First visit to Hotham

SnowTragic

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Good Morning all!
With the Perisher season pass now including lift access at Hotham and Falls Creek, I am very excited to be planning my first ever visit to Hotham!
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Just needing some help though from the people in the know!

Thinking of going mid-late season (possibly late August, more likely early September) so I can build my skills up on home turf before heading down so I don't waste my time, and wondering about mid-late season snow reliability and crowds.

Also hoping someone can recommend accomodation at the lower end of the price range, as long as it has 2 beds and a bathroom I'm happy!

Any tips for a first time Hotham visitor would also be very much appreciated! I am an intermediate skier and my brother is an intermediate boarder.
Thanks
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andyR

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July and Augsust are most reliable, september's a lottery.

There's heaps of cruisy blues at Hotham so you should be right.

If you're driving you must take chains by law, it's best if you know how to use em.
 

SnowTragic

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Thanks for all the replies so far!

Nights - probably a long weekend at best, we already booked a week on snow at Perisher before we knew about the access to other resorts. So 2 or 3 nights I would say. Any less and it wouldn't be worth the trip, any more and it starts to squeeze the cashflow!

How does one get into a club lodge? I have no idea what the accomodation situation is like!

Chains - yep we know how to do the chain thing and have our own set
 

andyR

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If you are after club type accommodation

follow this link

Most clubs need non members to book in to cover their costs. Many good lodges out there: Austen, Hangmans, Bembooka, Brush, Langi Taan, Tanderra, etc

Good luck
 
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wangster

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andyR said:
There's heaps of cruisy blues at Hotham so you should be right.

Compared to Perisher they aren't so cruisy
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SnowTragic

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So I guess my next question would be... Who has skied at both Perisher and Hotham and could compare some of the runs so I have an idea of what level I'm really at?!
smile.gif
 
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andyR

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Interesting I've never skied at Perisher though have been there.

I guess cruisy is all relative.

Are Hotham blues / blacks different to at Perisher or other oz resorts? I'd be interested to know.

I do remember getting a rude shock at Broken River in NZ when I found their blues steeper than Hotham's blacks though that said, some of Hotham's blacks are over rated and likewise blues under rated. Well IMO
 

Fangin'Wolvy

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Hotham's that type of mountain that you could (providing all runs are open), do all runs many times, in a few days easily.
As for off piste, well how long's a straw?

Lodges I've stayed at and have enjoyed:

Trapdoor
HP1
Anything in Dinner Plain


Dependant on what the intent of my weekend is and travel arrangements, I prefer to do the daily drive from Dinner Plain these days. It's only a 10 or so minute drive and I have the option of taking the bus, if I want to save on parking costs.
 
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wangster

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Obviously all my opinion - Perisher's blues tend to be easier than Hotham's blues, in general.

If you hit a blue run at Hotham expect something more like Towers or Zalis than Bloody Mary or Blanchys
 

Hunter

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SnowTragic said:
So I guess my next question would be... Who has skied at both Perisher and Hotham and could compare some of the runs so I have an idea of what level I'm really at?!
smile.gif

Hotham has stronger terrain right across the board, you will find it challenging.
 
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SnowTragic

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As far as the road goes, I only know what I have read here and there which is that it can be a bit hairy (probably understatement of the year!) and that looking on Google Maps it looks like it runs right along the top of the mountain! I have no intention of driving myself (that will be up to my brother as he has considerably more snow driving experience) however I am a nervous passenger...

As far as the runs go, I thought it would probably be harder than what I'm used to, that's why I was planning on going later in the season so I have some time to develop my skills at Perisher.

I have planned to buy a season pass and invest in as many lessons as I can fit in. I used to be one of those crazy Milo kids that was doing Mt P when I was 7 yrs old but after a long absence (10yrs) from the ski fields I went back last year and rediscovered my first true love. So while I am a little rusty, it was a bit like riding a bike and it all came flooding back to me, but I no longer have the no fear attitude of a child and am hoping the lessons will improve my confidence as well as my skills.

And that's why I am asking the advice of you lovely folk who have the experience, for the tips and tricks!
smile.gif

All your advice is very much appreciated!
 
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HiLo

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Yes, the road can be "a bit hairy".
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It's good that you have an experienced snow driver. One aspect of its hairiness is that closure during extreme conditions is reasonably frequent. It's good to have a Plan B for those times.
 
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Fangin'Wolvy

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Of all the major resorts, the Hotham road is the best.
Buller is the worst.

Why?
Hotham's roads are not windey ABOVE the snowline, rather reasonably straight, curvy and wider road area, less trees near roads.
Where as Buller and Falls roads are tighter, windey, trees closer to roads and just plain yuckier when snowed in.
 

HiLo

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I find the biggest problem with the Buller road is the other drivers. At Hotham and Falls you get a better class of well informed driver.
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SnowTragic

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So what happens when the road is closed? Obviously at Perisher if the road is closed, you can just get the Skitube...
 

Bogong

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Well in the (very) unlikely event that the Great Alpine Road is closed for more than an hour or two, coming from NSW and armed with a 3 resort season ticket, Snow Tragic could easily divert to Falls Creek for a days skiing until the G.A.R. reopens. Falls is probably the best resort for intermediates in Australia, plus it has the most reliable natural snow.

Actually, now we have a combined season ticket for 3 or the 5 big resorts, I wonder if Buller and Thredbo will feel a little pressure for some sort of interchangeability of season tickets between their resorts to compete with "Jamie's Empire"?
 
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currawong

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If you expect bad weather, approach Hotham from the Omeo side. That road is closed much less frequently. From NSW that means either taking the Nariel Creek road from Corryong, or staying on the Princes Highway till Bruthen.

If you didn't see it coming, you wait in Harrietville. If you have a big 4WD, they might get a convoy together and let you in. But otherwise you just wait - or drive over to Falls for a ski in the meantime. That road is almost never closed.
 

Fangin'Wolvy

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I'd certainly consider, when finances permit, the 3 of 5 big resorts seasons pass. I'd definitely put it in the budget every year if all 5 got in on the act.
It's one way to guarantee snow to the punter in Australia's fragile sporadic inclement snow weather.
 

Slushii

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SnowTragic said:
So I guess my next question would be... Who has skied at both Perisher and Hotham and could compare some of the runs so I have an idea of what level I'm really at?!
smile.gif

Hi Snow Tragic! Glad you're planning to visit Hotham.

I've skied both Perisher and Hotham.

Perisher Blue has a lot of blue, cruisy runs. About the most challenging runs there are those at Mt Perisher (Olympic), which I rate as dark blue and one or two at Blue Cow.

Hotham's runs are shorter but a bit more challenging, but you can find a lot cruisy blue runs out over at the Orchard Area so you could ease into it and gradually tackle the more challenging runs.

Here's a list of Hotham's blue runs, in order of increasing difficulty to try (my rating, which may not necessary be "right" - so I welcome others to suggest changes in the order - would be a nice exercise to try rate the runs in order of "difficulty" and see what consensus come up with
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). Once you're comfy on those, venture out on the list of black runs - you might want to refer to this map to see where they are http://www.hotham.com.au/index.php?pid=308 :

Blue Runs (not including those at the Big-D, which in my book is all green
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).

Basin, Sun Run, Greenline, Gully Catwalk, Swindler's Trail, Slalom Gully (first thing in the morning before it gets chopped up), Milky Way, Australia Drift, Skating Rink, Teletreat, Mother Johnson's Return, Watershed, Mitchell's, Bushwacker, Twirligig 1 & 2, Zirk's, Russell's Runway (when groomed/not mogully), Frosty Drop, Woodrun Blue, Davenport access (when the snow is good and it's groomed), Hogg's Back (when groomed/not mogully), Varsity Drag (when not mogully), Sundowner, Snake Gully (or Blue Snake), Lower Imagine, Slalom Gully (during peak hour or late in the day when it gets chopped up), Keogh's Bash.

Note; summit to loch and to loch on the map is not rated - you have to take off your skis to cross the road and they are not really "marked" runs - more of a short cut for people to get to the Mt Loch carpark and top of Heavenly walley).

Black Runs (not all are listed - the rest... you should really go with people who have skied them who can show you the way) - a lot of these are ungroomed - they may not be uber steep, but because of the camber or their non-groomed nature, it can be tough:

Canyon (is a nice easy black run in the Heavenly valley area to try once you've tried the harder of the blues above), Twilight Zone, Blue Ribbon (when the snow is good), Black Snake, Wendix, Beauchamps, Pumphouse drop, Upper Imagine (beware when icy!!!!), Gunbarrel, The Cornice, Initiation, Race Gully, Purgatory Spur, Noticeboard (ungroomed), Roaring Forties (ungroomed), Boondoo (ungroomed), Woodrun (ungroomed), Lower Playground (down to the lift), Spargo's (beware when icy or late in the day when the run freezes up again), Patroller's Drop, Southern Cross, Pipeline, Hacker's Horror, Lower Playground (below the lift till Swindler's trail), Wall of Death, Brockhoff, +... others

Have fun! Hope the snow this year will be great, for your first visit to Hotham.
beer.gif
 
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Fangin'Wolvy

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Slushii is one of a few who could tell you where the hairline fracture is in each run on any given day, he's skiied them that many times..
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Sandy

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Slushii said:
Hmm, might just to that - it'll be really interesting to get a feel for which is considered a harder run relatively to others within Hotham.

And of course that depends on a person's own view regarding the difficulty of bumps, steeps, trees, untracked off piste, cut up off piste, etc
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tbnext

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If you can ski Perisher incl the Ridge and nearby runs at Blue Cow and Mt P then you can ski all Hotham. The exit from the "extreme" area sucks on a board and is generally narrow and a little tedious on skis.

The runs are about the same length. The "black" runs at Hotham are generally a little steeper but the weather on them is often kinder than Mt P, this means you can see them when it's windy.

Ive stayed at Harrietville, Lawlers (really variable depending on the room), and The lodge (couple of times-great) I have friends there so no idea how you go with a public booking.

The one thing you will notice is driving to Perisher you will have a 6 foot policeman telling you to put your chains on now!! At Hotham, just whenever it suits you. If you are not used to this you could have a couple of interesting slides on those 18inch low profile tyres before you decide no ones going to tell you what to do and you might die next bend. And you are MUCH more likely to need those chains. Big tip, use a low gear, even in an Auto.
 

Flakey

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Hi SnowTragic! Check out my blog on the Great Alpine Road here.

It will give you some insight into the drive up to Hotham from both the Omeo and Harrietville/Bright sides. Also I have many other blogs on Hotham from last year which you can navigate to from the Great Alpine Road blog, and these will give you plenty more info on what to expect at Hotham!
 
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Sandy

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tbnext said:
So Sandy I think you are saying you have to be a member friend.

No, no.... Just go to the booking part, and submit an online booking. The 2009 bookings are not up on the site yet.
 
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tbnext

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Ok guys, then a bit more on "the lodge."

Nice place, ski from Davenport?? If not doable get the shuttle, ski home. Awesome kitchen, own fridge bit. cook your own in a really awesome kitchen, Great views, great in house locals. Not that far to the "night life".

Mostly share bathroom but great bathrooms and that can be a good thing, no retrofit, pre-form shower in the corner where you wake up every time someone goes there.

Jobs-occasionally bring in some wood, chuck a log on the fire and wash up after yourself.

Ski room, security entry (no time limit), work bench, nice managers. Couldnt fault it actually.
 

tbnext

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No not- but again cook your own. It is a skiers lodge, you may be sharing a room. My other half (the ski nazi) loves it-no sleeping in
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First tracks on Davenport!!
 
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Bogong

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I love it, over on the "First visit to Falls Creek" thread, tbnext is knocking everything about that mountain, telling outrageous lies and claiming that runs are 20 times shorter than they actually are.

While she is pushing and promoting Hotham on this thread.

I can't work out why she is attacking one and pumping up the other. What is her motivation?
confused.gif

She can't be a shareholder pushing her own interests because the same company owns both mountains!
 
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tbnext

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Believe me Bogong, weve met, at Hotham sic-IM A CHICK.

Read it again, Im a THREDBO lover, and I bagged Hotham but it sure is better than FC. Pretty good skiing, not as good as Thredders, but stupid better than FC. Hotham Village is hopeless probably as bad as PV, maybe worse.

Who'se on the cans now??
 

Sandy

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tbnext said:
No not- but again cook your own. It is a skiers lodge, you may be sharing a room. My other half (the ski nazi) loves it-no sleeping in
smile.gif
First tracks on Davenport!!

I meant you don't have to BRING your own breakfast, as it's all there (unless you have bacon and eggs)
 
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SnowTragic

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Thanks for all your help and inside tips. You guys (and girls) have been bl00dy fantastic!

Just waiting now on confirmation that Hotham is included in the Perisher pass as their season pass website has disappeared along with any reference to FC and Hotham being included on the season pass *grrrr*

I am really hoping that when the website comes back online, it will still include FC and Hotham as that would be awesome. After all this talk I was getting quite excited about actually going and trying them out! And am now quite disappointed that it may not be the case...

*crossing fingers and waiting*
 
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