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Skiers welcome cold snap

Thursday April 30, 2009 - 15:00 EST
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Snowboarder Jimi Cordell revels in the conditions at Falls Creek, Victoria, on April 28, 2009, after half a metre of snow blanketed the Australian Alps, bringing the best April snowfalls in 50 years. - ABC

The ski season will start five weeks early at Mount Buller in Victoria's alpine region - the earliest start to the season in the resort's 45-year history.

The resort will open to the public this weekend, including access to one lift.

The early start to the season is possible because of substantial snowfalls over the past week.

Laurie Blampied from Buller Ski Lifts says future weekend skiing is also possible.

"We'll assess conditions next week and depending on what the weather brings, if we've got good conditions again next weekend we'll consider opening again the weekend after," he said.

The resort says there will be no entry fee to the mountain because the season has not officially started yet.

Mr Blampied says the resort is seizing the opportunity created by snowfalls this week.

"We've had a look at the snow that's on the ground and ... we've decided to use it while we can and give our guests the opportunity to ski at the earliest time in the season that we're able to recall."Temperatures

Today Melbourne recorded its coldest April morning in more than 50 years.

Forecaster James Taylor says the mercury dipped below three degrees in the city but it is even colder in the east.

"We've got, around the suburbs, temperatures dropping down around zero to two degrees," he said.

"It's dropped as low as minus 2.7 degrees out at Coldstream and the Yarra Valley and in the city itself the temperature dropped to 2.9 degrees, which is the lowest April overnight minimum since 1957."

He says Mt Hotham is recovering from a record April low of minus 8.2 yesterday morning.


© ABC 2009

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