trees and some good steeps
a park & a half-pipe
some good trails
Mount Hotham resort review
As with any Australian ski resort you do have to keep your expectations in check when visiting Mt. Hotham. The resort has been called the “powder capital of Australia” and given that it receives more natural snow than other Victoria ski fields it is easy to see why this is the case. That definition of powder though is still very different to what you would see in North America or other regions of the world as it still sees just three meters of snow per season on average.
While there are snow making facilities on the main trails to keep the skiing going, it is also worth noting that there are still times when rain does attack the snow. The one factor working in the favour of Mt. Hotham here is the elevation, which is much more desirable and can keep the snow conditions where they need to be for maximum riding enjoyment.
The facilities at Mt. Hotham are on the higher end and it is easy to see why this is considered the ultimate spot for boarders in Australia. This is not the resort where you go to be seen wearing your ear while spending the days drinking champagne and sitting in hot tubs. Instead this is where you go for a challenge and to spend your time off of the mountain discussing strategy and terrain with like-minded individuals. This level of passion about the sport is what makes Mt. Hotham stand out among all other resorts in Australia.
This information should all point towards Mt. Hotham being a resort that really stands out for the stronger boarders. While there is decent terrain for beginners and intermediates, the slope design and the shape of the mountain really makes this a standout resort for more experienced riders. This is especially true in times of light snow where the beginner Orchard area gets shut down. Officially the terrain is 20%, beginner, 40% intermediate, and 40% advanced, making Mt. Hotham the resort with the highest proportion of black trails in the country. This number is pushed still further when off-piste terrain is factored in.
This is also a big resort in general for one in Victoria. The vertical drop is almost 400 meters and the full size of the resort is 791 acres. The amount of terrain actually used to ride on is 605 acres, but again it is worth noting that a lack of snowfall can see this number decrease quickly.
One of the best areas, and one that is better than most for snowfall, is the Heavenly Valley, which challenges advanced boarders with its quick and numerous changes in terrain. The “Extreme Zone” is another area where advanced boarders will be challenged and get their thrills, with cliffs, tight trees, and impressive steeps to navigate on the trails. This is actually a pretty good stepping stone for those between advanced and expert as the terrain, while a true test of ability, is still a step below the intensity of that you would find in other countries.
TOP LIFT1845 m
VERTICAL DROP395 m
BOTTOM LIFT1450 m
LONGEST PISTE1.6 miles (2.5 km)