Snow Report Hotham 2022 - Trip Reports, Pics & Conditions

StashyMcStash

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And it was a cracker today. Firm and fast, sunny, felt cool all day and Hoff Hut welcomed us all to their new (I.e. 2nd) balcony bar with a complimentary bubbly
still need to claim that beer for helping erect the marquee last monday. firm and fast indeed and sun baked aspects rendered the crust obsolete, but parts in the shadow are steadfastly frozen. follow the sun
 

Hermannator

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Carbon copy today. No wind, super
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Chilling in the sun before heading off. Might check out Victoria Falls on the way out...
 
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Any

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Carbon copy today. No wind, super
image.jpg

Chilling in the sun before heading off. Might check out Victoria Falls on the way out...
Pulled up a tiny bit rough this morning :) Met @Hermannator at the bar for the DWA fundraiser last night, had several more drinks than I intended after a long hot sweaty dehydrated day, and also forget to eat anything.
It was nice to have a calm warm day to let me slowly get back into skiing again.

The snow's gone all sugary and lumps up into mini moguls super easily. Slalom gully is a mess. We really need some fresh snowfall to help it bond back together again.
 
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Tanuki

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Same at Buller. I don’t get it. Perfect forecast and full cover, everyone is ‘waiting for school hols’ which will have insane crowds and not guaranteed weather like this.
It's odd though, we tried to book at Buller this weekend and couldn't find a room. Though I didn't go through every club lodge as I got lazy.
 

Hermannator

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Pulled up a tiny bit rough this morning :) Met @Hermannator at the bar for the DWA fundraiser last night, had several more drinks than I intended after a long hot sweaty dehydrated day, and also forget to eat anything.
It was nice to have a calm warm day to let me slowly get back into skiing again.

The snow's gone all sugary and lumps up into mini moguls super easily. Slalom gully is a mess. We really need some fresh snowfall to help it bond back together again.
Yeah I might have volunteered to help out with DWA. Have contact details of key personnel, will follow up.
 
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Rover

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good weekend, skied first run to 3:00pm Saturday and again on Sunday. Crowds were non-existent, however the lack of terrain probably balanced this out. Snow conditions were firm and fast, anything ungroomed was "unpleasant" until the sun had done its work. Grooming on Saturday was limited, with black snake, canyon, and upper brockoff not groomed, these were groomed for Sunday with plenty of ice potatoes down canyon. It looked like none of the guns fired over the weekend. On the upside, it looks like Zirks has been groomed all the way and big slope as far as the rollover, this would indicate the gully is full and ready to go....
 
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nezumi

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Club lodges are their own worst enemies, they have tons of availability but don’t make it easy to book.

I wouldn't care so much that it was difficult to book, if it was actually apparent whether or not they took bookings from the public.

Beyond that, as long as the lodges are staying afloat I have no qualms about them flying under the radar a bit, as it means that it's more likely that I can find something.
 
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Slush

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Club lodges are their own worst enemies, they have tons of availability but don’t make it easy to book.
Huh?
Neither of those statements is particularly accurate across the board. Many club lodges are fully booked for pretty much the whole season already.

Also remember that club lodges are generally geared for full capacity of members - who are used to staying in club lodges. Public guests often don't quite get the ettiquette of club lodge life. So a lodge full of public seems more crowded than with members. So lodges will often try and not fill to capacity with public.

Slush
 
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CarveMan

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Huh?
Neither of those statements is particularly accurate across the board. Many club lodges are fully booked for pretty much the whole season already.
When I talk to club lodge booking officers etc I often get a different story - and this is for lodges that do take external bookings. Mind you this is generally for Buller.
 

Slush

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Beyond that, as long as the lodges are staying afloat I have no qualms about them flying under the radar a bit, as it means that it's more likely that I can find something.
And that benefits the clubs lodges as well. My lodge would much rather have a guest who has asked around a bit about what club lodges are like, and who understands that they are a club of members, not a commercial enterprise. The worst guests for lodges are people who really want to stay at Zirkys etc, but are trying to save money.

I know at my lodge that a guest who emails and says "I used to stay at lodge <any other club lodge> and am looking for a room" will have the booking officer do their best to try and fit them in. At the least they will be at the top of the list for any cancellations etc. Whereas someone who says "I want a room for myself and can you do better than $150 a night" isn't likely to get a lot of enthusiasm.

Slush
 
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Slush

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When I talk to club lodge booking officers etc I often get a different story - and this is for lodges that do take external bookings. Mind you this is generally for Buller.
Are you talking in general, or for this year?
I'm more familiar with Hotham where we have all the Davenport club lodges grouped together, which is different to Buller, or Falls. Perhaps because of this lodge community, all the lodges are more likely to be more transparent about bookings / availiability?

Slush
 

nezumi

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When I talk to club lodge booking officers etc I often get a different story - and this is for lodges that do take external bookings. Mind you this is generally for Buller.

When I was looking at Buller accommodation options I struggled to even identify the club lodges, whereas at Hotham it's a pretty easy task - especially with quite a few of them having an active presence on Facebook etc to spruik their offerings, not to mention the Hotham Lodge Association.
 
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Any

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Man its quiet.
The hill seems deserted.

We noticed that Orchard was groomed, but not open yet.
Maybe tomorrow?

Also, I noticed someone getting around corral carpark with a theodolite. I suspect they're starting plans for next phase of the development there.
 

nezumi

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Ooh good idea! If only I wasn't on this course.

I think it's telling of how much I have looked at Hotham that I was able to guess it correctly without ever having been there in person! I'm counting down the days until I go now, it's nearing single digits, so the prospect of Orchard being open is very enticing.
 
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mr

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orchard area is south facing and can stay icy a very long time in June with the low sun

'Big slope' has always been known as 'the big ice block' in my family

fun skiing area though, I think Keoghs on the way out there is my all time favourite
 

Boodwah

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HV Groomers were exceptional this morning, silky soft w pockets of corduroy still to be found by 11 w the low traffic. There seems to be technical issues w Drift lift w ongoing prolonged stoppages. Orchard and Keoghs all groomed and ready to spin, guess they’ll announce it Saturday morning.
Tried to get out to Loch but technical issues w skis that I’d forgot about repairing last October.
The Loch car park is a muddy quagmire w less capacity. Like most things Hotham, don’t think a whole lot of thought was put into it.
 

djam

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Man its quiet.
The hill seems deserted.

We noticed that Orchard was groomed, but not open yet.
Maybe tomorrow?

Also, I noticed someone getting around corral carpark with a theodolite. I suspect they're starting plans for next phase of the development there.

A couple of Tenders or EOIs have gone out in the last 6 months, though there is no money to pay for any of it AFAIK. The carpark ends up as a bus stop.
 
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Boodwah

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Man its quiet.
The hill seems deserted.

We noticed that Orchard was groomed, but not open yet.
Maybe tomorrow?

Also, I noticed someone getting around corral carpark with a theodolite. I suspect they're starting plans for next phase of the development there.
No, they’re welding sheet metal to where the mud meets the concrete fast making the concrete part of the park (and so the entire car park) inaccessible
 

Crawf

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Same at Buller. I don’t get it. Perfect forecast and full cover, everyone is ‘waiting for school hols’ which will have insane crowds and not guaranteed weather like this.
Its not that surprising. Most people only get a certain amount of leave and need to book it out well prior, so can't simply jump when it snows. And most are generally intermediate skiers that probably don't venture off the beaten track anyway.

While taking kids out of school is concerning for some, the greater problem is trying to keep kids supervised/entertained whilst on school holidays.
 
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Bendalong+

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HV Groomers were exceptional this morning, silky soft w pockets of corduroy still to be found by 11 w the low traffic. There seems to be technical issues w Drift lift w ongoing prolonged stoppages. Orchard and Keoghs all groomed and ready to spin, guess they’ll announce it Saturday morning.
Tried to get out to Loch but technical issues w skis that I’d forgot about repairing last October.
The Loch car park is a muddy quagmire w less capacity. Like most things Hotham, don’t think a whole lot of thought was put into it.
Agree. Arrived late yesterday after the long drive from Sydney.
Skied Heavenly today from 9:00 till 2:30-enjoyable. Surface seemed to improve about 1:00pm for an hour i.e. better edge on the steep bits.
Knackered now.
Weather depending, might go for a skin out wide 2morrow.
 

currawong

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It's odd though, we tried to book at Buller this weekend and couldn't find a room. Though I didn't go through every club lodge as I got lazy.
clubs can be busy when commercial places are not. many members have season passes and can stay cheaply. People dropping big bucks usually less likely to make a snap decision - esp if just been or about to go soon
 
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nezumi

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?

We are headed up Friday week, staying at the Davenport end but wanting to go to Dinner Plain for some play and lunch on day 1. Coming from North-Eastern suburbs the Hume is readily accessible while the Omeo approach is longer. Looking at where they are currently fitting chains, it seems like the Harrietville approach means a steeper drive, but a much lower distance travelled with chains on, so faster in that regard?
 

Tanuki

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?
Not that I'm aware of. RMB or VicRoads should have a live report and you could always ring the RMB. The road crews have always been pretty good at clearing the road and unless there's a mega storm or it's later in the day you should be able to avoid a closure or convoy.

If there's been no snow recently and you're in a 4WD there's a high likelihood you won't need to fit chains.

Edit: In a horrid, cold blizzard the approach from Harrietville will actually be a longer, and significantly more precarious time on chains as usually the Omeo approach is in the lee of the storm.
 
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absentskier

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?

We are headed up Friday week, staying at the Davenport end but wanting to go to Dinner Plain for some play and lunch on day 1. Coming from North-Eastern suburbs the Hume is readily accessible while the Omeo approach is longer. Looking at where they are currently fitting chains, it seems like the Harrietville approach means a steeper drive, but a much lower distance travelled with chains on, so faster in that regard?
No I don't think Google Maps / Waze would take into account chain requirements.

Unless you're staying at Bright or Omeo the night before you ascend the hill, work out which route depending on conditions on the day. Sounds like from where you are, you should go via Bright if the weather is okay and roads are clear. If there's a storm, strongly consider the longer Omeo route. It's a far easier ascent.
 
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Slush

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?
Looking at where they are currently fitting chains, it seems like the Harrietville approach means a steeper drive, but a much lower distance travelled with chains on, so faster in that regard?
Nah - none of the travel apps seems to include stuff like that. Factor in around 30 mins extra if fitting chains. 15 minutes to fit the chains plus 15+ minutes longer drive taking it easy in the conditions. More if they start running convoys.

I've never fit chains from Omeo side, even when the Harrietville side has been shut. That's with AT tyres and locking diffs. I would have fit chains once or twice if I'd been driving something like a subi with Z rated tyres. If the road is completely covered in snow, you can still travel at pretty normal speeds from DP with chains on.
 
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nezumi

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Not that I'm aware of. RMB or VicRoads should have a live report and you could always ring the RMB. The road crews have always been pretty good at clearing the road and unless there's a mega storm or it's later in the day you should be able to avoid a closure or convoy.

If there's been no snow recently and you're in a 4WD there's a high likelihood you won't need to fit chains.

Edit: In a horrid, cold blizzard the approach from Harrietville will actually be a longer, and significantly more precarious time on chains as usually the Omeo approach is in the lee of the storm.

Yup, I'm aware of the prevailing wisdom of the Omeo approach when there's good snowfall - I was mainly thinking about it because I had a look at the road report today and they are requiring vehicles to fit chains at Bay 2 on the Harrietville approach, but Bay 3 on the Omeo approach, and I wasn't sure how much impact the extra distance from the Omeo side with chains on would have :)

The available vehicle is a Kia Cerato - so a mid-size hatchback. Definitely fitting chains in sketchy conditions :D
 
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Any

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?

We are headed up Friday week, staying at the Davenport end but wanting to go to Dinner Plain for some play and lunch on day 1. Coming from North-Eastern suburbs the Hume is readily accessible while the Omeo approach is longer. Looking at where they are currently fitting chains, it seems like the Harrietville approach means a steeper drive, but a much lower distance travelled with chains on, so faster in that regard?
They don't even take into account that its a slower drive in winter cause its heavier traffic.
We always budget at least 1 hour from Harrietville to Hotham, and so we're never rushed and drive safer.
 

KylePee

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They don't even take into account that its a slower drive in winter cause its heavier traffic.
We always budget at least 1 hour from Harrietville to Hotham, and so we're never rushed and drive safer.
It should live update if people driving it are using the apps. Will calculate delays. Unlikely to account for the actual fitting of chains, but should pick up the slower speed. Don’t know the full details but algorithms will lean on slower trips and the more data feeding in the more accurate

** but always add more when the delays are in areas outside major metro
 
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hongomania

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For those who use Google Maps / Waze - does this take into account wheel chain requirements when calculating travel time?

We are headed up Friday week, staying at the Davenport end but wanting to go to Dinner Plain for some play and lunch on day 1. Coming from North-Eastern suburbs the Hume is readily accessible while the Omeo approach is longer. Looking at where they are currently fitting chains, it seems like the Harrietville approach means a steeper drive, but a much lower distance travelled with chains on, so faster in that regard?
The real question is are you renting chains (hoys fitting for you) or can you do it yourself in the dark with cold fingers
 

nezumi

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It should live update if people driving it are using the apps. Will calculate delays. Unlikely to account for the actual fitting of chains, but should pick up the slower speed. Don’t know the full details but algorithms will lean on slower trips and the more data feeding in the more accurate

** but always add more when the delays are in areas outside major metro

I wonder if there's anything that could be done in terms of a data feed when chain fitting is required on the roads - the information is on the website, so surely it would be a relatively trivial matter to have it push to the same systems VicRoads uses for traffic volume that are then passed up to Google et al for live traffic alerts?

The real question is are you renting chains (hoys fitting for you) or can you do it yourself in the dark with cold fingers

Nah, I have my own and am capable of fitting them. I haven't had to do so in really horrid conditions yet, but I have had to dig out the wheels to fit them at skitube carpark one year.
 

cookieman

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Simple, if a snow storm is on go via Omeo, otherwise Bright is nearly an hour quicker for you.
We did a comparison once during a storm, 2 cars , mate went Bright we went Omeo, left same time.he arrived 5 minutes quicker , he had a scary drive up in blizzard, we had a long but relatively easy drive via Omeo.Also we didn't need to stuff around fitting chains on 4wd.
 

MHzMe

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In the outer east where I live, the Google calculated time is 30 minutes difference between the Bright and Omeo approaches.

We normally take the Bright approach as getting out of Melbourne (via Melba Hwy) is a bit easier, but if there is snowfall then would go Omeo.

As well as fitting chains, you need to take into account the delays due to convoys on the Harrietville side if it is snowing, based on the last few years. These can add an hour or so to the travel time.
 
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nezumi

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In the outer east where I live, the Google calculated time is 30 minutes difference between the Bright and Omeo approaches.

We normally take the Bright approach as getting out of Melbourne (via Melba Hwy) is a bit easier, but if there is snowfall then would go Omeo.

As well as fitting chains, you need to take into account the delays due to convoys on the Harrietville side if it is snowing, based on the last few years. These can add an hour or so to the travel time.

Right now Google Maps is saying ~4:30 via Bright and 5:45 via Omeo to get to Dinner Plain.

Setting a future date for departure it's saying 4:20 - 5:00 via Bright and 5:20 - 6:50 via Omeo, with an extra 100kms in total distance.

So, for us at least, unless there's a big load of snow coming it looks like Bright is the way to go.
 
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