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Today looks like the last decent day, so here's our 2021 snow season wrap

Anthony Sharwood, Monday September 27, 2021 - 10:23 EST

The 2021 season snow is not dead quite yet, with lifts still spinning at four resorts – Mt Buller, Falls Creek and Mt Hotham in Victoria, plus Perisher in NSW – but the weather this week will turn ugly from a snow perspective, with several days of rain from about Tuesday onwards.

So with the sun shining on the mountains today, we thought this would be a good day to throw together a bit of a season wrap.

Image: Enjoy these groomed slopes while you can, if you can. Source: @Perisher_resort via Instagram.

Firstly, if you're lucky enough to live in regional parts of NSW and Victoria that are allowed to access the snowfields, you can click on each resort above to see which lifts are open in this, the final week of the season.

We'd pretty much urge you to get there now, as in this minute! As mentioned, things are about to turn soggy...


It was a good start to the season in NSW, but not in Victoria, as an unusual weather system from the east delivered more than 50 cm of snow to places like Perisher and Thredbo, but very little to Victoria.

Indeed Victoria's southernmost resorts Mt Buller and Mt Baw Baw copped only rain, as warmish Tasman Sea air looped around the low pressure system while a pool of colder air hovered further north. A couple of hundred kilometres really made a huge difference with this system.

Meanwhile, this reporter sensed that in the age of Covid, you never know what's coming next, so he headed down to Thredbo for the day after a day working in the Sydney Weatherzone office. It was a long drive! Turned out to be a good decision, though. Lockdown started about 10 days later.


July delivered big time, with several large storms reaching all mainland resorts.

By the end of the month, Snowy Hydro measured the depth at Spencers Creek in NSW, roughly halfway between Perisher and Thredbo, at 183.6 cm. That made it the deepest July snowpack in 21 years.

Victoria also got the goods, and virtually all lifts were in operation at all resorts by the end of the month.

Sadly, Covid lockdowns also took effect in both states during July. Resorts stayed open in NSW with access only  for visitors from regional areas. Victorian resorts would open and close several times between mid-July and late September. Which was a shame, because with 133 cm on the ground at Hotham, conditions were sensational.

Image: Would've been a lot of people walking or skiing home that day. Source: @_Hotham via Twitter.


August was pretty warm overall, but there were still occasional good snowfalls which maintained the depth at about 50 to 75% of the July peak. So overall, the 2021 season went from being potentially a ripper to more or less average.

Indeed, as we told you a few weeks ago, it was just the third time in 67 years of data at Spencers Creek in NSW that the peak season depth has occurred in July. Usually it's late August or early September. Peak depth has even been recorded in October.

Meanwhile, Covid chaos continued...


September has been mostly warm, as you'd expect, but there were one or two really good snowfalls, including one that bumped the Spencers Creek snow depth from 125.2 cm back up to 149.5 cm.

Things got a little shaky last week...

But thankfully no one was hurt as an earthquake centred in Mansfield, just below Mt Buller, rocked the entire alpine region and well beyond.

For now, the biggest seismic shock to the snowfields continues to be the devastating lack of customers due to Covid, and here's hoping we see plenty of snow and a near-fully vaccinated population free to visit the Aussie resorts and support their local businesses in 2022.

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