over 5 days, compared to the $475 price of a 5 day pass. It's a bit more hassle to buy individual days, but well worth it for the saving.
     
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  6. luvthabumps

    luvthabumps A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pre book as much stuff as you can online - Buller offers good discounts if you do - parking, taxis, tix, etc
     
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  7. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thank you all very much for the responses! I'll be booking everything I can as soon as possible. Thanks for the tip ref the lift passes too @nezumi, that seems pretty bloody sneaky!

    Re: the driving, sounds like it shouldn't be too much trouble. And yes, as a New South Welshman and an avowed petrolhead, I intend on being on my absolute best behaviour as soon as I cross the Victorian border.

    Shall add Pension Grimus to my "Must Do" list as well.
     
    nezumi likes this.
  8. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thredbo does slopeside food better than vic. imho there is nothing like black sallees in Vic. kofflers has a good vibe on a sunny day but not the food choice.

    black runs at buller often mean bumps which is fine as long as you know