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Mount Buller opens lifts for one final day after cold blast blankets Victorian Alps in snow

By Mikaela Ortolan and Matt Dowling, Monday September 28, 2020 - 12:30 EST
ABC licensed image
Mount Buller has been shut down for most of the season due to coronavirus restrictions. - ABC licensed

It's the middle of spring, but Victorian Alps have turned into a wintry wonderland following the cold blast that swept through most of the state at the weekend.



Mount Buller recorded more than 40 centimetres of fresh snow, one of its largest snowfalls of the season.

Mount Buller resort's Rhylla Morgan said it was a real taste of winter.

"It went from spring back to winter very quickly," Ms Morgan said.

In July ski lifts were temporarily closed as a result of the coronavirus and Melbourne's lockdown measures.

Mount Buller continued to operate at a reduced capacity, but was forced to close the entire resort to the public a month later as part of stage 3 restrictions across regional Victoria.

But the cold snap sparked an influx of messages asking the resort to run the lifts, and after careful consideration, the management has decided to do just that.



"Because of COVID-19 capacity restrictions and safety restrictions we've got to do it carefully," Ms Morgan said.

"We've decided to do it as a special thank you just for the members who are in regional Victoria or up here on Buller so they can get one last ski in."

And with no wind and not a cloud in the sky snow bunnies are in for a treat.

"We've got a beautiful day for it," Ms Morgan said.

"We couldn't be more fortunate."

The Bourke Street Express ski run, which caters to beginners, has been groomed and will operate today until 3pm.

Mother Nature turning it on

The Federal Government has announced $250 million in funding for regional tourism. Ms Morgan said she was hopeful the package would include something for the Alpine areas.

"We'll be looking to see the detail and hoping there will be some elements in there that will support people to get back on their feet," she said.

Ms Morgan said some businesses wouldn't recover from the year that had been, however, the easing of restrictions across regional Victoria were welcome and had brought visitors.



"It's nice to see people moving again," Ms Morgan said.

"I think we're just happy to be able to get out and about in our beautiful region a bit more."

Ms Morgan said the snow was expected to hang around for the week.

"You'll be able to get the best of both worlds with some tobogganing and some hiking," she said.

Ms Morgan said access to the resort was free for the public for the remainder of the season.

"I think there's a few thousand snowmen's worth [of snow] up here waiting for kids in the school holidays to just come and have some fun and enjoy it while it lasts," she said.


- ABC

© ABC 2020

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