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Thredbo celebrates 60 years of snow as slopes open across Snowy Mountains

Adrienne Francis, Sunday June 11, 2017 - 11:35 EST
ABC licensed image
Families flocked to the slopes on the first weekend of the snow season. - ABC licensed

Festivities are underway and ski fields are open across the NSW Snowy Mountains, as iconic village and resort Thredbo looks back on 60 years on the slopes.

Other resorts, including

Photographer and freestyle skiing pioneer Randy Wieman was among snow lovers enjoying clear skies and crisp snow cover this weekend at Thredbo.

"We are having the best opening weekend because we have had so much snow being made and we have some natural snow," he said.



A veteran of the Snowy Mountains, Mr Wieman first arrived at the village as an instructor 40 years ago.

"We haven't had this much snow and this much skiing available to everybody [in years]," he said.

"The best thing is that it has been really cold for two weeks in order to prepare for all this.

"So it is just exceptional."

Thredbo Resort was developed in the late 1950s by a syndicate on land that is now within Kosciusko National Park.

The first mechanical rope tow lift was installed in 1957 and it was only powered by a generator.



It was replaced in 1958 with the Crackenback chairlift to Kareela station.

Thredbo snow-making controller Glenn Dawes said snow had only become more consistent since the resort began making it in 1987.

"Back in the early 80s you could only ski around about 20 days a year into the valley," said Mr Dawes.

"These days with all of the snow-making technology and the great grooming you can actually go 100-plus days skiing to the village."

Fifty-thousand cubic metres of snow has been made by resort technicians over the last three weeks and they're expecting to make 100 times that amount by the end of the winter season.

The Bureau of Meteorology says a large high-pressure system over southern Australia is expected to bring light winds and calm conditions, rather than further fresh snowfalls.


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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